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Game, set and match England?

Stay with me on this one as I 'cross-pollinate' this week.

The hottest sporting story right now is the weekend performance from Rafael Nadal. His Roland Garros fortnight was nothing short of spectacular and his laser focus and elevated skill displayed during the final against Wawrinka, extraordinary.

He is 31 years of age and no-one has seen him play better. Think about that for a moment.

Rafa has brilliantly reinvented himself. He was tormented by injury last year which sidelined him during crucial seasonal dates, and wrist complications prevented him from operating at full tilt when he did play. That was calamitous for Rafa because he only knows one way.

The addition of his long-term mate Carlos Moya has resulted in a monumental shift in performance. His ability has always been special but there was no doubt his star was waning. He made a correct strategy call and has exploded back onto the scene.

There has been a considerable mental adjustment in his game and he is on the offensive at every opportunity. That in turn now allows him to unleash his increased weaponry. Rafa and Moya assessed his situation, concurred improvement was essential and worked on aspects of his game to return him to his former glory.

He is now very positive, is playing bolder, taking risks and delivering scintillating tennis. His serve displays greater variety and therefore a higher level of complexity for his opponents. On Sunday in Paris he exhibited six different serves to eradicate any predictability. His second serve is faster, he imparts more spin and has introduced more angles which, as Wawrinka can testify, is far more challenging to face.

He is also no longer playing a waiting game in rallies that had crept into his play over the last couple of years. Rafa wants to control them now and is always looking to take the initiative on a path to dominate.

His searing forehand was always his dreaded weapon but over time it had lost some of its torque and fear factor. It is still hugely admired but he has enhanced other details of his game to be a more complete player. His unique balance at pace that enables him to play those crazy shots on the run has reached another level.

Carlos Moya interestingly feels the tennis balls are now slightly heavier and has encouraged an equipment modification with the addition of lead tape on his racquet head for greater power through his game. A sustenance change has added more muscle which in turn protects tendons that have endured enormous strain over the years. He is fit and healthy again and the hunger for victory has returned.

Probably the biggest difference that Moya has made is that Nadal is now training smart. He is spending considerably less time on the practice court to ensure freshness of both his mind and his body. His crispness on Sunday was marvellous.

The reinvention of Rafa is a lesson for many sporting individuals and teams. He is playing with renewed zest, zero fear of failure, has added intellectual property in Moya, identified weaknesses, expanded his weaponry and modernised his mindset.

South Africa committed to a similar resurgence during the spring last year after a head-scratching slump, and must be commended for their determined ICC table climbing surge.

Sadly, after Sunday's demise at the hands of India, not too much positivity abounds right now.

What about the England team currently? After their embarrassingly dull data-driven 2015 World Cup when they were stuck in a time warp, they have transformed into the best England one-day outfit ever.

In 2015, they were so predictable and all the bowlers had an unhealthy dose of sameness about them. It was all right arm over constantly, with minimal change of pace or variation. They were little more than medium-paced robots. Their batting was based on an archaic strategy that demanded a conservative start and escalation at the death. The mid-innings pace altered little.

Things, like the transformation of Rafa, are very different now.

England's outstanding batting upturn revolves around appropriately-equipped players who have been awarded freedom and given the confidence to bat to the very limit of their talent. They are boundary- seeking thrashers who can extinguish any opposition bowlers.

England are playing a brand new game, a galvanising game that is now far from predictable and stacked with game-breakers.

This could be game, set and match England.

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