18 January, 2021

Bat Out Of Hell

Peaking at the right time is most crucial

Bat Out Of Hell
The Super Eights almost halfway through, three of the four semi-finalists seem to have been decided already. But who'll occupy the fourth spot once Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka have been ensconced in theirs? The quickest answer is probably New Zealand, but that would mean discounting England altogether, and I am still not prepared to do that, the Lanka loss notwithstanding.

They played pathetic cricket in the past few years, and just when you thought the team was beyond redemption, what did they do? Won three successive games against the mighty Aussies in Australia, that's what. Not for nothing do these blokes remind me of the Pakistan team of old—unpredictable, dangerous and exasperating.

Some of them—James Anderson, Ian Bell, Jon Lewis, Paul Nixon and Liam Plunkett—have had their wrists slapped for their drinking binge, and Andrew Flintoff, of course, has been stripped of his vice-captaincy and was suspended for one match. The reaction in England has been severe, with the players in question being castigated by...


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