Maybe, just maybe, it is a cunning ploy by the England ODI side.
Having scored a shed full of runs to go 2-1 up in the 4th ODI in the Windies there was talk of handing England the World Cup without the need to play the tournament.
Eoin Morgan, a very shrewd captain, can only have concluded that the best way to play down expectations as favourites was to turn in a stinker of a show on Saturday. With the series drawn 2-2, maybe they will play the World Cup after all. And maybe, just maybe, some of the spotlight will be moved off the hosts.
Last Wednesday, they knocked up their fourth score of over 400 with Jos Buttler in imperious form. Buttler smashed 150 from just 77 balls. Gliding from 50 to 150 in something like 10 balls.
Jason Holder will have been looking down at his boots (and they are a long way down) having given England the chance to have a bat. Eoin Morgan’s team slapped it high over the boundary a world record 24 times. The Windies had set the old record of 23 a matter of days before.
Morgan got a ton of his own before Chris Gayle decided that the fourth ODI would be a good one to win and set about chasing down 419 on his own. Gayle is one of the reasons the Windies could win the World Cup themselves. On his day, and this was another one of them, he is still the best.
He chipped in with 162 from 97 and had Ben Stokes not bowled him it would have been the finest ODI run chase ever seen.
England’s stock, as mentioned, was incredibly high on Wednesday night.
Yet by the end of Saturday, it had fallen dramatically.
For every high of scoring 400 there needs to be a low of getting skittled for 113. Otherwise the world will not turn on its correct axis.
Oshane Thomas did the damage with some fierce short-pitched stuff that had England checking the calendar to see if it was the mid ‘80s. Chris Gayle didn’t see the point in hanging around and battered 77 from just 27 deliveries. Meaning the match was over before the actual interval time. Not that the crowd minded, it meant more time for a party.
Now, far be it from me to criticise a tactic that has seen England become the most feared ODI team in the world. But, and it is a but, what if we find ourselves 50/6 in a knockout round of the World Cup?
Will we still throw willow in general direction of leather in the hope of hitting our way out of trouble?
England’s style is thrilling to watch when it comes off. There’s just that chance that it might not come off on the right day. Especially if we don’t bat first.
Will England win the World Cup? Of course we won’t. I’m saying it now to stop it hurting so much when we find a way of being brilliant right up until the moment we utterly collapse at the most unexpected moment.