There’s a tendency these days to describe anything stupid which happens in international cricket as being “village”.
It’s a term which disparages the efforts of the vast majority of players in the sport who have no grand ambitions to star in the IPL or World Cup.
Better, surely, given the handsome salaries the elite performers command, to call their fumbles and mistakes “unprofessional”.
And that was certainly true of England’s fielding as they slumped to defeat against the West Indies in the First Test at the Ageas Bowl.
It was a slow-burner of a contest and some rustiness was understandable, given how long cricket and its protagonists have been in lockdown.
But, while Jermaine Blackwood produced the best batting display in the eerie environs of Southampton, hitting 95 and almost steering his men across the line, the manner in which he was regularly reprieved by England dropping catches testified to the hosts’ continuing struggle in the longer format of the game.
If these fluffs had happened in the first few overs last Wednesday, they might just about have been understandable. But when you are defending just 199, you need to grasp every opportunity which comes your way and especially against somebody with Blackwood’s combative and belligerent approach to pouncing on any loose deliveries.
At the outset of the Windies’ pursuit, when they collapsed to 27 for 3 with opener John Campbell, also having retired hurt, it appeared that Ben Stokes might be capable of orchestrating another minor miracle after his heroics last summer.
But the likes of Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich and, most notably, Blackwood ensured there was no dramatic collapse in the last two sessions.
Over the piece, they fully deserved their win and demonstrated they have plenty of promise if Jason Holder remains at the helm.
There will be changes to the England line-up for the second contest of the series which starts later this week. Joe Denly has been given enough chances at this level and will be discarded in favour of a less ordinary Joe, namely Root, who will take over as captain.
Stuart Broad is also likely to return to the ranks after forcibly expressing his frustrations at being dropped. And, considering how Jofra Archer and Mark Wood deserve more time to build the genuine pace partnership which will be important in the next Ashes series down under, the odds are that the selectors will go with an all-pace attack next time around.
Much has been made of the lack of atmosphere at matches without crowds, but it might be less important in cricket than football, where there are all manner of individual rivalries within the wider team context.
The battle, for instance, between Stokes and Holder looks likely to be one of the captivating elements of the tussle between the countries in the weeks ahead. Both are gifted, larger-than-life characters with genuine charisma and class.
And we can expect England to respond quickly to their initial setback. But only if they remember the time-honoured adage that catches win matches.