The reality of being England's coach:
27 March 2009, Bridgetown, Barbados
Ten minutes before the 3rd ODI between West Indies and England. Sky Sports transmit a new interview with Ravi Bopara, conducted by Nasser Hussain.
Nasser Hussain: 'Fidel Edwards has bowled some terrific spells'.
Ravi Bopara: 'Yeah, his short ball is ten yards quicker than his normal ball'.
27 March, 2009, Bridgetown, Barbados
3rd ODI,West Indies versus England
Fourth ball of the sixth over. Cricinfo commentary: 'Edwards to Bopara OUT. That's awful from Bopara. Quick and aggressive. Bopara tried to hook and it got big on him. The ball made its limp and feeble way to mid-on'.
You see, you can tell them and tell them, but you can't do it for them... For Andy Flower and for England too, much now depends on Friday's final ODI.
Those who argue that reality can only be experienced as a personal interpretation of events will say that it all comes down to how you see it:
England win the match, and the series: They have come through a difficult winter with an ODI series win. They were narrowly defeated in the Tests following a fluke collapse that can be explained by the delayed shock of the Pietersen affair. They responded by coming within one and then two wickets of winning the next two matches. Andrew Strauss, the player of the winter, and Andy Flower have formed a strong bond and need time to develop their team.
England lose the match, and the series: They have been beaten in all formats by a team they should have defeated. They have won only two games, one of them because of a clerical error. Strauss and Flower have failed to convince Kevin Pietersen, the team's premier batsman, and morale remains suspect. They are, essentially, a second choice captain and a second choice coach.
Which way will it go? Depends how you look at it, really.