12 March 2011

Anderson and England make life difficult for themselves

Looking at the scorecard from England's match against Bangladesh I assumed that Strauss had done his usual and set defensive fields when England needed to take the final 2 wickets, and made a mistake in not letting Collingwood bowl out. It wasn't quite as bad as I feared, but it would be great if bowlers like Bresnan don't have to plead with their skipper to have a slip, as happened in the 48th over. Although there were no attacking fielders in the closing overs, Strauss was quite attacking by his standards as there was a slip in when Raqibal Hasan was bowled by Shahzad and again when Swann bowled Shakib. And taking Collingwood off, even when he was bowling economically, was the right move too. So still some way to go but a slight improvement I reckon.

But what is the skipper meant to do when players let him down with poor performances? Prior cost England several runs with missed attempts to take the ball behind the stumps and, with Prior's help, the bowlers racked up 23 wides. James Anderson's 7th over was one of the worst of all time, and swung the game in Bangladesh's favour....with Broad out England desperately need Anderson to find his range, but it's not looking hopeful. And to make matters worse, Shahzad dropped his caught and bowled and Trott missed a stop at 3rd man as things got tight....Strauss must have been tearing the hair he has left out.

Elsewhere in England's group Ireland felt the cost of dropping Kieron Pollard in the 20s and Asoka de Silva's inability to remember that the batsman can't be out LBW when they're playing a shot and are hit outside the line. England should still qualify if they beat West Indies, but the way they are playing, and with Pollard in form, I can't say I feel confident!

I'd love to see Bopara opening rather than Prior, and Strauss to attack (much) more but, more than anything, Anderson needs to bowl properly and byes, dropped catches and misfields need to be a thing of the past. Strauss had some good company today in going defensive - Dhoni suddenly lost his bottle at the end of India's game against South Africa and suffered the consequences. Harbajan had to bowl one of the last 2 overs with 17 needed and South Africa having 3 wickets in hand. But instead he turned to the expensive Nehra with 13 needed from the final over, and he went for 4,6,2,4 to allow South Africa to win the game with 2 balls to spare.

Will England make it through?

1 comment:

Peter Lamb said...

Surely Anderson (who hasn't bowled well in any of the ODIs he has played in since the Ashes series) has to be dropped and Tremlett brought in.