Please do not adjust your set. England have won a one-day series against major opposition, and it’s hard to say who was most surprised – us (the supporters), the Sri Lankans, or the England players themselves. The latter, I suspect.
We’d like to hear your views on England’s performance, and where we go from here as a one-day side. From where I was sitting, it seemed we can do well in ODIs when we can play in a test match style – attacking with the ball, exploiting helpful conditions, and putting the batsmen under pressure. That’s how we won the first and fourth matches in this series. But when we bat first, or the pitch is a featherbed, we still lack authority, as shown in the second and third fixtures. Even yesterday, in a match we managed to (just) close out, our middle-order stereotypically collapsed after a promising start.
On the other hand, congrats are due to turning the series around at Trent Bridge after two previous thrashings. Morgan and Kieswetter were great throughout, Cook exceeded expectations, Trott and KP were OK, but Bell remains limp as an ODI number six.
With the ball, you can’t help but feel Broad’s omission from yesterday’s side has wider significance. With every match he plays, Broad looks increasingly less likely to take wickets. His most reliable asset – his confidence – is in disarray. Bresnan easily outbowled him this series – he was terrific in the last two games – and would surely be more effective than Broad in the India tests. As for Dernbach…the jury remains out.
I wouldn’t say I was too surprised because I expected us to make use of English conditions and beat a side who had shown frailties against the moving ball in the Test series. We’ve also won plenty of ODI series’ against top sides in recent times, like Australia last year and South Africa home and away the previous season.
Bell @ no.6 is a no no but the problem is, as pointed out previously, we have too many batsmen who deserve a place in the top 6 and we’re having trouble fitting them all in. As Alf Ramsey once said: You must select the best team, not necessarily the best players.
I like Cook and Kieswetter at the top (always backed Cook despite other people’s views) – I think they’ve formed a good partnership and compliment each other nicely. I’m happy with Trott as long as he takes risks and scores at quicker than a SR of 75 and Pietersen and Morgan are nailed on.
Patel bowled well at OT and will always score useful runs at no.7. Bresnan is much-improved and should be one of the first names on the teamsheet. Anderson has found form in the one-day game, but needs to produce when conditions aren’t conducive to his bowling otherwise he may be used as a horses-for-courses selection and not a regular member of the XI.
Finally, I like Dernbach. He may be young and over-does the slower ball, of which he only has one variation, but he has good pace, he reverse-swings it and he’s shown that he takes important wickets and can clean up the tail quickly. He also has a good cricket brain, as demonstrated by his desire to use the slower ball and also change his angle of delivery on the crease. Give him time and he’ll turn into a very good bowler.
Where do we go from here? Keep improving, keep thinking about the game and keep winning I suppose.
I’m really pleased that we won the series, the crowd at old trafford were magnificent as usual proving what a stunning test venue it will be when it’s finished and the new pitches have had time to settle and be less ugly.
I like that cook thinks they are a long way from being any good and I think we will see some shuffling before they settle on an order.
The only suggestion I would make is a simple one. Swap bell and pietersen in the order. It would put bell where he belongs and give pietersen the reminder he needs that no runs means no choice.