Let’s face it – not many England supporters are going to get too excited about the upcoming one day international series against India.
Yet again, the fifty-over matches have been anti-climactically scheduled after the real business of the test series. Why can’t they play them before, as a warm-up, to whet our appetites?
From our point of view, the international summer is over, in any meaningful way. Rightly or wrongly, English cricket culture revolves around test matches. Neither players nor supporters are terribly bothered about ODIs – both symptom and cause of us not being very good at them.
Yesterday’s warm-up against Ireland in Dublin was an opportunity for several Lions to earn a first cap and set out their credentials. It was a look to the future. And this is what we learned:
1. Jonathan Trott is pretty good (if too slow)
2. Eoin Morgan is a very good one-day batsmen.
3. Finn isn’t bad.
And that’s it really. Of the much-hyped debutantes, both James Taylor and Ben Stokes failed with the bat, and Scott Borthwick only bowled one over. Woakes, still a fresh face if not a rookie, didn’t take a wicket.
So we’re none the wiser, really. All four players will and should get further opportunities soon, but whether they’ll contribute to England’s progress in fifty over cricket remains anyone’s guess.
Guess is the operative word when it comes to England and one-dayers. No matter how far we develop in the test arena, however brilliant the strategy and planning for five-day cricket, our approach to ODIs always seems completely random. Move the batting order around, bring in x and drop y, and hope for the best.
Meanwhile, good luck to Leicestershire, Lancashire, Hampshire and Somerset – the four sides involved in tomorrow’s T20 finals day, which has now replaced the one-day cup final as the showpiece event in the county calendar. If you’re off to Edgbaston to watch – have fun, and let’s hope the rain keeps off.