Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Top Of The World

So let's try and say it without the raised eyebrows, without that incredulous tone of voice, and perhaps most importantly of all, without the disbelieving nausea.

England are world champions.

Admittedly it's the T20 world cup and half their team is Japanese or something, but you can't take it away from them. I've already tried, and I got into trouble.

England were arguably the most consistent team throughout the whole tournament. They bowled well consistently, and they were never without a few batsmen who fired to get them the runs they needed. Oddly enough, the toughest their batsmen had it was against Ireland, where but for the Guyanan rain.....who knows?
They fielded fantastically over the fortnight, and having a captain like Paul Collingwood really gets a team going in the field - all it takes is one good catch and the whole team's buzzing.
England's top order may have failed at times, needing Eoin Morgan and Tim Bresnan to bail them out, but they never got skittled at the top. Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter always came out hitting, and even if they went early they'd got England off to a flyer.
England were the one team who looked happy chasing scores throughout the tournament, and you can put that down to Lumb, Kieswetter, and Pietersen getting them ahead of the rate quickly. Add in Morgan and Luke Wright as finishers and you've got a good line-up.
KP played some of the best cricket we've seen from him in quite some time, and you get the feeling he's ready to take that form into all forms of the game.

Australia were great throughout the whole tournament, but with the exception of Pakistan in the semis, they failed to be tested until they met England. Their batting strength is obvious - they bat to at least number 9, but perhaps this took a little pressure off the top order. Certainly Watson and Warner didn't do themselves justice, and captain Michael Clarke should get the boot - I think he's a wonderful cricketer, but it's not his game.
The Australian bowlers were fantastic - Nannes, Tait and Johnson is a frightening combination - but they didn't have enough to defend on that final day, and once Kieswetter and KP got into their stride they were tough to stop.

Going into the World T20 England's line-up looked strong. Coming out it looks even better. They've found an opening combo that suits, and don't expect them to tinker with it for a while. Their bowlers made good use of their variation, and bowled as the pitches required. Inspired in the field, they had the heart to win every game.

The most dangerous thing about England is that they now know how to take success - they file it away and build on it. Andy Flower has got a good mentality in that camp, and he'll be focussing minds on the Ashes this winter. Who knows how many players who contested that final will face off down under for the 1st test? It's a different game, but nothing beats confidence, and right now, England are flying high.

No comments:

Post a Comment