Defeat is no disgrace, but England must put musketeers to sword

There is no reason to panic. England played well in patches, but dropped catches and lax spells undid them. Now they need to remain positive and could start by sustaining their aggression, forgetting about Graham Thorpe and ignoring the bilge spouted by Richard Bevan. They must play cricket in Karachi and anywhere else. The world has shrunk.

England were not disgraced. They were outplayed by a powerful side that has recovered its intensity. Although they managed to eject Gilchrist cheaply twice, they could not stop the Antipodean scalp-hunters, who used the slope superbly.

McGrath contributed a towering spell on that crucial first afternoon. To their credit, England's openers kept him out in the second innings but this shooter of wild pigs returned to take another four wickets. England must stop talking and start playing.

Inevitably, the third of the musketeers made his mark. On Saturday Warne produced one of his most compelling performances. Even in his pomp he could not have bowled better. During a long stint from the Nursery End he produced every word in the leg-spinning vocabulary and added several of his own creation. It was mesmerising, entertaining and destructive.

Warne crowds the bat, backs himself to cause such confusion and to land the ball with such precision that batsmen feel creasebound. Only Kevin Pietersen called his bluff. Indeed, the South African forced his chum to bowl into the rough from around the wicket.

As usual Warne's first delivery landed on the intended spot. Without his control, he would be just another leg-spinner. Arthur Mailey admitted he may have bowled a few maiden overs, but none intentionally. Warne prefers to work batsmen over.

Warne broke the back of the England innings. Marcus Trescothick was first to depart. Already the leg-spinner had suffered the death of a thousand rejected appeals. Over the years he has been expert at extracting favourable decisions from the white coats. Lately the knack seems to have deserted him. Persevering, he pushed a leg-break across the left-hander and rejoiced as the edge was snaffled.

After drinks he struck again as Ian Bell ignored a ball that skidded through. Previously, Bell had been stepping down the pitch but drinks breaks have a way of disturbing a man's train of thought. Warne did not give him a second chance. Clever through the air, he is deadly off the pitch.

Warne's third wicket was predictable. He is a master of mind games. Against most types of bowling Andrew Flintoff resembles Hagar the Horrible. Facing the leg-spinner he is more like Bristow. On another day the Victorian might have inflicted even more damage. His first ball to Geraint Jones was one of his finest, a leg-break sent down from a high arm that rose, faded, dipped, turned sharply and bounced steeply. He is not supposed to be able to bowl like that these days.

Yesterday Warne took his fourth wicket and then the slip catch that ended the match and stopped him adding his name to the board in the visitors' room. He has always played without resentment. Warne has a remarkable ability to forget all distractions when he steps on to the field. He is a wonderful cricketer and will be missed.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup