Well, this series really is well set at 1-1 with 2 to play yet…I’m somehow less enthused. I’ve found the chastising, mainly in the media but in the bologosphere too, of England’s performance quite vitriolic – which isn’t to say I’m anything other than confused about England’s performance thus far. England has, yes, been playing below par – but if we were to beleive what the media and other bloggers were saying, England are back to their “1990s form” and should be stripped of their Test status!
8 wins in a row doesn’t make a great team. Similarly, 1.5 bad Tests doesn’t make a bad team. It does lead me to question whether England is the most hated team in world cricket. The Ashes rivalry is well-known and understood – and is mutual – but I fail to understand other countries joining in on the pom-bashing bandwagon. Maybe some of you can enlighten me.
Anyway onto tomorrow. Flintoff has been “passed fit” which again the media have made a lot of. According to Vaughan, who despite his poor batting form is an excellent captain and interviewee, Flintoff’s injury was only a niggle. Perhaps the media’s concern was due to his fitness record – either way, he’s playing tomorrow as an all-rounder. He needs a hundred under his belt – and a good one.
More interestingly is the Jones/Anderson debate. I respect Jones’ character, but question his ability. Conversely, I respect Anderson’s ability but question his character – and question England’s management of him. The bloke has hardly played any cricket in 2 years, and his action has been tinkered with so much that I doubt he knows what he’ll bowl when he runs in. He has tremendous talent and is still young (22); I really will feel for him if he’s asked to bowl SA out tomorrow, having not played for so long. It’d also be unfair on Jones who has, at times, bowled extremely well this series. My spies tell me Anderson has already been given the nod, and Agnew suggested as much in his radio interview today.
Could be an interesting game, and a short one too – lots of rain forecast tomorrow and whoever wins the toss ought to bowl.
NB: I usually hyperlink my posts but my connection here is almost dead so…sorry about that.