In spite of Nasser Hussain’s bold insistence that Australia were “under the cosh for a lot of” today’s match against England, the end result was rather predictable. England did apply themselves well for portions of the match – specifically the partnership between Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen – but that one highlight alone is not enough to beat Australia, to win the World Cup or to prove England’s one-day ethic is nothing more than hit-and-hope. In fact, poke-and-pray might be more accurate.
All is not lost. You’ve no doubt heard by now that Marcus Trescothick made his return to cricket – albeit against a Devon attack more used to serving scones than yorkers – with a brutal 256 from 117 balls. This is a good thing.
The mystery surrounding his stress-related illness is still very much just that. No one knows for sure exactly what constitutes stress, nor why it happened, nor why he was apparently unfit to attend England’s Champions Trophy yet was fit to tour Australia a few weeks later. He lasted just two weeks which, given the horror show that eventuated, was probably just as well.
I desperately hope he returns, fighting fit, scoring banger tons again. Who knows? This lay-off he has had could relaunch his career, turning him from a good England player into a great.