2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 32, Australia v England
You know what it’s like. It’s been a long day, you’ve made a lot of decisions and you don’t really have any left in you. You’re not going to change TV channel. If there’s some leftovers on a plate in the fridge, you’re just going to push them directly into your face and call it tea.
In this sort of a state, you can’t be expected to come up with reasons or explanations or even opinions. You just want the easy option. You want to point at something and say that it was at fault and then let that be the end of things.
In this specific England v Australia instance, you could say it was Aaron Finch’s fault for his plod of a hundred, or you could say it was Mitchell Starc’s fault for Wasim Akramming Ben Stokes.
Maybe you’d blame this bloke.
That would be wrong – but you’d certainly be well within your rights to strongly not like this bloke.
These are one-match things though. You can’t blame them for England’s whole non-firing tournament so far.
Maybe you could say that England are a side built for flat pitches with weaknesses that stem from that, but that kind of feels like you’d have to think about it a little bit and maybe someone would confront you with some stats and argue against you and that is really not what you want right now.
What you want is a particular player to focus on; a player to moan about without being challenged. What you want is James Vince.
What happened today was that Jason Behrendorff, a man whose shrug-inducing bowling is exactly as sensible as his sensible haircut and sensible face, bowled a ball to James Vince that James Vince did not hit. The ball then carried on past James Vince and hit James Vince’s stumps and you do not need to know a whole lot about cricket to know that that is not a great way to start to an innings.