23 October 2006

A preview of the Ashes?

I hope not. England once again limped to defeat in a one-day game - this time against this winter's Test opponents - as they were drubbed by the Aussies in the pointless-but-nevertheless-significant Champion's Trophy (from which the defeat eliminated us).

It's certainly true to say that England are a bad one day side. It's also certainly true to say they are a good Test side. We probably shouldn't read too much into this defeat really but it's tough not to really. The Ashes is not far away and I can't shake this horrible feeling that it's going to be a disaster. Injuries to key players have hampered the England team since their famous acheivement in September 2005 but that's no excuse, and the side has generally looked a shade of the one that reclaimed the urn after a torrid 18 years - despite the uncovering of gems like Monty Panesar.

I've never thought we would win the series Down Under - much like I didn't actually believe that England would win the Ashes in 2005 (I always thought it was going to be close, though) - but I had held hopes of a drawn series and thus holding on to the trophy. But given the backward steps the team seems to have taken I would now not be surprised if we get hammered. Whilst I'm eagerly anticipating the Ashes, it's with a strong sense of tepidation!

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