When we suggested that Australia’s current one-day team wasn’t its strongest, people took this as making excuses on their behalf. We’re not a naysayer when it comes to this England one-day side. We’re just pleading for perspective.
For example, when Shaun Tait didn’t play, England lost 12 wickets in two matches. When he did, they lost 29 in three. It seems a lot of people find it easy to get carried away when England win a couple of matches.
Similarly, the talk of whether Craig Kieswetter should be promoted to the Test team is quiet at the minute. The flipside of building him up as the figurehead of ‘brave new England’ is that scores of 38, 8, 0, 12 and 11 take on symbolic importance. If he represents England’s ‘brand’ of cricket (and that word’s apposite because the English one-day revolution is in no small part a marketing exercise) then when he fails, so does the brand of cricket he represents.
But 3-2 against Australia is always a good result. England are unquestionably a better one-day team than they were, but they were pretty dreadful – they are probably no better than ‘good’ now. For his part, Craig Kieswetter’s hit one-day runs against Bangladesh and made his one Twenty20 international fifty in a World Cup final. It’s solid, but let’s not go mad.