After their latest defeat, it might be a useful exercise for Ashley Giles to put up the following next to the England team sheet.
England's recent one-day lowlights have included a 6-1 loss to Australia and a 5-0 hammering in India. In fact, they have lost 18 of their last 20 ODIs against their current opponents away from home. After their latest defeat, it might be a useful exercise for Ashley Giles to put up the following next to the team sheet.
DOT BALLS: Very important when fielding. Very important to avoid when batting. Not mentioning any names, but you know who you are.
BOWLING AT THE DEATH: Important to get the ball in the block hole. Or bowl something called a yorker. Remember the yorker? That is a ball that is very hard to hit out of the ground. Might be worth a try.
BUILDING AN INNINGS: Have a look at the bowling. Get a feel for the conditions. Get to 40. Then bed down. That doesn't mean going to sleep. 40s don't win matches. Not mentioning any names but it might drive somebody KP nuts.
PLAYING AGAINST SPIN: Use something called your feet. These are two things on the end of your legs that help you dance, jump or distract the bowler from his line and length.
BOWLING SPIN: When bowling, try not to spin the ball. That will fool 'em. Never worked for me, mind.
HAVE A TAIL THAT CAN WAG: It is all about multi-tasking these days. When four bowlers can only score three between them, that is pants. I used to be a very handy number eight. Just ask Duncan Fletcher.
USING UP ALL OF YOUR ALLOTTED OVERS: In a one day game, there are actually 50 overs to bat. It is not compulsory to be bowled out with a third of the innings left. Must be a very boring concept to accept, but might be considered useful.
WORK OUT A PLAN TO GET OPPONENT OUT: When the same opponent always whacks you for six, try to do something different. This does not mean praying that he will make a mistake. Alternatively, you could call him 'world-class'. That is one way of getting yourself off the hook.
BOWLERS WITH 'A BOX OF TRICKS': Do not rely on bowlers who try to mix it up and then get hit for 20 in the last over. Is it not possible to bowl a normal ball? Apparently not.
WHERE IS 'THE ROCK'?: When a traditional England batting collapses happens, bring back 'The Rock' of the team. He may actually be called Jonathan – which is not as starry sounding as Dwayne Johnson – but he is a rock of sorts. He may even manage to bat well on a Mysterious Island.
THE BIFFERS: It is all very well to see the ball and hit it for miles. That is very good. Looks nice. Might even work outside of the nets sometimes. There is something called subtlety too. It may be needed in Asia.
DIVING: We are not talking about Luis Suarez. When struggling to make your ground for a quick single, it is sometimes best to dirty the whites. Especially when you are 158-0. Not mentioning any names, but it is obvious who doesn't change the nappies in the Bell household.