Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson are having a cricket

We find ourself humming Roscoe H Spellgood rather a lot at the minute. This is because of the sheer number of match previews saying that England have come a long way in a short time.

It strikes us that if you go to the trouble of being as bad as England were at the 50-over World Cup, you do leave yourself plenty of room for improvement. What would be truly miraculous would be a half-decent team improved by a similar amount.

So of course England bounced back. Not to disregard the strides they’ve made, but it would have been an even more extraordinary feat to have remained as bad as they were. It would arguably have constituted art. A complete rejection of the surrounding world in favour of a private exploration of inadequacy.

However, after a giddy, sugar-crazed run-chase against South Africa and two shonky wins against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, things now get tough for England. New Zealand are unbeaten and seem like one of the few sides in this tournament unconcerned by how anyone else might be approaching the game. They’ve their own methodology and they’re happy with it.

England’s strategy is simple, even if they do occasionally forget it. They ease their batting aggression slider over further than anyone else would have it in the knowledge that they have more batsmen than anyone else. They then try and bowl tight, and when that doesn’t work, they inject a bit of chaos and try and buy a wicket. It’s nice. At least nowadays they have a plan to try and be better than the opposition. Previously they just aimed to be average and were baffled when that wasn’t enough.

New Zealand, by contrast, seemingly have a multitude of plans. McCullum’s side were a bit one-note, but Kane Williamson has thus far kept the positivity while adding a few more options in terms of how they go about things. It’s worked well for them so far, but we suppose only having one note to play can also bring clarity. Doubt can arise from having choices as much as from lack of faith in your own ability.

That last point seems like the kind of thing we should expand upon, but instead we’re going to slam on the brakes and bring the article to a grinding, unsatsifactory halt.

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36 Appeals

  1. As are Charlotte Edwards and Meg Lanning. While I realise that you can’t write about everything, oh King, the ladies’ tournament does seem to have been as ignored on here as it has historically been by the ICC.

    Which is a shame, as I feel you’d appreciate the Cricinfo commentary: “Momentum at stake in this over”. Ignoring the rest of the innings and its effect on momentum, of course.

    • King Cricket

      March 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      We’d like to, but we don’t even do a particularly good job of staying up to speed with the men’s game and that’s what we started out covering. It’s something we worry about, but at the same time we wouldn’t want to do a half-arsed job of it.

  2. I did indeed find the ending unsatsifactory.

  3. I got a “403 Forbidden” warning a couple of times from your site earlier, KC.

    Naturally I have persevered to get here today. Tell someone like me that a thing is forbidden and I’ll want to do it all the more.

    What were you up to during those forbidden minutes, KC? You can tell us.

    It all seems pretty business as usual now. though. Nothing worthy of prohibition at all. What a pity.

    • King Cricket

      March 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      We were mostly just refreshing Heart Internet’s systems status page and muttering expletives about the site going down at almost exactly the moment the daily email went out.

      • Hmmm.

        I don’t think that even my late mother, bless her, would have forbidden me from visiting you on the grounds of muttered expletives.

        She would probably have forbidden me from showing off my new found skill of muttering expletives when I returned to my own site. “I don’t care what HIS parents allow HIM to do. No muttered expletives in this house. They’re not clever, they’re not funny, they just make you look yobbish and ignorant.”

        My mum would have need a new internet warning . “Error 405 – returning to your own site muttering expletives that you learnt at this site is forbidden”.

  4. Don’t agree regarding England’s bowling plans. Chris Jordan seems like the only bowler who ‘tries’ to keep it tight as a default plan, he bowls back of a length with the new ball and then goes for 6 yorkers at the end. Willey is there to try and swing the new ball, he pitches it up against right-handers and tries to get them out lbw. Liam Plunkett is mostly defensive in his length, but has been deployed in the middle overs to try and jag a wicket from batsmen who have settled against spin. Adil Rashid is a stereotypical leggie who is here because he took piles of wickets in the big bash. There’s tons of ingredients in there, though I will admit that throwing in all the ingredient in the fridge usually makes the dinner end up the same colour of brown as if you hadn’t bothered. I’m not sure that analogy helps in any way.

    I think the impression of them as all-or-nothing comes from them being not really experienced enough to adapt quickly when something goes wrong, but it’s not as though Santner, Sodhi and Milne are veterans either.

    • King Cricket

      March 30, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      That’s a lovely brown food analogy.

      You’re right about Willey at the start, actually. He does bowl for wickets if there’s swing.

      Rashid is really who we were referring to when we said they inject chaos. They tend to deploy him when the – wait for it – momentum seems to be shifting.

  5. “Doubt can arise from having choices as much as from lack of faith in your own ability.”

    That almost perfectly sums up my struggle with the Boots Meal Deal.

    • King Cricket

      March 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Employ a rota system.

      That said, we experience something similar with Indian takeaway menus. They’ve got out of hand. It takes maybe half-an-hour to even read them, let alone start narrowing down your options.

      The situation’s compounded by the fact that most dishes are simply described as “a delicious blend of herbs and spices.”

      • As alluded to be an earlier commentator, it all ends up brown anyway (sometimes with a few streaks of red) so really what is the ruddy point?

  6. King Cricket

    March 30, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    For UK readers who don’t know, the BBC is publishing highlights snippets during the match – fours, sixes, wickets and whatnot.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/cricket/35722502

    • As a UK reader who knew about this, does this mean I am prohibited from partaking of these highlight clips?

      • King Cricket

        March 30, 2016 at 3:06 pm

        What you view on your chosen block of technology is entirely your business.

    • That’s ace. I’ve been watching it in random order, and it doesn’t make the slightest difference, since every moment of a T20 match is the same as every other moment.

  7. Sky Sports is on in the office. I’m trying to work, transcribing an interview with a UKIP councillor.

    I’ll wager it’s a marginally better soundtrack than whoever is commentating.

  8. Who has the UK telly highlights rights anyway?

    Google seemed to think ITV4 but I can’t see it in the schedules.

  9. 154 to win in 20 overs. That’s a required run-rate of 154/20 per over.

  10. We’re going to win the World Cup!

    Shove it up your arses!

  11. Have to say, I never rated Jason Roy, but

    Oh he’s out

    Never mind

  12. Collapse! The collapse is here!

  13. Incidentally, Kane’s name has been cut off at the “W” for me on my tab header, and I momentarily misread it as Kanye having a cricket.

    England winning the T20 World Cup is my Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

  14. Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable.

    Well played, England.

  15. Peaked at the wrong time. Roy is no longer due.

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