Set Up to Fail

England were poor again today, but nothing about their performance on the field was as disappointing as the recall to the side of Paul Collingwood. He's been out of form all season and was originally dropped for that reason, presumably with the intention that he should go away, make some runs for Durham and regain some confidence.

Having done neither, he's been recalled to the side for no obvious reason apart from the fact that the other players like having him around and missed him at Headingley. Unsurprisingly, he failed again, but all the evidence appears to be that how many runs you make doesn't really matter as long as you're part of the dangerously complacent cabal which the England side has become.

With the selection of Darren Pattinson and now this, the selectors appear hell-bent on destroying the faith and confidence of players who are currently outside the inner circle; for Harmison, Hoggard and Tremlett two weeks ago, read Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah now. To them the only message appears to be: make as many runs as you want; Collingwood's face fits and yours don't.

Any sports team in which players are retained regardless of their level of performance is setting itself up to fail.

And that's something which England are doing rather well at the moment.

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