Crazy, crazy stuff from England. We could not guess it was the semi-final of a world cup if we didn't already know. England gave Luke Wright a go at the opening position, which is a laudable decision as Kieswetter wasn't doing his job. But, to send Bairstow at No.3 was a blunder. He is a finisher and a new member of the team. One of the openers can be so, but No.3 is a position where you need solidity. Samit Patel at No.4 wasn't a bad move though, because Bopara is not in form and Buttler is yet to prove his worth. Though in a big tournament like this, you shouldn't be experimenting with the likes of Bopara and Buttler.
|The dictator: Stuart Broad brings his electric aura to the side.|
The whole team was an experiment. Some were new, others not in form. I wouldn't blame Bairstow or Hales. The easiest way to make new players uncomfortable is to send them at positions they are not suited for and shoving all the responsibility on their shoulders. The ball before Bairstow got out, Hales and him were involved in a terrible mix attempting a run. And on the next ball, Hales got out as well. It takes time for batsmen to gain an understanding of each other and form partnerships. At least someone experienced like Morgan could be sent at No.3 to support Hales. It did work in the previous game when Wright came at 3 and Morgan at 4. There was no need for these crazy experiments. Broad reminded me he is the same man who couldn't hit the stumps from a two feet distance against Netherlands in the ICC World Twenty20 at home.
The bowler who doesn't get tired of performing
Steven Finn was once again impressive. His progress and consistency is something I'm very pleased with. England would benefit a great deal if they play him regularly in all 3 formats. Only Watson, Balaji, Starc and Mendis have taken more wickets than him in this tournament. And Yuvraj Singh has taken as many as him. Yuvraj and Finn have the best economy rate among these. Finn has also bowled the most dot balls in this tournament so far.
The bowler who doesn't get tired of being smacked
I was stunned to see Jade Dernbach back in the side. Only Raza Hasan, James Franklin, Shapoor Zadran, Chris Gayle, Zaheer Khan and Shahid Afridi have taken less wickets than him. And all of these, except Afridi have bowled less overs than him. He has the worst economy rate of 9.83 among all 38 bowlers in this tournament. And only 8 have a poorer strike rate. Only Cummins and Afridi have a worse bowling average. I don't think I need to say anything more on this.
The players who are exchanging roles
Also, Patel went for 27 in his two overs and Bopara for 12, England need to take note. As we have seen lately, Bopara no longer performs with the bat but he does perform with the ball. And as Samit Patel impressed with the bat, might we say they should swap their roles?
If there was any man in the English side who looked like an all-rounder, it was Graeme Swann. He not only took 2-26 in 4 overs but also struck 34 off 20 in a tense situation. This is something he always does. Bats with a good strike rate, never wastes deliveries and stays calm under pressure. His strike rate in Tests is 80, in one-day it's 90 and 117 in Twenty20. His bowling averages in all formats are better than James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. This man must be given an award.
That's all I have to say about England's ousting in ICC World Twenty20 2012. We can only hope they'll learn their lessons. Until then, we can only make fun of them and enjoy the drama caused by Kevin Pietersen and everyone's comments on him. Thanks for reading. Good day!
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