We nearly laid into England after their limp defeat in the first one-day international, but thought: ‘No. Wait. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for the minute.’
What a waste of an update. England have only gone and played just as pathetically in the second one-dayer. Feeble total – check. Three spectacularly stupid run-outs – check. Losing with time to spare – check squared.
After Debacle Number One, Paul Collingwood said: ‘It just didn’t happen for us with the bat’. This seems to betray a huge misunderstanding as to the nature of batting. Batting doesn’t ‘happen’. It’s not some elemental event totally out of your control, like the earth revolving or clouds forming. You bat. You do it yourself. How it turns out is largely down to you.
And how did batting turn out today? It turned out stained and sickly and frightened.
We’re also interested to know how seemingly thoughtful and consistent selection over a period of many years has given rise to an international side where only the captain has played in New Zealand before. That can’t help.
New Zealand v England, second one-day international at Hamilton
England 158 all out (Alastair Cook 53)
New Zealand 165-0 (Brendon McCullum 80 not out, Jesse Ryder 79 not out)