12th March 2011

On the way down to breakfast found Jimmy Anderson spark out in the corridor. After the embarrassment of the previous night’s debacle against Bangladesh he’d insisted on being smuggled back into our hotel with his head covered by a towel and the stupid bugger’s vision must have been so restricted he walked straight into the door frame of his room. Fitting really, given how many wides he bowled in that game.

Still it’s an ill wind. As I watched the physio drag him away by the ankles I couldn’t help think to myself, “I wonder if our odds against the West Indies have just dramatically increased?” as well as “shouldn’t he at least turn Jimmy face up before doing that?”

England can’t illuminate this World Cup on our own; we need help, especially during the often dreary group stage matches. So bravo to India for today’s faultlessly amusing batting collapse. With special thanks to Ashish Nehra for the kind of pained bewilderment not seen on a cricketer’s face since the Stanford Super Stars tried to cash their winner’s cheques. It’s the expression that launched a thousand burning effigies.

India’s main problem is that however many runs Sachin and Sehwag make, at some point their team has to bowl and field as well. That’s a hell of a disadvantage, but it’s hard to see how they get round it given the ICC have insisted both sides playing an innings is one of the tournament’s main playing conditions.

People who criticise the BCCI for dominating world cricket would do well to remember that…

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