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why England have cracked the one day code

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why England have cracked the one day code Empty why England have cracked the one day code

Post by Adam D Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:34 pm

By Jack Sheldon

England’s recent improvement in one-day cricket has been met with surprise by some of those who have watched the team’s often dismal showings in the 50-over format of the game. But it shouldn’t be the slightest bit surprising. In Andy Flower the team are directed by a man who genuinely achieves almost everything he sets out to achieve. His CV, both in cricket and the wider world, is already incredible - number one batsman in the world whilst ‘keeping and playing for Zimbabwe, coach of the number one Test team in the world, and who can forget that black armband protest at the 2003 World Cup. And next on the checklist must be one-day success with England, which, with the regulations as they currently are, requires the type of dedicated planning that Flower and his backroom staff specialise in.

One area of the one-day game which England have finally understood is the top of the batting order. For most of one-day cricket’s history it goes without saying that the most successful teams have had a strong top order. For evidence of that look at Hayden, Gilchrist and Mark Waugh for Australia during their golden period of three consecutive World Cup triumphs; Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gambhir also fit the bill, and there can have been few more daunting top threes than Greenidge, Haynes and I.V.A. Richards. The common theme is that, however aggressive, all nine of those mentioned were or are hugely successful Test players. The need for a solid technique has become ever more important with the introduction of a second new white ball last October. Cook, Bell and Trott certainly have that attribute and, with 15 overs of powerplay in the first 20, the run rate takes care of itself when batsmen of their quality are at the crease. Once the new balls are seen off regular hundreds are the inevitable consequence, as lesser bowlers are brought on, the batsmen become set and runs continue to flow. A lack of hundreds has been a notable issue for England’s ODI side in the past - Marcus Trescothick, with 12, remains England’s leading centurion, whilst six players from other countries have 20 or more and Sachin Tendulkar 49. But with six in the last six matches the problem finally seems to have been solved. They have worked out that hundreds come more regularly from quality players, rather than supposed ‘dashers’ like Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright that will make quick 30s, but rarely bring up three figures.

The advent of Twenty20 has seen teams realise that almost anything is possible over a 15 over period of batting. Combined with the batting powerplay, usually taken from overs 36-40, this allows teams to go at upwards of nine runs per over in the last 15. The key to making best use of this is to have numbers 5, 6 and 7 at the crease rather than 9, 10 and 11. Therefore, keeping wickets in hand as England’s top three have done in the last two series becomes key to setting a platform for the likes of Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter and Tim Bresnan to enjoy themselves down the order.

It is not only in the batting department that England have benefited from the new regulations. The two new balls play perfectly into the hands of Test match bowlers like James Anderson, who ran rings around Lendl Simmons with the moving ball on Tuesday, Stuart Broad, and Tim Bresnan. In English conditions this makes is possible to expose the middle order quickly, whilst in the sub-continent England should be well placed to take best advantage of any swing which is available. The other thing which England do well is to play five specialist bowlers. This ensures that there is no let up for the batsmen, meaning that they have to target bowlers that they might not when all-rounders and part-timers are used to make up the overs.

Like in Test cricket, conquering the sub-continent remains a major challenge. The series in India last winter was lost 5-0, whilst the matches against Pakistan in the UAE were not played on typically Asian surfaces. However, there is no reason why this side won’t make a success of the sub-continent when they next visit for ODIs in January. Scores of 300+ are easily attainable with this batting line-up, and Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez were well combated in the latter part of that UAE tour. Meanwhile, we have an excellent spin attack of our own in Graeme Swann, who despite recent inconsistency remains a very difficult customer, and Samit Patel, who is an under-rated performer with the ball in the 50-over game. Some observers might suggest that Cook, Bell and Trott are too pedestrian a top three for the sub-continent. But Cook and Bell, and to a lesser extent Trott, in fact score their runs at a good rate - Cook’s strike rate since returning as captain last year is almost identical to Kieswetter’s. And the impact of the batting powerplay means that it is unnecessary to score at 6 an over throughout the innings.

England have not won a 50-over World Cup, and it surely won’t be long until the media start jumping on the planning for 2015 bandwagon. But the best way of reversing their recent World Cup disappointments is to create a one-day team, which like the Test team, becomes regarded as amongst the very best in the world. To do that they need to ensure that they keep winning, by selecting a team which will win now rather than in three years time. If that happens the team will, again like the Test team, start to largely pick itself come the World Cup and prevent the panic decision making which has blighted the last five tournaments.

I’ll finish with a word of warning. England thought they had cracked the one-day code two years ago, when a series of victories, including the run to the 2010 World Twenty20 title, created widespread optimism. But performances soon tailed off on that occasion. This time they need to ensure that success is maintained, and cherished almost as highly as Test victories.

Jack Sheldon is a teenage cricket writer and has also started his own blog, found at http://thepavilioncricket.blogspot.co.uk/

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Post by GSC Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:41 pm

Decent read, worth noting if we beat Australia 5-0 we become the #1 ODI side.

Can't say I'm as confident in our batsmen mastering sub-continent conditions, its an area England usually struggle
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Post by Adam D Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:48 pm

http://v2journal.com/-why-england-have-cracked-the-one-day-code.html

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Post by Duty281 Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:30 pm

We're starting to take ODIs more seriously and it's starting to pay off. If the improvement continues we may just have a chance come 2015.

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Post by Raymond Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:34 pm

I think one of the main reason's is that there is a new ball at each end, it really helps our strong bowing line up. Which in turn helps our batters.

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Post by Duty281 Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:17 pm

Just remembered, the final ever Champions Trophy is next year and is being hosted in England and Wales. No better chance for England to win that than next year - tomorrow could be our 7th consecutive home ODI series win!

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