end somewhere. We havent beaten them now for 12 matches,
but sure as eggs are scrambled, poached, boiled or fried we will
do at some stage and what better time to start than immediately
before the one-day games biggest competition.
Seeing the Team Home to Victory - Potential Match Winners
One thing is certain if we are to entertain hopes of embarrassing
the Aussies on home soil, we will have to hold our nerve when
we get into a position to win. On too many occasions here and
elsewhere we have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. From
a series of solid bases, we have lacked somebody with the guts
and know-how to get the team home.
In this department, I feel that Paul Collingwood can step forward
and assume the role of match-winner. He has impressed me significantly
on this trip because he has shown an ability to play whatever
innings the situation demands.
Against Australia in Adelaide we needed somebody to hang around
and thats what he did in scoring 60-odd and then when we
needed quick runs he scored 20-odd in 18 balls against Sri Lanka.
Prior to those knocks he rescued the innings in Perth before Christmas
by claiming a century when we were in trouble.
Micheal Vaughans Return
At least England will have another proven match-winner to fall
back on in the Final because Michael Vaughans return brings
a three-dimensional edge to the team. Not only is he the worlds
second-ranked batsman, but hes a good ground fielder and
can turn his arm over very effectively when necessary. Michael
just needs to know his role in the team because if we just want
him to smash away inside the first 15 overs then we lose the impact
he might have in the overall picture.
We also need Andy Caddick to continue the kind of form we have
seen since Christmas rather than that of before. Hes a difficult
proposition with the new ball if he can and he seems to have found
an ally in James Anderson, who is coming on very quickly at this
level. His one for 12 off 10 against Australia was the most economical
ever and what a bonus he is proving.
England may not have the services of Freddie Flintoff for the
first match, but he should be ready for the second if his recovery
continues as it currently is. He has been proving his fitness
in a four-day game for our Academy side against Australia Under
19s. More than 150 runs from two knocks and with plenty
of overs under his belt seem to suggest he is fit and ready to
go again with his new Woodworm bat.
Heaven knows we need him.