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England are still suffering an "Ashes hangover"
While it might seem like it's been long enough now that the victory down under shouldn't affect the team, in reality the Ashes hangover doesn't officially expire until January 2012.
England took the positives from the tie with India, but can't for the life of them remember where they put them. Matt Prior thinks Andrew Strauss left them in a taxi but doesn't dare say so. Tim Bresnan is convinced he saw them in the hotel bar a day or so ago, but can't be certain about this because the light wasn't good.
They confused the bowling plans for Niall and Kevin O'Brien
When Niall O'Brien arrived at the crease, the stump microphone picked up the sound of someone saying: "I thought he was right-handed?" England had prepared as if Niall were Kevin and Kevin were Niall. Protestations from Kevin's Nottinghamshire team-mate Graeme Swann were dismissed as "mischievous banter".
England wanted someone - anyone at all - to take Matthew Hayden's record for fastest World Cup hundred
Everyone in England hates Matthew Hayden.
A false sense of superiority deriving from Irish haircuts
The England team took one look at the Irish and thought to themselves: "Even Mike Yardy would walk into their team if you picked on the basis of haircuts." This led to a perception that they were the superior team. However, World Cup cricket teams are not actually chosen on the basis of haircuts, primarily because it has no effect on performance.
A lack of togetherness due to poor financial management
England's team unity has fallen apart because Ian Bell, squad treasurer, has failed to stockpile 10 rupee notes. This means that players are forever trying and failing to break 100s and 500s. The resentment towards Bell has manifested itself in some bloody awful fielding for some reason.
Make-do catching practice
After losing all four of the cricket balls they had brought with them while practising their six-hitting, England were instead forced to rely on hacky sacks for fielding practice. Did this affect preparation? When asked whether a hacky sack was in any way similar to a cricket ball, ex-England pace bowler and purveyor of world-class grumpiness, Bob Willis, answered: "No".
Kevin O'Brien had the game set on "easy"
If you can launch every other ball into the stands, it's time to move up to "normal" or even "hard".
Andy Flower has banned winning because it encourages complacency
Nothing makes a team lazy like winning all the time. Flower has barred his team from recording any more outright victories and instead instructed them to aim to tie every match.
The ball was disappearing into the stands and an Irishman was closing in on a match-winning hundred. England assumed they were winning.
It is a World Cup
This is what England do at World Cups. At least nobody vomited on the outfield this time.
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket. The "facts" in this article are all made up (but you already knew that, didn't you?)
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