I have to start with thanks to my good friend Jimmy for the title of today's piece (not original, but catchy nonetheless). For my part I've been telling anyone that would listen that England had to change things and bring in the likes of James Tredwell (4-48) and Ravi Bopara (finally getting a run in the side) to do the bowling jobs, with Paul Collingwood and James Anderson back on the sidelines. I'm certain it was a desperate move but, along with Luke Wright (a crucial 49 runs), they proved to be the heroes of the hour for England. West Indies were cruising until Tredwell entered the fray. Backed up by Swann and Bopara, and some fine fielding, England got over the line.
England still need for things to go their way, but beyond their control, if they are to progress. This is their own fault given the performances they put in against Bangladesh and Ireland. The Ireland game can be forgiven somewhat due to the brilliance of Kevin O'Brien on the day. However, the game against Bangladesh could yet be the one that England live to regret. As I wrote in the first post on this site they have only themselves to blame for it. It was a defeat with its foundations in the arrogance of the England selection policy. Today they finally got it right.
I am so pleased for James Tredwell. We grew up playing against each other as youngsters (James is a year or two younger than me). Tredders was always a talented guy, but certainly more of a batsman at that stage. He was far from being the most naturally gifted youngster in Kent at that time, and I could name a number of people that would have been more likely to make it than him. What James clearly has though is great determination, and a wonderfully professional attitude. He gets his head down and works hard. His professionalism shone through in his post-match interview today when he cleverly chose not to talk himself up, and not to criticise the fact that he hasn't played since the first ODI in Australia. It's great for James, and it's great for Kent. I hope the County Club take the opportunity to market the fact that they employ an England hero, should they make it through the group. What they have done is give themselves some hope. Now they need the others to keep it "honest" and ensure the remaining games go with form.
Whatever the final outcome for England the World Cup organisers should be glad of their involvement. Each of England's games at this World Cup has been a classic of some kind. There has been no such thing as a predictable match where England are concerned. Without England's inconsistent form, and brilliant nail-biting finishes, this tournament would be going the same way its last few predecessors. The World Cup in England in 1999 was notable for the South Africans and Lance Klusener, who lit up a tournament in which the hosts were a joke. This tournament has seen, as usual, too many one-sided encounters (though the associates, particularly Canada and Kenya, have got better as it has gone on) but England have kept it interesting - sometimes through being awful, sometimes through being excellent (Strauss and Trott in particular) but mostly by being completely unpredictable.
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