South Africa have just won a famous victory over England in the 2nd ODI, thanks to the inspired selection of 16-year-old rookie Laura Wolvaardt; and later the fearless batting of Marizanne Kapp and Lizelle Lee, in a chase that looked like it was going to be an uphill struggle after the returning Danni Hazel had dismissed Trisha Chetty and Mignon du Preez in the space of two balls in the 33rd over.
The only South African to “fail” with the bat was du Preez herself who made 9… which was still one more than Lauren Winfield, Amy Jones and Sarah Taylor put together!
And let there be no doubt that this was a match England could really have done with winning. Moving towards the business end of the Women’s International Championship, they are now in very real danger of falling into a nasty scrap for 4th place, which will not be a fun position to be in come the reckoning.
So what should England do now?
The England of “yesterday” would have hit the big red button: Winfield would have been dropped down the order… and Jones would probably have been dropped off at the airport!
The England of “today” must resist this temptation. Assuming Katherine Brunt’s injury isn’t serious, they need to go into the 3rd ODI with exactly the same team, batting in exactly the same order, to exactly the same plan!
Or in short, in the immortal words of LCpl Jones: “DON’T PANIC!”
It won’t always come off – even Australia lose occasionally – but these are the best players we’ve got. They just need to know that the world believes in them, before they can start to believe in themselves; and the best way to achieve that is to do… absolutely nothing!