'Horrid... Failed The Basics': English Press Unload On Poms In Very English Way
"When England’s One Day cricketers are good, they are very, very good. When the pressure has been upon them on this world stage, they have been horrid."
It sounded like a line from a famous poem. In fact, it was respected English cricket scribe Scyld Berry describing England's capitulation to Australia at Lord's last night in the Cricket World Cup, in an article entitled:
England Fail At The Basics Against Australia To Leave World Cup Hopes In The Balance.
And it's true. England came into this tournament as favourites, thanks largely to their ability to put monster scores on the board. When chasing? Different story. They fall apart. Play bad shots. Mentally disentegrate, as former Aussie captain Steve Waugh used to put it so well.
The Guardian's Barney Ronay, always one to can a team that deserves it, wrote:
England batted here and at Leeds like a team detached from the reality of the day and the game, out there floating in their tin can, high above the world.
England will be called brainless, feckless, flat-track and all the rest. But the key note of the last two defeats has been detachment, an inability to read the day, the game, the forces acting on them.
We're only about 50 percent sure what he was talking about, but we're 100 percent certain it was critical.
So are England choking? The BBC's chief sports writer Tom Fordyce thinks so.
"When it has mattered most... England have fallen to expectations rather than risen to them.
"You could sense the nerves as you arrived at Lord's on Tuesday. A sticky morning, a toss to win. Old rivals, a new front. A tournament that has underwhelmed, a match that truly mattered."
England are now in fourth place on the World Cup table, with two tough group stage games ahead of them. They'll probably still make the semis, at which point they'd only have to win two games to win the whole thing.
But right now, all Aussies should delight in the overnight result -- not to mention the shellacking the Poms are being given by their own press.