The cricket world was left reeling today when England's recently appointed one-day captain, Eoin Morgan, revealed that he was not planning on having his side play a positive, aggressive brand of cricket.
"I know that Alastair [Cook], when he was captain, said that he was looking to pursue a positive, aggressive brand of cricket, and I know a lot of people are expecting a similar pronouncement from myself, but I just don't think it's the way to go."
Asked what he meant by this, Morgan explained that he felt positive, aggressive cricket was altogether too predictable an approach these days.
"Look at Australia. Look at India. Look at New Zealand. Look at the Windies. They've all said that that they're looking to play a positive, aggressive brand of cricket. It's what all the top nations promise. I just don't see how you can gain an advantage when everyone's playing in exactly the same way."
Asked what he would deliver instead, Morgan said: "If there's a gap in the market - a way to steal an advantage on the opposition - it's through pursuing a negative, attritional brand of cricket. No one takes that approach these days, so it's actually quite hard for sides to deal with."
Key to this, he says, will be maintaining realistic expectations as to what his players might deliver.
"A lot of captains come in and they say there's a lot of talent in the squad and that they're expecting everyone to perform at their very best. That sort of attitude just seems massively unrealistic to me.
"Not every team's chock full of talent. I just think a lot of international captains are kidding themselves. We aren't a bad side by any means. We were ranked No. 1 just a couple of years ago. But really, if we're honest, there's only moderate amounts of talent in this squad.
"We can't expect all the batsmen to perform like Viv Richards. We can't expect all the bowlers to perform like Wasim Akram. If you get that, brilliant - you'll certainly win the World Cup - but I'm a realist. I'm expecting the batsmen to perform more like Upul Tharanga and the bowlers to perform like - ooh, I dunno - like Alan Mullally, say."
Morgan was then asked why he didn't just say that the team was going to play a positive, aggressive brand of cricket before doing something completely different in the hope that no one would notice.
"Well, yes, that is quite a popular approach. There's also the option of redefining what positive actually means. So you say, 'Sometimes, depending on the context, leaving the ball can be a way of being positive or blocking it can be positive' and then everyone just sort of accepts that, like you're some sort of visionary rather than an outright liar.
"But no, I'd like to be upfront about this. We're looking to play a dull, spoilsport version of the game - economical with the ball and steady with the bat. Nothing too flash. Nothing too ambitious. The tournament's long enough that we'll have hit enough boundaries for a perfectly respectable highlights montage should we go on and win the tournament, and then in a year's time that bit of footage is all anyone'll remember anyway."
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket