A Stroll In The Park


Just a few words on today’s deciding ODI. What a great performance! It looks like our bowlers exploited the early movement (and we all know they’re a completely different animal when it moves around a bit), and the batsmen were completely untroubled chasing NZ’s small total.

Although I wasn’t able to watch the game today – for once personal circumstances made it impossible I’m afraid – this win gives me great pleasure. It was an entertaining series overall, with some really good cricket, and it’s heartening to see England perform so well under pressure. I think it’s definitely another step in the right direction.

We might have learned a bit more, however, had England batted first. I’m not saying it was a ‘win the toss, win the game pitch’ (far from it), but I would’ve liked to have seen how our batsmen assessed conditions and adapted accordingly. We’ve often come unstuck in this regard. It was also obviously beneficial that Ross Taylor was unavailable due to injury.

Overall though, you can’t grumble at a resounding seven wicket win with over 100 balls to spare. Jonny Bairstow played out of his skin by all reports. He’s developing into a really fine ODI player. It seems crazy that he couldn’t get a game not long ago. I guess we’re spoiled for choice in white ball cricket.

The tour now moves onto the more serious cricket in twelve days time. I really enjoy watching England play test cricket in New Zealand so I’m really looking forward to it. In the meantime, what have you learned from England’s ODI series? And which players do you think have enhanced their reputation?

James Morgan


  • Good to see us win another one day series away from home. Five games evens out any win toss win the game theories in my opinion and we always seem to be able to find a way to win.

  • I think it’s all good experience under the belt.
    We’re still not as good as we think we are, but we’ve adapted to some different challenges and performed well.
    On a good day I’d say we can beat any other ODI side – but we’re some way from being consistent I’d say.

  • I applaud your positive attitude to this series, as with the World Cup round the corner it is clearly an important one. There are many on this blog who would write it off as an irrelevance at the fag end of an overlong tour.
    Personally, I would have given the lads a break to recharge the batteries a bit, instead of the 20-20 series, as I am one of those in favour of leaving 20-20 to the franchises and playing no internationals atall in this format. This way players get a chance for a breather if they want it. All international matches should have some significance and whilst often hugely entertaining in a homogenised way, I don’t believe the 20-20 format can, by its restricted nature fulfil this. It’s a bit like trying to make internationals out of 7-a-side Rugby or 5-a-side Footie. No one takes it that seriously. It’s just a distraction from the real thing.

  • Jonny Bairstow a class apart. A complete mystery why it’s taken so long to get into the team except as sub. He’s the second best batsman in the side after Root. Hales and Roy have always been good T20 players but lack the range and consistency for one day cricket especially on more difficult pitches. It can’t always be flat. England still have that worry. But Bairstow is more flexible and reads the game well. Hales has to improve to keep his spot. He does seem to be batting with more regard to conditions. We’ve got plenty of attacking batsmen. Thoughtful ones less in evidence. Don’t let us forget the hopeless collapse in the middle order and tail after being so far in front in the last game.

  • Meanwhile, the Lions lost their second ODI overnight to be 2-0 down in their series against West Indies A. The matches have at least been closer than the longer form matches.

    Sam Hain scored a century in the first match and immediately gets talked up as a Test candidate (“I’m a big believer that he’ll play red-ball cricket for England within 12 months” said Ashley Giles). Frankly, if that happens after two dismal CC seasons (2017 average 15; 2016 average 22), everyone playing CC might as well give up.

    • With Hain it is a question of whether he has reverted to his teenage technique and temperament, and abandoned the overly aggressive wristy technique he was encouraged to develop to become a white ball player. If he has he will be a test player as he was probably the best teenage bat I have ever seen (and that includes Bell). If he is still persisting with the stupidity of the Warwickshire coaches he will not last 2 overs against good test bowlers.

      • If Hain’s technique and temperament are so good, he’ll score CC runs.

        By the way, there are fairly generous highlights of the ODIs on Youtube posted by ‘We Love Cricket’ if anyone’s interested.

  • Well done Johnny Bairstow, who combines aggression with intelligence – something that cannot necessarily be said about some of his colleagues. It was a good win but it’s not all hunky dory.

    Meanwhile the Lions continue to look more like Hamsters.

    • Aye. England were accurate at the top of NZ’s innings, but the Kiwi batsmen largely got themselves out before the tail rallied a little. But it was a 400 deck

  • Should Hales be one of the top picks these days ? He can’t bowl, he can’t field and his batting is patchy.

  • Hopefully no English players cross the line by objecting should an opponent slut-shame their wife. That would be unacceptable.

    • Warner & de Kock both crossed lines. Both were punished. Nothing further needs saying – by all accounts Warners’ sledging crossed what the Saffas considered the line, de Kock snapped and crossed the line back, and Warner spat the dummy. I have loads of sympathy for Warner’s wife. None at all for Warner – if you can’t take it, don’t dish it.

      I’m a little tired of the hypocrisy from all nations’ fans on this one – On various sites I’ve seen Aussie fans hating on Kohli for behaving like an Aussie, England fans hating on the Aussies while ignoring their own team’s sins, Indian fans hating on anyone who dares diss their players (and that’s ignoring the whole India vs Pakistan rubbish that harks back to politics rather than cricket). And (granted there’s not many of us) us kiwis have been sitting smugly in the corner pointing out that we’ve been nice guys for the last 2 or 3 years (ignoring what went before)

      And frankly I’m a little over the players’ failure to pull their heads in.

    • From the DT’s report of the same:

      One step foward –
      “Mick Newell and Angus Fraser… are free to apply for either new job but if successful, would have to stand down from their roles at Nottinghamshire and Middlesex”.

      Two steps back –
      “There will be greater input into selection from the ECB’s specialist lead coaches at Loughborough who will scout players in their specific area of expertise. Andy Flower, the current head of the Lions, could be a contender for national selectors’ role with Fraser also in the frame”.

      One porky pie –
      “This decision is not related to results”.

By James Morgan

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