Dutch defeat was inspiration

Andy Lloyd
IT&rsquo;S not often you can take positives from an embarrassing defeat against the Netherlands in a major international competition, but you could argue that England&rsquo;s fate last Friday actually lit the touchpaper for the entire World Twenty20 tournament.<br /><br />As we have already seen with the Netherlands beating England and Ireland waltzing through to the Super Eights at the expense of the mighty Australia, this is a game where absolutely anything can happen &ndash; and it&rsquo;s got the nation gripped.<br /><br /><strong>CHINKS IN THE ARMOUR</strong><br />England were awful on Friday, not helped by a pathetic team selection which saw two of our most complete Twenty20 cricketers, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Graeme Swann, relegated to the stands.<br /><br />But Sunday&rsquo;s performance against Pakistan was just what the doctor ordered and showed just why England, on their day, have a side capable of reaching the last four.<br /><br />In opening batsmen Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara, and of course No1 seamer James Anderson, we have three players with a tremendous positive belief about their game at the moment &ndash; then of course we can call upon our big guns of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood. All that amounts to a pretty strong side and with home advantage behind us, who knows what could happen?<br /><br />England will indeed be buoyed by the shock exit of the Aussies &ndash; not because it increases their chances in the Ashes, but because it shows chinks in their armour.<br /><br />As in all forms of sport, winning is a habit and Australia simply do not have that right now. The last thing England needed was for the Australians to go into the Ashes on the back of winning the World Twenty20, so it&rsquo;s first blood to the hosts.