Friday, 15 January 2010

How not to bat

One of the great frustrations for me in following the England cricket team is that while I know what's going on, I can't actually see what's happening because I don't pay Murdoch his filthy lucre. More on this subject and the lunacy of the ECB later... For now though, I've just seen the highlights from the morning and afternoon sessions of yesterday's play at the Wanderers, and frankly I wasn't impressed.

I don't think Cook, Collingwood and Bell have too much share of the blame, but as for the rest... Well the shot selection was just woeful. I've exonerated the three I just mentioned because largely they were out to good balls and in each case they were trying to defend.

For Strauss, Trott, Pietersen, Prior and Broad though, they seemed to be intent on scoring runs quickly rather than building an innings and got out through poor run-scoring strokes which in the case of Strauss and Pietersen sent the ball straight to fielders cleverly positioned for catching off exactly the shots played. Even Sidebottom got out to a ball he should probably have left. Boycott was predictably unimpressed with the whole bally mess.

Why the hell do we keep doing this? I have a feeling the amount of one-day matches played has a lot to do with it, and our batsmen need to work on playing to the situation and telling themselves this isn't one-day, I'm going to build an innings carefully and ease myself in gradually with the minimum of risk.

UPDATE: Well that was predictable. England managed the not inconsiderable feat of scoring less in their second innings than in their piss-poor first. More useless shot selection. Bloody hell. I suppose one should focus on the great bonus of drawing a series we were a matter of two good balls away from losing 3-1, and to paraphrase Casablanca, "We'll always have Durban..."

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