I’ll be honest with you, I’m a bit superstitious, so I’m glad that England eliminated that loss to South Africa in the group stage.
From memory, I’ve never seen a team go through a full Twenty20 tournament without losing a game, so it kind of annoyed me until then.
It helped me sleep a little better at night before Wednesday’s semi-final against New Zealand. The law of averages tells you that even the best teams are owed at least one loss in a competition like this, as they are defeated once every four or five games. How often have you seen teams go undefeated through a group stage and then lose a match that they shouldn’t have?
I’m glad that England got their first defeat out of the way in the T20 World Cup against South Africa.
Even taking into account the result of South Africa, England have been excellent in this tournament and there is no reason why we should not expect a return to the winning track.
Yes, key personnel are missing, but Eoin Morgan will remind other players before the game that it’s time for someone to make a name for themselves, to create history, to get us out of jail, or to blow us up.
And the greatest strength of this team is its depth. England traveled to this World Cup without me or Ben Stokes, but I was always confident that our absence could be covered by the quality we have in store.
This has always been a team effort and that is why Sam Curran is more sorry than anyone, although it is always difficult when players are excluded from a tournament due to injury and it is unfortunate that Jason Roy and Tymal Mills have received such treatment. . destiny in the last days.
Captain Eoin Morgan will tell the team that it’s time for someone to step up and make history when they take on New Zealand.
Sam was on the original team and couldn’t go to Dubai, period. That is more difficult. Sure, no one wants to get injured during a tournament like Jason and Tymal, but at least they proved it. They were able to contribute.
Yes, you feel bad about having to sit down, but knowing that you have helped the team has its rewards. Sam did not experience that. Ben and I got injured long before the tournament, so we had no illusions. But being discarded at the last minute is like a roller coaster ride.
Jason’s absence means someone will have to fill the opening position alongside Jos Buttler, who is either the best in the world right now or not too far off. I can’t think of anyone better.
He’s a dangerous hitter and opposition teams must scratch their heads trying to prepare for a player who can hit the same ball for six lengths or row into the stands with his thin leg. That is quite difficult to defend. Who accompanies him is not a big problem. There is a lot of depth in this team and it is led by a great captain who knows that he has several options to choose from.
Jos Buttler is either the best in the world or not far from it: teams must scratch their heads trying to defend themselves against him.
Jonny Bairstow is a starter in cue ball cricket, Dawid Malan can start and Sam Billings can come in somewhere in between. Someone, somewhere, will have a chance that they wouldn’t have had a week ago.
In this team, there is always someone in front and I think that person could be any of the XIs who take the field in Abu Dhabi. It is one of the strengths of the team that it will not always be the same person who raises their hand to contribute.
People wondered how we could get through death without me calling bowling, but this team tries to cover for other people.
We tackled this on tours like the one to India earlier this year, when different players faced challenges across different arenas. Allowing people to bowl in different situations was a preparation for moments like this.
My advice to the team is to stay calm and they should have a real shot at reaching the final.
Every Twenty20 series that I have played for England in the last two and a half years has been with this World Cup in mind.
When you are building a team, you cannot put all your eggs in one basket. Let’s say Morgan had put all the responsibility on me in March, now we would be fighting for someone to bowl at the end of an inning.
Chris Jordan has lived up to the standards that I expect of him. Train at the level you have produced.
My message to my teammates is to stay calm. We have been on this journey for a long time and if we lose, we lose. But if we play as best we can, we have a real chance.
RAFIQ SHOULD NOT HAVE PASSED THROUGH THIS
I have never experienced racism in English cricket. Yes, I was racially abused on a New Zealand tour, but I had not suffered anything before or since.
I don’t know what Azeem Rafiq has been through, but after having processed the feelings, and having considered what he wanted to say, how he was going to say it, and then being brave enough to speak up, he felt unacceptable that he had to go through. all over again. And again.
Having to check things over and over again is painful and you never know what scars will break out. I shouldn’t have been through that.
It feels unacceptable that Azeem Rafiq had to go through his ordeal of racism once again