Finding A Winning Mentality
The English cricket team this week chased down a score they would have in the past settled for a draw, This is exactly what they did 12 months ago against the same opponents so it shows you what can be achieved with the right mindset.The turnaround is what is surprising as the score they chased was higher and they also had less time, but won comfortably in the end. Had the old regime been in place they would have settled for a draw as that is what they did before.
New coach, new captain and a new philosophy is all it takes sometimes to achieve results which would normally be unthinkable. This is refreshing to see even though something tells me it will be short lived.
Most teams when they have a leadership change have a "honeymoon"period before things come crashing back to earth. England at home can do this, but on the sub continent or in Australia or South Africa on the harder bouncier faster tracks it won't be so easy.
I do believe having a winning attitude is how you are bought up firstly by your parents and then through the schooling system. I have to admit when I played club cricket in England I struggled with the general mentality. There was no spark and no imagination when chasing down scores and the team decision was always to settle for a winning or losing draw.
Having been raised in South Africa playing sport was all about doing the utmost to win and settling was always a sign of weakness. I have been in matches where we only had 7 players which is the minimum allowed by the rules and still thumped the opposition.
Sport is always about challenging yourself and this won't always work, but in most cases it will. Brendon McCullum the new England Cricket Coach would have raised a few eyebrows when he was appointed but he is a breath of fresh air and exactly what the team required. He is a New Zealander and thinks the total opposite of what most English cricketers would think. Ben Stokes is English and the new team captain, but also has New Zealand roots so this makes a perfect match as he plays the game only how he knows.
I haven't read the various newspaper articles, but they will all be for the "New England" even though they will be the first to back stab them when things go wrong. This is how things work in sport and happy for the supporters who have stuck by them as things have been rough. 1 win in the last 17 matches has no bragging rights compared to 2 in 2 under the new leadership.
These are still early days and nothing to get too excited about as we know the English teams can get ahead of themselves and an arse whipping is only around the next corner. Still it is great to see a boring team transform themselves with everything going their way for once. I don't see them as being world beaters anytime soon, but if they continue learning and changing their attitude to how you play the game they do have a chance.
This does kind of make a mockery of the previous leadership and coaching set up that was in place until recently. The sport is global so get the best coaches available even if they are not local. This goes for all sport and not just cricket as they are their to entertain and winning is part of the package you sign up to.