Who you got?
The winner of the toss – D’Arthez? 🙂
England have played pretty well since that opening game against their final opponents. I’ll bet if you asked the experts which group might produce both finalists, you’d have said it might have been the one with India and Australia in, but it didn’t. Now the question might be are England over the mental scars they might have picked up from the first meeting in Mumbai?
Both teams had shockers in one form or other against Afghanistan. England won their match while the WIndies had little to play for and got caught out. The WIndies saw off the remainder of their opposition in better style than we managed, so on form, it has to be the West Indies, doesn’t it?
England, though, put it all together against our almost perennial ICC tournament nemesis New Zealand, in a complete display. The form of Roy, the clinical bowling, the coolness under pressure all augur well.
You cannot argue. England have taken many strides forward in the limited overs formats, and bat all the way down, with the bowling improving game by game. To argue against that isn’t going to have evidence on your side. This really appears to be Bayliss’s strength, and made the selection of him as coach quite a prescient one (oh dear, another knock on Downton). I think bringing in Strauss as some guru is stretching it a bit – after all, I don’t remember the hosannahs for Hugh Morris when we won the same competition on 2010 – but the philosophy appears the right one. If it is still within your heart to forgive the ECB and all that surrounds it, and cheer on this England team with all your might and heart, things look really rosy. Enjoy the game.
Me? You know where I stand. I wish Jason and Jos, Alex and Joe, Chris and Moeen, good finals. I like these guys. They embody the new England. They seem decent guys. I don’t wish them ill. I just can’t stand their employer. Not quite Teddy playing for Manchester United but not far off it!
Personally, I think England will win. I think they are on a roll, qualifying comfortably through their semi, rather than the fraught, but awesome run chase the WIndies had to pull off. Bit like 2010 – we (relatively) cruised through the knock-out games, the other finalist pulled off an escapology act in the semi – we pulled things together.
Enjoy the game.