Because if you’ve got a fragile batting line-up, paper is the greatest disguise. You can conceal all manner of batting sins through judicious use of paper.
England’s batting folded at Old Trafford but they got away with it. It happened at Headingley and they didn’t. Paul Collingwood’s innings of 91 not out off 71 balls was a desperate one from a top one-day player, but he was never going to get England home alone.
England are definitely improving, but you still don’t feel confident when they bat. India’s top four all made fifties. England’s managed 4, 46, 44 and 0, which isn’t really good enough.
We’re still not convinced about Matt Prior as an opener. We don’t think he likes it. He should play, but maybe bat at seven. The question then is who opens?
England want quick runs from their other opener, with Alastair Cook nominally playing the long innings. Perhaps Ravi Bopara might fit the role, although he seems to be developing into the next Paul Collingwood – a canny run-chaser.
A bit of form from Kevin Pietersen would help immensely, of course.
England v India, fifth one-day international at Headingley
India 324-6 (Yuvraj Singh 72, Sachin Tendulkar 71, Sourav Ganguly 59, Gautam Gambhir 51)
England 242-8 (Paul Collingwood 91)
England lost following a Duckworth-Lewis calculation