6th October 2011

It’s said that the art of batting on the slow low pitches of the sub-continent involves the need for highly flexible wrists capable of manipulating the ball into gaps in the field. Worrying then that several members of our squad are part of the Playstation generation.

As you watch them desperately pawing at their mealtime eating utensils with fingers that have gradually drawn back into the shape of a claw, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Call of Duty: Black Ops will have the same effect on England’s future cricketing fortunes that televised basketball has had in the Caribbean, thirty-five not out winning you an IPL man-of-the-match award has had in India and being Australian without due care and attention has had down under.

Worrying times.

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As part of Team England’s acclimatisation process, “ginger haired six-hitting sensation, Jonny Bairstow” (his agent’s phrase not mine) has been wearing an all white burkha whilst we find a brand of sunblock strong enough to protect his near-albino complexion from the harsh Indian climate.

A rather extreme form of protection perhaps but it’s had the benefits of removing almost all distractions from his peripheral vision whilst he bats, as well as making it nigh on impossible to give him out lbw. Plus, those who are critical of such clothing should note that no one has had lustful thoughts about his womanly curves whilst he’s been wearing it.

This is what management like to call a win-win-win solution. Although I’d like to see him turn for a quick single without tripping over his billowing outer garments before we become too triumphalist.

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