Shamik Das

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hate to say I told you so ...

Desolate, distressed, devastated    England coach Duncan Fletcher steels himself for a media grilling

I'm not normally one to gloat nor to glory in my own razor-sharp predictions, but hey, what the heck!

Following England's calamitous collapse at the Adelaide Oval it's become even more obvious that England coach Duncan Fletcher simply isn't up to the job.

His demeanour - dour, dreary and dull in equal measure - allied to his inability to change course during or between games have rendered him a liability.

How anyone can be enthused by this lifeless, passionless automaton is one of life's great mysteries.

But not as great a riddle as how one can play Geraint Jones and Ashley Giles in preference to Chris Read and Monty Panesar, or why James Anderson is in ahead of Sajid Mahmood.

The argument from Fletcher is that Jones and Giles contribute more with the bat than their immediate rivals. 137 runs from eight innings with one not out, at an average of under 20 is hardly earth-shattering.

As I've said before, having your number 7 and number 8 getting 20 runs apiece doesn't win Test matches. Taking 20 wickets does.

In terms of the captaincy, it's plain to see that although he's still performing with the ball, Andrew Flintoff has foundered with the bat. The sooner Michael Vaughan comes back, the better.

"You little beauty!"

With regard to the fight to retain the Ashes, England need look no further than their nemesis for guidance, whose inspirational words to his boys midway through the Adelaide Test will go down in the annals of sporting history:

"Everyone has written us off and thinks we are going to lose here.

"Well, let's just see about that. We have a fight on our hands, let's see if we can't just do something about it, hey!"

Ricky Ponting sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.


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