One of the downsides of having Christmas parties every night is that it plays havoc with any attempts at being organised. Our latest podcast had to be recorded in a private room at Stringfellows (which obviously had to be paid for on the company credit card) simply because no other option was available. It also means that we’re having to write previews of epic T20 series pretty much on the fly, while simultaneously continuing to drive Diageo’s profits through the roof via relentless sales of Gordon’s Gin.
Luckily, we’re not the only ones with barely a passing interest in the latest T20 series. We’re pretty sure that the players may well be drunk too, especially in the case of England, for whom this is just a public celebration of a fine Test series win. It could well be said that this was the most pointless T20 series in the history of the game, were it not for that game where Hamish Marshall grew a massive afro and everyone dicked about.
For India this series offers the perfect opportunity to win a few games and pretend that all their Test problems didn’t actually happen and that they’re still amazing at everything. Or at least it’s a chance for some small redemption for the likes of Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni and R Ashwin, all of whom will no doubt have enjoyed being relentlessly slated in the press over the last few days.
Realistically, India should win this series. England’s World T20 effort on the slow low pitches of Sri Lanka was spectacularly rubbish and there’s little to suggest that they’ll be any better here. India’s attack is probably better suited to T20 cricket, with spinners that are hard to put away when patiently waiting for a long hop isn’t really an option. The likes of Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh are usually good for a few runs in this format, where expansive little cameos are more important than occupying the crease for days at a time, playing beautiful forward defensives galore.
England really have nothing to lose here. Which is lucky, because they’ve gone back to being rubbish at T20 cricket this year. As long as Luke Wright gets a game we’ll be happy. Despite what the ECB may have said about resting, we’re pretty sure that Kevin Pietersen has gone home because he knew he couldn’t compete with Super Luke’s straight legged run-up and power hitting.
Expect to see Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow hilariously failing to cope with slow pitches while Jade Dernbach will again drive us absolutely mental with his comedy mix of decent deliveries and utter, utter filth. Plus Tim Bresnan will bowl at about the same speed as Samit Patel, to general indifference from the 51allout collective, who’ve long since given up on him.
Everything in the entire world suggests that this should be a 2-0 stroll in the park for India . Realistically, the Mayan calendar’s prediction of the apocalypse some time tomorrow should be England’s best chance of avoiding a whitewash.
However, we have a lot of faith in Luke Wright either to fight off said apocalypse’s zombie hordes using just a cricket bat or to win a T20 match using his patented ‘hitting the ball straight up in the air and hoping for the best’ technique. Hence we’ll go for India 1-1 England and no apocalypse.