Well we’d probably only have a go if England’s batsmen had got themselves out playing aggressively – let’s say that. We’d have bemoaned their lack of application and their inability to read a pitch and react accordingly. We’d have wondered where the old-fashioned virtue of patience had gone.
We are wondering where that most modern of virtues has gone, however – that of ‘intent’. Remember when England were all out for a borderline reckless 407 inside a day at Edgbaston in 2005? Seems a long time ago, doesn’t it?
Several players’ stocks have risen during this game, however: Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones. Simon Jones’ stock is now the most valuable commodity in the world. As each day passes, he gets to be a better and better bowler. If England can slump to the bottom of the ICC’s Test rankings then he might start being considered the equal of Dennis Lillee, Malcolm Marshall et al.
England’s current heartfelt commitment to mediocrity is highlighted by all the scores of about 40. What are we supposed to do with that? No-one’s stopped to consider us in all of this.
New Zealand v England, first Test at Hamilton – day three
New Zealand 470 (Ross Taylor 120, Jamie How 92, Daniel Vettori 88, Brendon McCullum 51, Ryan Sidebottom 4-90)
England 286-6 (Michael Vaughan 63)