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.