By: Adarsh Shah
As I close my eyes I am transported back to 20th Feb 2015 in Wellington New Zealand. I was there at one of the lowest points of English ODI history. It was a dismal batting and bowling display by England with Brendon McCullum scoring a record breaking 77 off 25 balls.
Well, I was hoping to wipe that memory off with a win against the old enemy Australia today and get qualified for the semi-finals.
Instead what I got was more of the same….
- England won the toss and elected to field.
- It looked like a good decision as there was plenty of early promise by Woakes with his away swing but he then started bowling short, and the openers had free hands to acre those fours.
- Bowling change with Ali finally took Warner’s wicket with the pitch doing more than the bowler in this instance.
- Stokes as ever was hard working bending his back and breaking it with all he did with bowling and fielding. He got his just rewards with a wicket bowling……
- Finch again impressed with a great knock and century. Once again peaking at the right time with the runs he had conjured up in the last few games.
At the break England would have felt great to have kept Australia under 300 with Australia 285-7. However, with those front-line bowlers the Aussies would have also felt quietly confident to give England a run for their money….
- The position of Vince has to be reconsidered. He is just not World Cup ready. Saying that, the in-swinging Yorker from Behrendorff was almost unplayable.
- It was a bit like playing delayed dominos where every one of the English batsmen just fell, a little due to superb bowling by the Aussies and a lot due to their own lack of a smart game.
- When Root and Morgan fell, I had that sinking feeling of… “here we go again! “ … and all my fears and doubts came true.
- Once again Stokes proved his weight in gold with an attempt of a fight back with a credible 89. He defended, pulled 4s and pushed for 2s. Hats off but just wasn’t enough, once again.
- Behrendorff finished with a career best 5-44. Well done! Stood up to be counted when called upon!!!
England never rose to meet expectations in this game. This is the World Cup for Heavens Sake! NOT a 5-game series against a below par Pakistan. England need to turn up and turn up good to win the next 2 games against the mighty India and savvy New Zealand to have any chances of progressing.
Meanwhile Australia qualify for the semis with 2 games to spare!
As Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Maybe there is still hope for England with learning from these 3 defeats…. that I can only hope for now!