This was an intensely satisfying victory for England. Yes, because we bowled very well yet again after losing the toss on a good batting track. Yes, because after playing ourselves into a huge hole with some very dim batting, our 8th wicket pair of Bopara and Broad demonstrated how it should be done – seeing us home with a magnificent 99 run partnership. Yes, because 10 matches ago, I’d have bet my house we’d have lost the game by sixty runs. But mostly because, after the abuse suffered particularly by Ian Bell and Keven Pietersen, the very best answer was to inflict a demoralising defeat.
I’ve got a couple of pieces of advice for the main culprits. First, Dinesh Karthik. One of the key elements of a man able to chirp and sledge is to be any good at all. I note your scores in this series so far have been, 44no, 1, 0 and 4. Pretty poor really. Yet you felt able to level a volley of abuse at Ian Bell. His scores, by comparison have been, 125no, 64, 79 and 24. Pretty bloody impressive. And at Pietersen too. He’ll be one of the world’s best one day batsmen and although he’s had a quiet series, he has still amassed more runs than you. So. Get a decent run of scores, get a bit humble and respectful of players who are way better than you at the moment and avoid looking like a total pratt with zero credibility as a result.
Second, Zaheer Khan. You need to pick and choose when to do your long follow through and insulting comments. Doing it every ball makes you look like a petulant eight year old doing a poor parody. It becomes like punctuation and is dull and easy to ignore. Watch a quality bowler do it. Glen McGrath for instance. He mostly let the ball do the talking and when he came down the pitch to deal out a few well chosen words, that was the time to get really scared. And you’re a good bowler too. No need for all the other crap all the time. And get a shave too. Scruff. Freddie, Gooch and Warny can carry it off, your chin ain’t the right shape.
I also note generally that once things started to go a little astray, it went terribly quiet out there during the England innnings. The song beginning ‘Sing when you’re winning…’ does tend to spring to mind. We all love to see aggression. But you’re mistaking aggression for abuse and I’m afraid when you lose, like tonight, you just look stupid.
As regular reader will know, I don’t go in for triumphalism on this blog. Very dangerous. But England are looking good at 3-1 up in the seven match series. That’s right Zaheer and Dinesh. 3-1. To England. Chirp about that, why don’t you? The game we lost was tight too. We’ve unearthed a sound opening bowling partnership and have batting right down to number nine. I just hope the development goes on and we manage to stick to a steady line-up.