Skipper's blog

Never mind the win, feel England's quality

England finally manage style and substance in their ODI series win.

Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 192 from 26 overs, England were reduced to 46-5 by New Zealand. All the Sky commentators were chastising England for taking their positive approach too far, what did Bairstow and Billings do? They smashed the bowling to all parts of the ground to win by an over to spare.

Credit should go to New Zealand too. Their performances in the World Cup both inspired England and forced their hand. Whilst the World Cup was a disaster for England its legacy is far from disastrous.

Combined with the torpor of the cricket played in the West Indies, England's woes have acted as a catalyst to play the attacking, attractive cricket the supporters have been craving.

It wasn't just the ODI games which have been full of positive intent. The Test matches were full of attacking fields, fast full bowling and dynamic batting. England have caught up with the rest of the world. Now they need to move ahead of the rest of the world, starting with the Australians in 16 days' time.

So what do they need to do?

England relied on Cook, Lyth, Root and Stokes to get the runs against New Zealand. Bell, and Ballance must find some form or face being replaced. The pace bowlers must maintain their discipline and courage by bowling a fuller length. Short pitched bowling on good pitches relies on surprise not repetition. England must decide between Ali and Rashid and hope they bowl with a control and penetration they have rarely shown this summer.

Finally, catches win matches, England need to start taking their catches, particularly in the slips. or all the improvement of the last few months will be fumbled.

What does the future hold for English cricket?



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