For England now the future is everything. They insist that there is all still to play for in this World Twenty20 – they can do little else – but the feeling that the winter long ago passed them by is difficult to resist.
“Last summer was not that long ago,” said Tim Bresnan on Monday, doubtless yearning for the days of beating Australia 3-0 in the Ashes. “It’s been a tough winter, it’s not gone our way on a lot of fronts but we’ve moved past it, we’re trying to move to the future.”
He meant the future as in England’s second group match in Chittagong on Thursday against Sri Lanka, but the future as in the start of the international season at home is probably more pertinent. Then there will be a new coach in place and it will be possible, if far from straightforward, to draw a proper line in the sand.
Bresnan has been with England all the way these dreadful past few months as they have so far lost, across all forms of the game, 18 matches against international opponents and won four. He recognises that the foundations for this were laid long before last summer.
“I’m not really sure what’s caused it,” he said. “Winning helps, doesn’t it? They say winning hides a multitude of sins and it can do that in your own performance as well as the team’s. It’s only when you lose, that’s only when you analyse in-depth stuff that has actually gone wrong or stuff that might have been going wrong for a while.
“We won but, as you guys pointed out, we didn’t exactly win to the best of our ability. We were looking to go to Australia and play a lot better and we didn’t manage to do that and that’s why we lost the Ashes.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter arrived to join the England squad on Monday as a replacement for the injured Luke Wright.