Consistency a problem for England
Sustained excellence has always been a problem for England, not just in cricket, writes Lawrence Booth in his blog, the Top Spin, in the Daily Mail. Their thumping win over South Africa, albeit an admirable achievement, came after a hammering at the hands of AB de Villiers in the previous ODI. That alone, Booth says, captures England's erratic run of form.
Michael Vaughan notes in his autobiography how the underdog tag hung most naturally round their necks. Indeed the history of English sport is littered with examples of crowns uneasily worn – from the footballers’ defeat to Scotland in 1967 via the rugby team’s post-2003 demise through to the Ashes Class of 05.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo