15th October 2011

Management anger at our ODI shellacking continues unabated. With those of us who fell to the twin threats of Ashwin and Jadeja being banished to the naughty step in order to study footage of our susceptibility to the turning ball. In reality that meant spending the morning squatting in the hotel stairwell with the team laptop, whilst the excellent Wi-Fi connection provided by the Hyderabad Travel Tavern allowed us to abandon yesterday’s match highlights in favour of catching up with the latest webisode of the team’s favourite internet soap-opera, Lesbian Ski Lodge.

This probably isn’t the right place to document the latest comings and goings at Club Penguin, but the way Cinnamon was willing to metaphorically turn the other cheek after walking in on Pippa enjoying an après-ski ménage à trios with Brandy and Amber found a deep emotional resonance with several members of our lower middle order. I think it’s fair to say we’ve all learnt a lesson in forgiveness today, as well as picking up some valuable tips on oral hygiene.

By the time Andy Flower returned to talk us through what we’d been watching, he was delighted to find a group of visibly moved players, several of whom were keen to think things through fully in the privacy of their rooms. A suggestion he readily agreed to after his query as to whether we’d now be more willing to “get down and lap the wide ones” was greeted with a degree of unified enthusiasm that I’ve rarely seen from a group of professional sportsmen.

But then that’s one of the most impressive things about this current England squad. Even when the players seek the solitude of their own personal space, you know there’s a unity of thought and a commonality of intent.

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