20th October 2011

The stench of defeat clings to us like viscous brown smog. Its dank pervasive odour curls a path round limbs and creeps inexorably up the torso from where it can seep into the cavities of the head to wrap its demonic despair around internal organs and plant a seed of everlasting self-doubt at the edges of our peripheral vision.

At least I assume that’s the stench of defeat. In all honesty it’s as likely to be the lamb bhuna we had for lunch.

Still, we are now 3-0 down in a five match series, and will, in the astute words of Steven Finn, “need a miracle to win the trophy from here”. A miracle or a change to the fundamental laws of mathematics to be exact.

What makes our series rout all the more galling is that it’s happened in India, a country whose media is so obsessed with the game that it would interrupt coverage of man first setting foot on Mars to bring you news of MS Dhoni’s latest hair cut.

How are we supposed to turn things round when under that kind of intense spotlight? How am I supposed to contain the cap-snatching anger that rages uncontrollably inside me? Well, there’s the visit to a local petting zoo management had arranged as part of my relaxation therapy programme. But that’s had to be cancelled now the media got wind of it. The last thing we need is a picture of an England player surrounded by a group of donkeys.

Especially if the viscous brown smog of defeat starts to drive them away…