Oh yeah, Go England! Who would have thought that England would give the Aussies a 2-nil thrashing in the Tri-Series! Outstanding. It also makes me wonder how the Ashes would have gone if this English side had had a decent build up. But maybe that is irrelevant. Hats off; and they did it without Pieterson! Fantastic. I think the Aussies had it coming!
Now does this get the NZ team off the hook because it turns out that the English are a good team?
No way! They really are under achieving at present. Our talkbacks are clogged with criticism and defence of Stephen Fleming; 'should he stay of should he go?' Well it is clear to me that Fleming is not himself. On his last trip over the Tasman he was sensational, dominating the Aussies. Then there was his demolition of the South African Graeme Smith several years ago. He is not the same man, down on passion, down on confidence and down on form. Sure he got a ton in the final game, but it was not his usual free-flowing innings.
I do not agree however that he is the problem. He looks like a man who is at odds with his coach. The NZ team shows all the signs of a side struggling with its leadership and Bracewell being a dominant figure is more than likely at the heart of the problem with the NZ team. He is not so much the man-manager as I see it. Since he has taken over, there have been a string of problems. His treatment of Sinclair and Vincent, the obvious truth that the NZ team is not fit (ridiculous), his employment of a softballer to manage the fielding and their fielding is miserably poor, his treatment of the NZ batting order bringing a Marshall in, a Marshall out, Sinclair, Vincent, MaCullum and Vettori up and down the order, Bonds trips and subsequent no-shows, the failure to play Patel and so on. The result is an unhappy captain and a poorly performing team.
So the solution is obvious. After the World Cup and I have to say I am not confident, Bracewell moves on and John Wright comes in! Bring it on! I do hope though that I am wrong and the NZ team, Bracewell, Fleming and all, get it together and win it!