After the rained off Champions Trophy match against Australia, it’s a good time to take a breath and assess where we’re at. And to be honest it’s not a bad time in the tournament to realise we aren’t quite where we need to be.
At Edgbaston we were a bit untidy with the ball - no balls, a few cheap boundaries and the like. We have been very good with the ball in recent times but there are certainly a few areas to tighten up on.
In the field we also weren’t quite as sharp as we have been. That early run-out from Martin Guptill helped create a lot of pressure and uncertainty from the batting side, but we didn’t capitalise on a number of half chances following that.
We weren’t quite on song against Australia but on a positive note we also weren’t a long way off either.
Today we have given the players the day off in Cardiff to freshen up after what has been a big few weeks. The one day series has been a roller-coaster – the routine of travel, train and play repeated every three days.
Having the day off is as much about freshening up the mind as it is the body. We know to take out this competition we have to win three more games in a short space of time – and I want the guys to be ready and fizzing for that.
Newcomer Mitchell McClenaghan continues to be exceptional for us. While he often takes wickets upfront, he also has the ability to do the damage in later spells and those wickets are momentum swingers. Mitch has been given the licence to attack and he’s certainly delivering.
While Daniel Vettori is clearly not 100% he still knows his way round a cricket field. The Jayawardene wicket turned the game against Sri Lanka, while the Australians showed his bowling the respect it deserves.
We know that making the semifinals and finishing top of our group is still in within our capabilities. To be in this position shows how important that first win was.
We’re playing good cricket, and we head into the England game with confidence but the home side will be an even tougher proposition after their loss to a fine Sri Lankan effort.
Our focus is clear – win on Sunday and head to the Oval as group winners to face the runners-up from the other group.