Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Magnificent seventh would be welcome distraction from off-field dramas

England's seamless transition from Test cricket to T20 was achieved with only the minimum of fuss on Sunday as they lived up to their mantle of T20 World Champions with an ultimately comfortable win over Pakistan in Cardiff.

It wasn't a totally straightforward victory though - a mid-innings wobble saw them reduced to 62-5, with Luke Wright failing with the bat again, before Michael Yardy and Eoin Morgan dug England out of a hole. The Three Lions weren't totally convincing in the field either and the two dropped catches were a disappointment. However, there was some good work out on the boundary and the bowling of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann stood out.

It was the sides sixth consecutive T20 win and a seventh would secure a 2-0 series victory to go with their Test series triumph, the England cricket odds suggest they should wrap up the win.

It is a shame that the series will be tainted by the ongoing spot fixing controversy, and also hasn't been helped by the Twitter outbursts of first Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas, who have both subsequently been fined.

But the fact England have stayed focused and adapted to the short form of the game so quickly is testament to the players and the coaching staff.

All they can do is go out and try to win matches and try to put off-field distractions to one side. Pakistan are understandably coping worse with the scandal. They are no strangers to chaotic off-field preparations though, and the rumoured recall of Younus Khan as test captain - despite the lifetime ban he received in March - is symptomatic of their inconsistent management.

With a one-day series still to come there is plenty of cricket left in this tour, but given what is going on between games, I get the impression both sides just want it over and done with.

Meanwhile, the Ashes cricket betting suggests England are in for another tough series Downunder.

They will have to iron out several problems in their game if they are to retain the urn.

1 comment:

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