Anorak News | The Weight Of Expectation

The Weight Of Expectation

by | 14th, July 2003

‘POOR, deluded Michael Vaughan, what has he done? The English paying public can always be called upon to give the new boy a few games to settle in, excusing him some crushing defeats at the outset.

Michael Vaughan now really has his hands full

But now the England captain has shown us how good he and his team can be, we’ll be expecting more of the same.

Happily for Vaughan, the next one-day series is in Bangladesh, where the greatest threat to English dominance is climate and something unpleasant in the local water.

England should win that series and then move onto the more difficult trial when they take on Sri Lanka in Dambulla and Colombo.

But England should not worry since they are now the third best one-day team in the world, having moved up from No.7. You have to go back to the mid-1980s to find the last time the boys in blue held so lofty a position.

Back then, Australia were a pretty tired-looking bunch. The Green and Golds are now, without doubt, the world’s best side by some margin.

The Australians’ rise to the top has been a masterclass to all in just what careful planning, patient training and good captaincy can achieve.

That South Africa are currently ranked No.2 in the ICC order can only give England an added shot of confidence.

And England are getting things right. South Africa did not play well in the NatWest series final at Lords.

The tourists’ dismissal in just 32.1 overs for a measly 107 runs cannot all be attributed to fine England bowling, of which there was plenty.

South Africa clearly have problems in their team. But more should be made of England.

‘It’s wonderful to have performed like that in front of 30,000 people when the pressure is on,’ said Vaughan after Saturday’s win. ‘We fully expect to best South Africa in the Test series.’

The new skipper’s learning curve is surely heading for a steep rise. Hasn’t he studied the captains that have gone before him?

The rule is a simple one: always talk up the other team. Saying how you’re going to beat them makes you sound uncouth, brash, confident – Australian.

Vaughan is delivering a sense of expectation to the England faithful.

If he carries on leading winning teams – although the Test side remains Hussain’s domain – we will soon expect victory.

And if England can sort out their middle order, the thing is, we just might get what we wish for…

Posted: 14th, July 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink