It’s the third one-day international, between England and the West Indies. England are reeling at 88 for 8. On a winter tour, where the only game they have won, was one where the West Indies coach made a bad mistake calculating the Duckworth-Lewis system, it’s a further example of a team performing without a purpose.
This tour, was meant to get England in a positive frame of mind, before the greater summer challenge of Australia. Roll over the West Indies. Build a positive team-ethic. Face the Aussies with confidence. But not any more. This will be a team trying to gain back the Ashes, very low on confidence. And more importantly, leaderless.
Kevin Pietersen admits to being mentally drained. There is no head coach. The shots players are getting out to, in Barbados, are examples of poor decision-making. And poor decision-making, is a sign of players not thinking too clearly.
Good leadership creates accountability. It offers an external focus, that provides feedback and challenge. And clear thinking. Without that leadership, players can tend to play for themselves, not each other.
And unless, they are hungry and driven, then standards and disciplines slip, and looseness prevails. That is where England appear to be right now.
This can be rectified. But it will need the appointment of a head coach, who can re-establish the positive values of attitudes, that served England so well under Duncan Fletcher. Right now, England resemble a team going nowhere. And with the Australians, back to form in beating South Africa, the omens are not good for the summer.