Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Reality Bites as Our World Falls Apart Again; England's Failure to Win a Major Crown for over 30 Years Continues as They Are Dumped out of the World Twenty20. by David Lloyd

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Reality Bites as Our World Falls Apart Again; England's Failure to Win a Major Crown for over 30 Years Continues as They Are Dumped out of the World Twenty20. by David Lloyd

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lloyd

International cricket brought to you in association with THIRTY-FOUR years and rising.

England's ludicrously long wait for a world crown goes on with not even a passionate home crowd at the Brit Oval able to roar them into a semi-final.

That's right -- after nine World Cups, half a dozen or so Champions Trophies and now two World Twenty20s, the country that is remarkably good at inventing games but not so flash when it comes to winning them still has an empty mantelpiece as global limitedovers competitions are concerned.

To be fair to Paul Collingwood's squad of honest triers, we didn't really expect any more of them in this event than to reach the Super Eight stage and then go down fighting. Which is exactly what happened. But to be so close to a semifinal place, after defeating holders India, and then to lose to West Indies, a side England have beaten throughout May and early June, is a real letdown.

Rain did not help the home cause last night, turning a 20-over target of 162 into a nine-over dash for 80, but everyone knew the weather might play a part and Collingwood, having won the toss, chose to bat first.

Forget the circumstances, though. Realistically, England were never going to win the World Twenty20, not even on their home soil, because they are still playing catch-up when it comes to this shortest form of the game as a result of key people like Collingwood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson and even Kevin Pietersen having played less of it than their opposite numbers.

Generally, our domestic Twenty20 cricket takes place when the country's biggest names are on Test or 50-over duty. And as for the Indian Premier League, where stars collide on a daily basis for seven weeks each year, England's finest have precious few appearances on their CVs.

"It is very important we do play more Twenty20 cricket if we want to try to win these sort of competitions," said Collingwood while West Indies were celebrating a five-wicket victory achieved with four balls to spare. "But I still think the boys can take a lot of credit out of what we've done.

"Even with that lack of experience in Twenty20 cricket, we are catching up with the skills and the thought processes. A lot of it comes down to experiencing it out in the middle, understanding situations and the pressure involved."

There appears to be nothing wrong with England's planning -- providing the opposition don't deviate from the script. But it is when situations change that a lack of flexibility seems to stifle Collingwood's team. There is very little thinking on their feet and that is down to not having sampled different situations in the heat of Twenty20 battle.

A lack of boundaries, after the first few overs and certainly once Pietersen is back in the pavilion, has been a recurring problem. …

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