England lose game to New Zealand but win admirers
England go 2-1 down in series but still show signs of catching up.
England chose to bat today, despite the early start and a pitch that would dry out during the day. It was a statement of intent that England will continue to play confident, positive cricket. Even when reduced to 34-2, the bold new style continued. Root, Morgan and the brutish Stokes all scored half centuries.
However this new aggressive style of cricket needs to be tempered at times. England looked like scoring 350 but when Billings was sixth out on 288 with 9 overs to go, the old England would have gone into their shell, yet instead Stokes carried on in an even more belligerent manner. However England soon lost another four quick wickets for 12 runs, being dismissed with 4.4 overs to go.
These wasted 28 deliveries looked telling in the end as New Zealand won by 3 wickets with an over to spare. A more controlled approach would have been more successful. A third wicket stand of 206 from centurions Williamson and Taylor saw the Kiwis within sight of victory in this 3rd ODI. The home side bowled and fielded quite well but 302 isn't enough to defend on a decent pitch against a good side like New Zealand.
However England fans are still very supportive of their team, knowing that after the World Cup England had a lot of catching up to do, but they can see that they're learning very quickly and are entertaining fans along the way. This ODI series is part of England's education, but a more difficult examination is yet to come.
Were there positives to take from England's latest performance?