If there’s one thing that brightened up the tedium of South Africa pummelling Bangladesh out of the World Cup, it was the obvious discomfort of our various saffer ex-pats at a points table situation that forced them into openly supporting ‘the land they left behind’. Top marks here go to Trotty whose accent suddenly morphed into a fluctuating chimera of Michael Caine in Zulu and John Gielgud’s sarcastic butler from Arthur.
Matt Prior took the more sensible route of sitting quietly at the back and blending into the background, save only for a sporadic dropping on the floor of a tape ball he’d been given to practise with. Whilst Cap’n Ring-on-a-string himself preferred front and centre, from where, every now and again, he could point at the screen and inform us “that’s what I expect from you next match”. Although exactly which of the two sides he was referring to was never made clear.
The confused thinking continued later when it became apparent management had convinced themselves opposition sides panic whenever they see us play badly. It’s an interesting theory and one that suggests Jimmy Anderson has a mastery of sports psychology that makes him a kind of cricketing Derren Brown – all be it without all the clever stuff. I jokingly made that point to Andy Flower and I’m beginning to think I may have talked the Burnley blunderbuss back into the starting XI. Although to balance that out, Luke Wright’s confident innings the other night may now see him immediately dropped.
After the World Cup campaign we’ve been having so far, who can say that doesn’t dovetail perfectly with our existing selection policy?