England’s 4-1 Win Is 2010/11 In Reverse

It’s a nice feeling to beat Australia 4-1 in their own backyard. I remember a time in the 90s when we were well beaten by Australia A so I’ll definitely take this emphatic win. Obviously the depth in Aussie cricket was immense in those dark days – I reckon their A side might beat the current Australian side too – but you can only beat the canary yellow outfit in front of you. England aren’t the perfect ODI side yet, but they might get there one day.

I won’t go into too much detail about Sunday’s game as there’s probably no need. England set a slightly below par 259 (in which too many batsmen threw their wicket away) but the Aussies imploded in the final 15 overs and made a complete hash of the chase. This despite England selecting a second string seam attack consisting of Willey, Ball, and Tom Curran … hardly Marshall, Ambrose, and Garner. In fact, it’s hardly Starc, Hazelwood, and Cummins.

Having said that, young Curran did bowl extraordinarily well. We gave him a bit of stick during the Ashes, in which he looked about as threatening as my cat (who’s 17 years old, deaf, docile, and literally toothless) so it’s only fair we give credit where it’s due. Curran charged in, bowled faster than we’ve seen before, and crucially got the ball to swing. He looks a much better in white ball cricket where his variations come in very handy.

I thought Willey and Moeen also bowled particularly well. The only disappointment was Jake Ball, who has taken just 21 wickets in 17 ODIs at a somewhat alarming average of 45 and with an economy rate over 6. Ball should get credit for completing his spell despite feeling unwell, but he doesn’t look like an international standard bowler to me. 17 games is probably a big enough sample size to judge, and thus far his average and strike rate are worse than Jade Dernbach’s (although Ball’s economy rate is fractionally better).

Looking at the series overall, I think England have taken another small step forward. We weren’t quite at our best, and the Adelaide game showed that our attacking batsmen still struggle to adapt when conditions demand a more introspective approach, but momentum continues to build nicely towards the 2019 World Cup. Indeed, our white ball form might keep Trevor Bayliss in a job no matter how poorly we play in test cricket.

Although I have a horrible feeling that we’ll win all our World Cup group games but then capitulate to 8-5 (or something similarly ghastly) in the semis on a greenish pitch, at least the current side is exciting to watch. I can’t remember a time when we were blessed with so many excellent white ball players. It’s good to see many of them rewarded in the IPL auction – although my feelings about the IPL are decidedly mixed – because I think the likes of Woakes, Mooen, and Wood deserve it. Heavens knows why Joe Root was ignored though. Perhaps they’re worried that he might upstage Kohli? Ahem.

At this point, it seems reasonable to give the much-maligned ECB some credit for England’s improved ODI form. They’ve shown exactly what can happen when a board prioritises one particular form of the game and does everything possible to help the players. England’s training methods are cutting edge and the domestic calendar frequently gives preference to white ball cricket – a trend that will be entrenched by the shiny new franchise T20. The ECB set out to improve our ODI fortunes after the abysmal 2015 World Cup under Peter Moores and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The problem, of course, is that the vast majority of proper English cricket supporters would much rather be good at test cricket than ODIs and T20s. Does anyone remember that we got absolutely annihilated 1-6 in the ODIs (yes they played seven games) immediately after we won the Ashes 3-1 down under in 2010/11? Nobody remembers this series because it counted for absolutely nothing. Instead everyone recalls that tour as a brilliant success – because we won 3 of the 5 games that actually mattered.

I hate to say it but nobody will remember this 4-1 win in a few years’ time either. Sure the players might (especially Tom Curran and Jason Roy) but most people will have forgotten the result by the time the upcoming T20 tri-series in New Zealand begins next month. After all, the games come thick and fast on the international calendar these days, and T20s are fast replacing ODIs as the white ball format with a future. How typical that England have become good at 50-over cricket just as the rest of the world begins to focus on something else.

James Morgan

 Written in collaboration with Sporting Index – the place for all the latest cricket spread betting


2018-01-29T12:52:54+00:00 January 29th, 2018|ODIs & T20|17 Comments


  1. Nigel January 29, 2018 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I think the IPL auction was perhaps partly explained by potential clashes with England commitments reducing the attractiveness of our internationals ?

    And Bayliss has made an excellent case for having separate coaches. After all, we have different captains.

  2. Nick January 29, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    We can’t be certain of franchise reasons for not picking up Root, the fact he will miss the knockouts coupled with worries his SR might suffer on pitches where he needs to generate pace would be my guess I’m pleased that he hasn’t been bought cheap to sit on the bench for six weeks as that isn’t a proper break. I see Williamson is doing that again,

    Root and Bairstow don’t have much of a recent CV in T20 Cricket and I wonder if that will cause tension down the line. Not with Root so much who is a three format first choice but if there are Test players like Bairstow with T20 ambitions who are not nailed on three format players.

    The ECB have split the summer so a Red ball player like Cook can play almost constantly first CC then Tests and Roy, Buttler et al can play IPL, RLODC, ODIs, T20s then ODIs, its a good setup for single format players but doesn’t help cross over.

    • James Morgan January 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      I’m surprised because Root did well in the last T20 world cup in India. Plus guys like Moeen and Stokes are likely to miss time with England too.

  3. Pete Cresswell January 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    IPL teams’ bidding seemed to be predicated around picking players who’d done well in past IPLs, or who had decent performances in the BBL this year – hence the bargain prices for Colin Munro (current #1 on the ICC T20 rankings) & Colin de Grandhomme while Ish Sodhi (current top tanked T20 bowler) missed out along with fellow leggies Adam Zampa & Samuel Badree)

  4. James January 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I think there’s little doubt that England fans who watched the 2015 world cup thought “surely we can do better than this.” (I’ve deleted a few expletives). The only good thing about it is that it seems to have allowed Bangladesh to kick on. So, to that extent, I’d say the improvement in our white ball game is to be welcomed. Bayliss deserves some credit for this (as does Eoin Morgan). Given that they are 2 different teams, this shouldn’t affect the red ball game, but the ECB has (with its customary wisdom) chosen to let it.
    I have no problem with English “white ball internationals” playing IPL. They’ll get good practice in. I’m quite happy for Root to have a few weeks’ rest (though he probably isn’t).
    You mention the “second string” bowling attack: “Willey, Ball, and Tom Curran … hardly Marshall, Ambrose, and Garner”. True (though not much is close: and did Garner and Ambrose ever play together for West Indies?). West Indies’ 1980’s second string bowling attack was probably better too (Sylvester Clarke, Wayne Daniel, Tony Gray, Ezra Moseley, Franklyn Stephenson – ouch, and probably a lot better than any attack WI can put out nowadays).
    An ODI series win is nothing more than a consolation prize, and we all understand that, but it’s better than nothing.

    • James January 29, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Meant to say that the most gripping cricket recently has been the South Africa v India test in Jo’burg. Twists and turns, aided by a “challenging” pitch (Rahane’s word).

      • Nick January 29, 2018 at 3:14 pm - Reply

        Until the last one the pitches were similar to the ones England played SA last summer, in that while batsmen could make runs they were always in danger of losing their wicket. So SA won 2-1 without a player making a hundred.

        Any that follows a trend that bowler friendly Tests usually better, even as a Test fan I don’t really want to watch a full days Cricket with only 1 or 2 wickets going down

  5. James Morgan January 29, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Not sure how many have clicked that link to the Australia A side, but their XI was just incredible.

    Hayden, Blewett, Martyn, Bevan, Langer, Ponting.

    Not a bad top six, eh! Just awesome.

    • Steve January 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      During that era i always worried how Aus could replace the bowling attack (Warne and McGrath) because it looked like we had plenty of batsmen but no bowlers of note outside those two (well Gillespie but he declined suddenly in 2005).

      The issue however turned out that post that generation the bowling has been generally fine, Harris, Johnson and the Current crop, but the batting has been a struggle with only 2 certain batting picks in any team since about 2009. No clear reason why this happened.

    • Hungerpang January 31, 2018 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      Wow. Made me wonder what the top six of the first XI was. Taylor, Slater, Waugh M, Waugh S, Law, Boon was a one example.

      As the years have gone by it’s become clearer and clearer why England got so routinely stuffed!

  6. Pete Cresswell January 30, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Steve Smith pulling out the mind games looking ahead to the World Cup – leopards & spots …


  7. Doug January 30, 2018 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    On this excellent site ODI’s and T20 receive little input from members compared to test an 4 day. Only 24 posts on the last two blogs illustrates this. It indicates most readers are not really white ball fans. In fact even the BBC gets twice as many comments for the longer game. I suspect the Oval Friday night drinking brigade wouldn’t comment anyway as the majority don’t watch the cricket, just how full their beer glass is!

    • Hungerpang January 31, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      We’re all a bit tired. Personally I like the build-up of 20/20 to ODIs to Tests to maximise engagement, rather than tacking ODIs on the end of the Tests. That was the format in 2005 of course, the greatest summer of cricket in history.

    • James Morgan January 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Doug. Generally speaking you’re right. Although comments don’t always reflect traffic. Generally the most contentious / passionate articles get the most comments, and I don’t think people care enough to bother commenting on the ODIs.

      Just as an aside, I haven’t sent out any emails to subscribers over the last week. That’s basically half our traffic. I overdid the Mailchimp a bit during the Ashes and ran out of free email sends! There won’t be any new emails until Feb. Ooops!

  8. Cricket-Now February 1, 2018 at 11:02 am - Reply

    I hope England play to their full potential in 2019. The world cup is back in England after 20 years and looks exciting with India, South Africa and Australia at full strength!

  9. Alan Edwards February 2, 2018 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Hi James,
    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate (and look forward to) TFT.
    As I have lived in Texas for half a lifetime it is my favorite link to the game I loved, starting in the days of May, Cowdrey et al.
    Thanks for all you do!
    All the very best,
    Alan Edwards

    • James Morgan February 6, 2018 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Hi Alan. Thanks for your kind words. Glad you’re enjoying TFT! It’s good to know we have readers across the world. Cheers, James.

Leave A Comment