A number of times this week, we’ve read people questioning whether England will be able to carry their positive approach from the one-day series against New Zealand into Tests. You would think so, being as that positive approach was carried into the one-day series from the preceding Tests in the first place.
We’re no Grand Master of Memory – we only ever remember that we don’t actually need more paprika as we’re adding a fifth or sixth jar to the shelf – but we do remember England v New Zealand at Lord’s. That’s when things changed – specifically when Joe Root and Ben Stokes decided to dig in by scoring at a run-a-ball for an extended period.
It’s probably a branding problem. The new, young, fresh, exciting one-day side is synonymous with bold cricket because being only one series old, that’s all it’s ever produced. Alastair Cook’s Test team has a different reputation and nobody’s going to be swayed into thinking differently of it just because it played in a different way in its most recent outings.
A friend of ours has these two friends – one was fat as a child and one wasn’t. The fat kid gained a fat nickname that has remained with him throughout his life, even though he is now thin. The non-fat kid is now fat and yet still calls the other guy the fat nickname.
Previously-fat guy pointed out to previously-thin guy that the nickname no longer made sense and that actually previously-thin guy was now the fat one. In the face of this logical argument, previously-thin-but-now-fat guy simply replied: “Yeah, but you’ll always be the fat bastard.”
That, friends, is branding.