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Carnage

So how’s the new job working out, Mr Langer?

England scored a world record 481-6 in 50 overs against Australia at Trent Bridge yesterday. Yep, that’s four hundred and eighty one runs in just one white ball innings. It was absolute carnage as Roy, Bairstow, Hales, and Morgan destroyed an Australian bowling attack that looked as toothless as my eighteen year old cat (who literally doesn’t have any teeth).

It was all hugely entertaining but also a tad surreal. Basically the England batsmen established a platform and then tee-ed off very early in the piece. There were sixes, there were fours, there was cheering, and there was laughter at the hapless Aussie pie chuckers. It was basically baseball on a cricket field. At one point fours were only met with polite applause. I guess everyone’s hands were sore from all the clapping.

England’s batsmen were absolutely magnificent. They might not be able to last long in the test arena but they can’t half murder an ailing bowling attack on a flat deck with short boundaries. English cricket has been built for days like today, so I guess we ought to enjoy the one thing we’re actually good at.

The thing that struck me was how ordinary Australia’s attack looked. I know they’re missing the likes of Hazlewood and Cummins, but this attack still had some familiar names who’ve played very well in the Big Bash. The only conclusion I can reach is that the Big Bash ain’t all that. Andrew Tye’s nine overs went for exactly a Hundred runs. Tom Harrison must have had an orgasm.

It’s not all bad news for Australia though. Yes the likes of Jhye ‘bye bye’ Richardson and Billy Stanlake took a bit of a pasting, but I still think they’ll turn into fine bowlers eventually. As for the likes of Tye, Agar and Stoinis, their ceilings look very low to me.

When Australia batted they never looked like chasing England’s mammoth score. This particular Aussie team simply isn’t good enough. Short, Head and Stoinis are pretty inexperienced by modern ODI standards, Finch doesn’t seem to belong in the middle order, and Maxwell hasn’t been himself for some time. Their confidence must be completely shot. Is this the worst Australian ODI team of all time? Yes I think it probably is.

As for England it’s onwards and upwards I guess. It’s incredible that this team managed to lose to Scotland just over a week ago! Although the cynics might say that yesterday didn’t teach us anything we didn’t already know, and that the acid test will be whether England can adapt to more testing conditions, there’s no escaping the fact that yesterday was spectacular.

Will it all be worth it in the end? Perhaps. I guess we’ll just have to wait until the 14th July next year to find out. The thing I find bizarre is that after the World Cup the ECB are no longer going to take 50 over cricket seriously. After all, once Harrison’s Harebrained Hundred begins our domestic 50 over competition will be completely devalued (as the best white ball players in county cricket won’t be involved). It’s basically like we’re giving up on the format.

We’re in the twilight zone, people. For the next twelve months 50-over cricket will mean absolutely everything. It will continue to be England’s number one priority and everything else will be sacrificed. And after that it will immediately become an outdated format that isn’t worth the ECB’s time.

But at least we’ll always have a World Cup triumph on home soil to savour. Unless we capitulate meekly in the semis on a pitch that does a bit, of course.

James Morgan

2018-06-20T09:20:19+00:00 June 20th, 2018|ODIs & T20|27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. princeofporkupine June 20, 2018 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I was there… incredible! It is bar far the worst Australian team I’ve seen, however, England are ranked #1 for a reason so let’s enjoy that eh?

    A lot has been said about benign pitch and short boundaries etc. but the England top order didn’t just score sixes, they went a long way back into the stands. By contrast 3 of the Aussie batsmen were caught on the boundary, they just simply didn’t (couldn’t) hit it as hard.

    As an aside, I was beginning to think Mark Wood was a bit of a myth, but here he looked rapid and had a couple of Aussie batsmen backing off on what was the flattest of flat pitches.

    I might be in the minority but I don’t see the World Cup as the be all and end all, I’d sooner they enjoyed a few years of sustained success winning series home and away playing this way – on a bad day (*ahem Edinburgh) they could lose to anyone so if they lost in the semi final against New Zealand it wouldn’t be a complete aberration in my eyes.

    • Nigel June 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Wood was reportedly topping 90mph – but there again, so was Stanlake…

      • dlpthomas June 21, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

        Stanlake is also just as injury prone as Wood.

        • Nigel June 22, 2018 at 7:05 am - Reply

          And about five years younger. Bit early to write him off.

  2. Barry Turner June 20, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I see the moaners are already out in force. I wish I had been there, it looked incredible. Pity Channel 5 thought 12.30 am on a weekday was good scheduling. Bloody knackered now! I thought this might finally make Bairstow crack a smile but all I saw was a slight tremor of the upper lip.

  3. Jackie Litherland June 20, 2018 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I did have a feeling of unease watching the game James. It seemed so made to order – very flat pitch, very short boundaries. Trent Bridge has now become a byword for big scores. You only have to look at some of the spectacular domestic scores on it. I remember Hales got a brilliant one day ton at Trent Bridge playing for Notts. The final score was huge. In the 400s – I think. But Notts went on to play very ordinary one day cricket that season. I don’t think our one day side is ordinary but they are being trained to perform in a particular style and I really worry they may flounder on a more difficult pitch. How are they going to learn to cope if they are encouraged to just hit out and swing the bat all the time? We know England can deliver like this. Is the ECB going to ensure that the pitches will be very flat for the World Cup? Would the ICC want that? The ICC was very critical of one sided games played on Australian pitches in the last World Cup. You may get a spectacular chase. More usually scoreboard pressure takes its toll.
    I think Paine is a very poor captain. Not his fault. But he seems to have no idea how to set fields or how to bowl to our batsmen. Feeding Jason Roy is feeding the lion. You have to cramp him. He’s not a patient player. The trouble with the ECB approach demanded of players and coaches is that one hitch on a pitch could be their undoing. They just have to gain experience of things going wrong or becoming tough. Incidentally the Big Bash and the IPL do have different surfaces which give bowlers a chance. The T20 games aren’t just batsmen friendly and the crowds have come to appreciate the tension of taking wickets or dot balls.
    The SKY commentators were effusive about England but there was an undercurrent of anxiety about the lack of balance between ball and bat. The fun will wear off because cricket is about a contest. It’s not a circus.

    • princeofporkupine June 20, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

      The biggest lack of balance was between the two teams, one scored 481, the other was bowled out for 239. This was wasn’t 481 v 450.

      Besides, only two games ago England chased down 214 – Root and Morgan showed they can win a different way, with strike rates under 100.

      I’m not sure about feelings of unease, if you’re an England fan, just enjoy it!

    • Marc Evans June 20, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

      You can’t make a cricket match to order, as there’s the random nature of the toss to consider. The Aussies could have had first use of this belter and chose to bowl, clearly worried about our batting chasing down anything but a big score against their limited attack. That’s their choice and nothing the organisers can predict. Conditions didn’t change so it was the same for both teams.

  4. Paull McLeod June 20, 2018 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Slog-athon cricket does nothing at all for me.

  5. Marc Evans June 20, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Carnage is the perfect word. I still say that by dismissing this as a mismatch people are missing the point. We have a golden generation of attacking batsmen here, enjoy it while it lasts. For my money there is no other team in world cricket who could have sustained this level of performance over 50 overs against an attack of county standard admittedly. There was little slogging, but brutality of the highest order, like Tyson in his prime. Tye was bowling above 90mph, but still disappeared into row Z. There was little their batsmen could do in reply. For 20 overs they were in the hunt, but it was men v boys in the end. This is not the worst Aussie side to come to these shores, the Packer era decimated their team in the 70’s to a greater degree. Most of the time if any side makes a monumental score in limited overs cricket the other falls well short, so this was predicatable.
    Disagree about Roy, in the last game I thought he showed commendable patience in giving Bairstow the strike whilst the 2 were together and taking a back seat for the first 10 overs or so, even though he’s clearly in fine fettle himself.
    Also disagree about white ball cricket not being a circus. It clearly is with all the razzmatazz surrunding it, especially the 20 overs format, but it’s none the worse for that. The more different it can get from the red ball game the better as far as I’m concerned. As there are few players with equal facility for both, so it becomes a different game played by different players. I feel Hales will set a trend for the future and why not? Also many games are good contests and we have test matches that finish in 3 or 4 days that are clearly not.

    • dlpthomas June 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Australia didn’t tour England during the “Packer Years” – we went there in 1978/79. (England won 5 – 1 despite Rodney Hogg taking 41 wickets. You can read all about it in Yallop’s rather aptly titled book “Lambs to the Slaughter.”)

  6. Vashtar June 20, 2018 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Balls being hit into the stratosphere by tattooed herberts wielding huge bats is not my idea of cricket. I’m clearly in the minority though.

    • Marc Evans June 20, 2018 at 11:20 am - Reply

      That’s fine, it’s not mine either, but it’s here to stay so we need to find a way to enjoy it for what it is. Don’t blame the players, they’re just earning their crust and doing their job the same as the rest of us. Professional sport is part of the entertainment industry, it will always be susceptible to dumbing down so it can attract as broad an audience as possible, there being so much competition in the leisure industry these days.

      • Vashtar June 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

        Is cricket competing with Fantasy Love Idiot or whatever its called?

        • Marc Evans June 21, 2018 at 10:43 am - Reply

          Maybe not cricket, but it clearly is for the England footie team, who apparently disappear off to their rooms at 9 for a dose of it. How depressing is that.

  7. Vashtar June 20, 2018 at 11:09 am - Reply

    What next page 3 girls feeding bowling machine’s?

    • Marc Evans June 21, 2018 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Don’t mention things like that, the ECB might be listening!!!

  8. Dave June 20, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

    So can we ask the Australians to follow on at Durham tomorrow?

  9. Comte June 20, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Reminded me of the film Independence Day. A lot of action and noises but no story and basically unfulfilling.

    • Marc Evans June 21, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

      Movies and sport have been suffering from this sort of dumbing down for years. I think the people producing both have a very low opinion of the general public taste, probably with some justification when you look at what passes for entertainment on social media.

  10. Cricketcricketcricket June 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    It was boring
    It was predictable

    It was fantastic ball striking though !

  11. Simon H June 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    England’s FTP just published.

    This summer is the last where the fixtures were negotiated by the old ECB regime of Clarke and his sock puppet Collier. The current regime were not technically responsible. They now own this – and it’s a nightmare (especially what they’re planning for 2021).

    • Cricketcricketcricket June 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      You mean you don’t want 50 tests, 230 odis and 1000 2020’s against India ??!?!!

      You must be mad

  12. Benny June 20, 2018 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Quick thoughts:

    England used to be hopeless at one day cricket, now they’re rather good

    White ball cricket was always intended to be different from red ball. No surprise it doesn’t always appeal to the same people.

    If it were that easy to score 481 against a weak team, why hasn’t it been done before?

    Who’s the buffoon who came up with the idea of dropping Hales for Stokes?

  13. Doug M June 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    After 10 sixes I’d had enough. It’s not my idea of spectacular when it’s just teeing of over after over against a squad any county could beat. After the first 35 overs the game was over. You get the Oval where it was hard to get 200 and then this. Missing at least 6 of their best players. Let’s not get over excited and see what they can do against India.

  14. Comte June 21, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Watched real cricket at New Road yesterday. Darryl Mitchell compiled a watchful and intelligent century in conditions which were bowler-friendly for much of the time. And I had tea and a cake in the Ladies Pavilion. That is cricket.

    • Marc Evans June 21, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

      No, that’s you’re kind of cricket, and mine too incidentally, but it’s just another form of the game that’s morphing into various identities to try and catch as many of us as possible. Since it’s inception as an organised game with rules, cricket has changed course more than any other game, adapting to the popular tastes of the time. Why should we expect anything different now.

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