In the days they used to lose more consistently, there was one aspect on which England always scored over the other international teams: coming up with excuses for their defeats. If it’s not Delhi Belly one day, it’s the dust in Multan the next and the configuration of the stars on the third day. And when all else fails, they turned to the crowded cricketing calendar.
So when they started winning (just a little bit) in the last couple of years, I worried that they would lose that touch.
But all’s well with us Englishmen, assures Paul Collingwood. After getting mauled by New Zealand in the first two one-day games, the English one-day skipper revealed he has settled into the role and is here to stay when he said, “It would have been a good thing if we’d have had a week until the next game so we can really talk about things and get in the nets and do plenty of work.”
Well, they’ve had one day between their two Twenty20 games; they’ve had two days each between their first three one-day games (and a three-day gap coming up between numbers three and four); they have three days between the first test match and the second and a further four between the second and the third (assuming all test matches last the distance). In today’s ICC calendars (not to mention ICL, IPL and other assorted abbreviations), that could hardly be called a whistle-stop tour. But don’t forget, we’re talking England.
And to be entirely fair to the poor sods, they are doing their best to make more time for themselves. They finished the first one-dayer with 20 overs to spare and the second with a delivery shy of 18 overs to go. They lost, you say? The game’s not all about winning, is it?