…as the late Professor Stanley Unwin used to say. Watching England finally come good was precisely that. Is it too much to expect that England may now come good in the World Cup. I’m not going to put the mortgage on it.
The most significant thing was the reclamation of a degree of pride in the team. The Vaughan effect cannot be discounted: Vaughan’s tactical nous in the matches he captained was evident. Australia it must be said were lacking the ominously impressive young Symonds. I wish him a speedy return from injury but hope he can find some way of staying out of commission. Like early retirment.
So I guess we must accentuate the positive: Liam Plunkett didn’t let his head drop after an appalling first over against NZ eventually taking 3 for 60. Panesar’s movement to maturity continues quietly – he will undoubtedly become an irreplacable part of the England setup. Collingwood put in masterful displays which, in truth, won the day(s). It is also clear that Andrew Flintoff finds the burden of captaincy too great – he is at his best giving all with bat and ball. I do wish he would find more, ahem, genteel ways of celebrating a wicket. The hand of Vaughan was clearly behind much of what went on in the final matches.
The BBC television highlights were great (for those of us with digital TV) Watching the highlights of the last 3 games on a loop was heartening indeed (though quite why Aussie commentary input was necessary is unclear).
Most importantly it was nice to see Glenn McGrath in his last Tests (if not his last ODI): to paraphrase Cardinal Pell – he’s someone who needs kicking as he always looks like he’s about to get up. I daresay he will still cause trouble in the World Cup. I will not miss his mullet.
Will we win the World Cup? That seems unlikely – but it may be a time for the next generation of England cricketers to show their mettle.