Craig Kieswetter, Shaun Tait and marketing brave new England

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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.


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  1. There comes a point in some ODIs when the only tactic available to a team is to play a game of paper-scissors-stone. You bowl, I’ll slog. If I get out, you win. If I don’t get out, I win. Ready? 1 – 2 – 3 …

    On Saturday Australia passed what was to become their innings half-way score on the 3rd ball of the 38th over. They were four wickets down to boot. If that was a tactic, it is one that will ensure they will lose four out of every five ODIs they play.

    England meanwhile, 3-1 up in the series, had discovered the secret to winning ODIs. Simon Hughes analysed it perfectly in the 5th match, as Australia took the batting powerplay. Apparently, the actual secret is that Anderson pitches it up during the powerplay, while Broad from the other end varies line, length and pace in his overs. This is brilliant tactical thinking from England, he said. He then watched the powerplay overs go for 63, the point being that all ODI tactics are occasionally vulnerable to a 20/20 approach to batting.

    This series has been a lot more one-sided than the 3-2 scoreline suggests. In matches 1 and 2 they dominated. In match 3 they dominated mostly, then had a wobble. Last Wednesday, Australia beat England nicely in a dead rubber. On Saturday, England played very, very well, but then found that Stone – Stone – Scissors doesn’t work against Paper – Paper – Stone. Bugger.

  2. Bert, the Aussies do the safely, safely approach a lot these days. Paine was mostly picking up on the general torpor about the team as they get a ‘safe’ score and hope the bowlers do the job for them. I’m not sure what they are waiting for when they bat.

    But it must be something massively wonderful.

    Michael Clarke is becoming one rather disliked player in Aus for precisely thsi reason. We have to put up with him playing pat ball in the both short fomats.

  3. I think you’re right, Vim. It was interesting that the fireworks came from the the new boy Marsh (15 from 29 when they took the powerplay; 44 runs from his next 21). Clarke would not have scored half those runs.

  4. He might have scored half. But only might as he can’t hit sixes… or fours… and twos appear quite difficult to come by.

    Shaun Marsh has played some crackerjack 20/20 innings. He can really time the pants of the ball. It is just nice to see him do it for Aus for a change instead of his pesky IPL team.

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