Friday, 20 February 2015

A New Low

Friday, 20 February 2015
Today, England plunged to their greatest depth yet. I feel like I've said it before, that surely they can't get any worse, but today they proved me wrong again. All out for 123. Target chased down in 12.2 overs. As a student, I'm used to the odd match being just over by he time I wake up at around eight; I'm not used to waking up at half six and finding the match already long, long over. It seems like every time they give me some hope - and despite everything, the tri-series did give me some hope - they then produce something to knock it right out of me again, just to prove I'm being silly. It's like going in for a hug and getting a punch in the face. And today's show was the worst of the lot. 

I don't like having to write about England's losses, having to write criticising the team in one way or another, but what else is there for me to do? The first two matches of this World Cup have been nothing short of a disaster. They lost the first match by 111 runs, and even that was a lot less than it might have been. Today, in a day night match, they didn't even make it to the floodlights coming on. There are fifty overs a side in an ODI, this match lasted 45. The batsmen fell from 104/3 to 123 all out, destroyed by the excellent swing bowling of Tim Southee. There was little that the bowlers could do, but enough time to be destroyed by Brendon McCullum - a 25 ball innings piling on 77 runs, strike rate 308, 8 fours and 7 sixes. Finn suffered most of all: two overs, 49 runs conceded. In the meantime, the ICC are cutting back the next World Cup, taking away associates for not being 'competitive'. Well, what about the full members? You look at the results, and England have been the least competitive team of them all...

Normally in a defeat, and especially in England defeats, there's a post match quest to take 'the positives'. This time, they'll have one hell of a search. Post match, Eoin Morgan said, 'Collectively we are going to have to get tighter as a group and produce the collective performances we have been searching for'. What exactly does that mean? But then again, what can he say?  

Chances are though, England will still reach the quarter finals, fulfilling their minimum target for the tournament. On paper, at least, they should, but then, on paper they shouldn't be losing *quite* so badly to Australia and New Zealand. Even if these were matches they might not have expected to win, they should at least have been competitive, have done at least something to worry the other side. Taylor was the one to put up a fight last time, today there was no one at all, bar perhaps Joe Root (who looked close to crying, much like us all). Abysmal has never been a better description. 

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