Cricket Expert & Columnist
Silverware to savour
England's T20 triumph is all the sweeter because of the way it was achieved, says Nasser Hussain.
Last Updated: 17/05/10 2:32pm
Barbados became a 'little England' as Paul Collingwood's side eased their way to the ICC World Twenty20 title on Sunday and few who were there will forget it.
I always thought that if England got back to the Kensington Oval for the final they would win it because the players not only love the pitch and surroundings but thrive on the support they receive there.
Walking around Bridgetown beforehand it was clear all of the locals wanted England to win and, combined with the fantastic travelling support, that made for a very one-sided crowd.
And when England did win, no-one could say it wasn't deserved; once they had successfully negotiated the rainy early stages in Guyana, they hammered everyone.
This victory is no fluke. England deserved to win because they were the best team in the tournament and to see them end the country's lengthy wait for a global one-day title in such style was great, it really was.
Now England have realised what is required to play a modern brand of cricket there is no reason why they can't transfer that form and mind-set into the 50-over game.
Under Andy Flower they have clicked as a unit and prospered from the confidence and momentum that comes from winning.
Collingwood's captaincy and fielding have been exceptional, but Flower is the actual driving force - the one who has given the side direction and purpose.
He, and the selectors, have been ruthless and it has paid off. The likes of James Anderson and Matt Prior, who was doing very well in the Test side, are casualties of the new philosophy but the end has justified the means and those at the helm should be given credit for making those calls.
This is a squad that is not scared of hard work. The players are fitter and stronger than any other side before them and they aren't carrying anyone.
While Kevin Pietersen is a superstar there aren't any prima donnas in the side; there's no-one who doesn't buy into the team ethic of training and fielding and enjoying each other's company.
Occasionally they do go over the line in terms of having a go at each other on the field and that's something I'd like to see eradicated because they don't need it.
When I was captain, the side needed it because we were underperforming. This team isn't so it doesn't look good when a player is trying as hard as he can. But that's a small point. Overall, they are an exceptional unit.
As things stand with the one-day side now I wouldn't change a lot going forward.
Given how Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb have performed at the top of the order that means the selectors may face a difficult choice if Andrew Strauss wants to play 50-over cricket.
Strauss, like Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, is a great international player but I'd think long and hard before dismantling this England side after what they've achieved.
Imagine, if you will, what the media and commentators like me might say if Strauss and Cook did return for the 50-over and England lost a couple of games!
But decisions like that are for another day - for now we should savour this moment.
For me, this is almost as sweet as winning the 2005 Ashes because we invented Twenty20 and, after waiting for one-day success for so long, we've won our first title by walloping the best sides in the world.
My abiding memory will be of Pietersen taking on the South African quicks in the Super Eights and coming out on top because it represented such a turnaround from when the same sides met in the 50-over World Cup in 2007.
Back then England tottered to 28-1 off 10 overs while South Africa smashed 85-1. Fast forward to 2010 and it was a complete role reversal and as Collingwood lifted the trophy on Sunday night no-one could say England were not worthy champions.