Well, if nothing else, I think we can all agree these have been a magical four days to be a Pakistani supporter. Although the gloss has been taken off by the sight of Bob Willis smiling on tonight’s SKY highlights package. If Shane Warne could still move his face, I’m sure he’d have joined in too.
Can you imagine the pair of them gurning away next to Charles Colville? For Indians it would be the worst thing England had ever done to them that didn’t involve opening fire on unarmed civilians – which, when you think of it, is a pretty accurate description of what happened to the Indian bowling over the last few days.
Such a contrast to the way the England attack operated: charging in, bowling short, appealing for lbw’s, running out Sachin – as if the spirit of the game meant nothing to them. David Starkey must hate the way England’s bowlers have copied the old West Indian tactic of operating in organised groups. You won’t find our lads resorting to that kind of nonsense to win a match. Or winning a match full stop I suppose.
Now, to the untrained eye, that all paints a pretty bleak picture, but let me tell you, I believe England have been fatally undermined by this series. I ask you, how has the standard of opposition we’ve provided prepared the England players for returning to county cricket? Exactly. We’re feeding back into the second tier of English cricket, players totally unused to playing at that standard. You think Alastair Cook’s ever scored 294 for Essex? You think Tim Bresnan averages 45 with the bat and 23 with the ball for Yorkshire? Please; their confidence will be shattered over the next few weeks as they come up against opening batsmen who can move their feet and bowlers operating at 80+ mph.
By the time they arrive in India in November for the ODI series, they’ll be there for the taking.
And once again my long term planning will triumph over the short-term Johnnies obsessing about today’s minor setback.