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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood lost his touch, just as he did when he last tried to captain England at the same time

We have to be honest and say that a semi-final place in the World Twenty20 would have flattered England.

Of course it was disappointing to bow out in rain-affected circumstances, but they had merely been clinging on by their fingernails - rescued time and again by the bowlers.

Ironically, it was those same bowlers - particularly James Anderson and Stuart Broad - who were culpable against West Indies.

Each of their final overs went for 13 runs as, for once, their pinpoint accuracy deserted them.

I am not blaming them at all, merely pointing out the influence they had earlier in the tournament as they were continually asked to defend inadequate totals.

That is where England's problem lies - just as it does in their 50 overs cricket - RUNS.

They seemed constantly to be one specialist batsman light, no matter who played - and the chopping and changing suggested they did not really know what their best line-up was.

Ravi Bopara batted well - and was particularly effective when he played straight and did not slog - but, after a promising start, Luke Wright's bludgeoning style looked too cumbersome.

Kevin Pietersen, inevitably, was walking to the wicket in the early overs, with the weight of the team on his shoulders.


Owais Shah had a decent tournament despite being curiously demoted against India, and also being a poor fielder, while Paul Collingwood lost his touch, just as he did when he last tried to captain England at the same time.

The problem England have is that there really is not a realistic alternative to Collingwood because Pietersen's relationship with the board is still laced with mistrust.

The jury, it seems, is undecided about Eoin Morgan, who never really had the chance to show us the improvisations that made him such an exciting selection.

James Foster was asked to bat at least one place too high, but his wicketkeeping was a revelation. Two razor-sharp stumpings off Graeme Swann showed the value of a specialist 'keeper standing up to the stumps in Twenty20 and if the Ashes is to be competed on spinners' tracks featuring Swann and Monty Panesar, Foster has done his prospects no harm at all.

The pace bowlers all performed heroically under pressure, and it was great to see the faith in Adil Rashid repaid by the wicket of Pollard yesterday. Rashid has a long way to go before being a reliable leg-spinner in this form of the game, but he has guts and relishes the batsmen taking him on.

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see also
Collingwood laments rain-hit exit
15 Jun 09 |  England
Windies knock England out of T20
15 Jun 09 |  England
World Twenty20 day 11 photos
15 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
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Jonathan Agnew column
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Jonathan Agnew column
05 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
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ICC World Twenty20 2009
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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