22nd February 2011

It was only yesterday I was musing that the ideal outcome from your opening group match was to win without revealing too much of your overall game plan. Well, can anyone honestly say they know what line and length we were trying to bowl today? Or which of the team will still be the in line up for the next match? Exactly. Mission accomplished.

Besides, we actually lost against Holland in 2009 and still went on to win the 20/20 World Cup. Admittedly that was a year later and on a different continent, but still, we’re moving forward, we’re growing as a team. Today, for instance, you couldn’t single out Stuart’s poor fielding in the same way as during that previous game, as frankly we were all equally bad. We failed in the best way possible; as a team. It’s that collective responsibility/culpability that Andy Flower believes bonds a side together.

That said, Andy still wanted us to “freeze-frame on all the critical on-field decision vectors” during our post-match pow-wow. No one understood what he meant by that of course, but at least we were united as a team in our confusion. And ultimately that’s probably what matters most to Andy, or would be if he stopped “quantitative matrixing” long enough to see the harmony of our puzzled looks.

But whatever the exact ins and outs of his “blue-sky jibba jabba” it seemed to involve a lot of embarrassing footage of us bounding after the ball like drunken labradors. There were plenty of screens to view that on too, as the dressing rooms out here are suddenly full of highly expensive electronics and easily throwable objects. It seems yesterday’s Ricky Raj Rage pulled in record viewing figures and they’re hoping for a repeat performance. Weird to think of it in these terms but I guess that would have made Nasser Hussain a huge one-day star. Mike Atherton, less so. Plus ça change.

Thought for the day: How ironic given we were playing against a nation as sexually liberated as the Dutch, that our fielding performance had more grassed balls than a naturist picnic.

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