Super Chris

“Oh heavens, not Jordan”. That was my initial reaction when Eoin Morgan tossed him the ball as England took the field for Pakistan’s super over. I’m not a Jordan fan. Never have been really. But despite having the worst bowling figures of any England bowler during the match, Super Chris was absolutely super in the super over. He performed like Superman.

They key to Jordan’s success was a succession of whippy yorkers. Many of these turned out to be full tosses earlier in the day, but Jordan was spot on when it mattered most. Fair play to him. He proved a lot of us wrong and won England the game.

How refreshing it is to have a captain with good intuition. Eoin Morgan would’ve received a lot of criticism had Jordan been laced to all parts. Many people were clamouring for Rashid to bowl the crucial six balls. But the captain got it spot on. After winning the ODI series 3-1 and the T20s 3-0, Eoin is walking on water right now.

To whitewash Pakistan in this T20 series was another really good accomplishment from England’s limited overs specialists. Things are definitely heading in the right direction ahead of the T20 World Cup. I wouldn’t say England are favourites – some of the other teams have a lot more experience – but we’re no longer the no-hopers we once were.

The strength of our team is its batting depth. It seems absolutely absurd that a player as good as Rashid was set to bat at number eleven. We have destructive hitters all the way down the order. David Willey is a mighty fine number nine and Chris Woakes isn’t bad either.

Some of the shots Woakes played yesterday evening were absolutely sublime. The ability to hit the ball over extra-cover for six is always the sign of a class player. The fact that England’s number eight can make it look so easy bodes really well.

England also have good depth at the top of the order. Although he wasn’t particularly fluent yesterday, James Vince played well considering the carnage going on around him. England were in a hole at 75-5 but Vince kept his cool like The Stranger from Fistful of Dollars. I prefer him as a player to Hales but I sense the management are wedded to a Roy / Hales partnership. We’ll see.

It’s actually getting quite hard to pick England’s best XI at the moment. There is so much talent available. An engine room of Root, Morgan and Buttler looks highly impressive. Billings is also an exciting player. Just imagine adding Pietersen to the mix. It will never happen – Strauss trusts him to ‘advise’ the team but not to play in it – but off the field absurdity hasn’t stopped England from being successful in the past. We have enough weapons to do some serious damage whatever XI takes the field.

Before I sign off, I should mention Eoin Morgan’s post-match comments. Forgive me for paraphrasing somewhat, but he claimed we’re at a disadvantage in T20 cricket because we don’t have “a quality domestic T20 tournament”. Do I sense a little discontent in the ranks? Morgan’s comments probably won’t go down too well with the authorities.

Having played in the IPL, Morgan knows it’s important for players to grow accustomed to big crowds and high-pressure situations. This isn’t always the case in the NatWest Blast. We’ve debated the merits of introducing a franchise T20 system in England on these pages before, but many people remain vehemently opposed to the concept. There’s little anyone can do unless the counties change their minds.

Thoughts?

James Morgan

2015-12-01T10:31:16+00:00December 1st, 2015|News, PakvEng2015|17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. maggie December 1, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    you were not the only one saying oh heavens, not Jordan! nice to be wrong. What a good result for England, feel for those who will miss out on WC.

    on the T20, not sure I’m excited by a franchise system but I wish they’d go back to doing the whole competition in a few weeks in mid-summer as they did originally. That’s what the players want. And it would make the finals day much more relevant. Just seems to come out of the blue now when everyone has forgotten about T20.

    Re the cost to spectators, I would have thought the counties could come up with some innovative ideas like a discounted season ticket for all the matches and allow people to pay it off on a monthly basis over several months so they’re not trying to find all the money in a short period of time, which I believe is one objection.

    • James Morgan December 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      That’s a good point Maggie. Spreading out the cost isn’t something I’ve considered. Sounds sensible.

  2. dlpthomas December 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I recorded the game but missed the super overs because the game went over time. D’Oh!

    It was really nice to see Woakes do well. He may not be quite good enough for international criecket but there is something about him that I really like.

    An interesting question was raised on tonight’s episode of “The Back Page”. The Australian media and fans went ape-shit when Broad nicked one (to the keeper who flicked it to fist slip) and stood his ground. Yet no one says a thing when Lyon nicks one to slip and has walked half way off the ground before the umpire says not out. What’s the difference?

    • Hungerpang December 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Nothing of course. Just a typical case of double standards. In many ways Lyon’s was worse – Broad stood his ground in the way thousands of batsmen have done over the years, waiting for the umpire to give him out. A lot of fuss was made because the catch was taken at slip, but as you rightly say it was actually a nick to the ‘keeper that deflected to slip off his gloves. The Aussies had no reviews left, so tough luck. You don’t have to walk. By contrast, Lyon admitted he was out and had virtually walked off before being reprieved by one of the most extraordinary pieces of officiating incompetence I’ve ever seen. It almost certainly cost the Kiwis the game. I’d have loved to have seen what Adam Gilchrist would have done in the same circumstances.

  3. Benny December 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Yep, I watched Jordan picked to bowl to Afridi in the super over and groaned. I was wrong. I’d say England’s biggest strength is Morgan – inspirational captain and walking out to bat in the super over is what I call leading from the front. The array of batsmen and the intelligent building of a squad not just an XI is such a smart idea. The bowling situation isn’t too bad either, when you bear in mind we have Broad, Woods and Finn to come back.

    • Nigel December 1, 2015 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      I’d say England’s biggest strength is Morgan – inspirational captain

      I have to agree with this.
      Getting the team to be more than the sum of its parts is not easy, but like all the good captains, he seems to be able to do this.

      (Whereas Cook is merely an exceptionally good opener.)

      • James Morgan December 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

        Cook has improved his captaincy under Bayliss, who is obviously a good tutor. However, I do feel that Morgan is a cut above. He’s naturally more aggressive, which suits the ODI team well. I think the split captaincy is obviously working well at the mo.

        • Nigel December 2, 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

          Indeed… it’s improved from liability to mediocrity.

          Good captains are much rarer than good cricketers, IMO.

      • jennyah46 December 2, 2015 at 7:10 am - Reply

        James has got a whole lot of figures to prove that Cook is a crap batsman. 🙂

  4. BigKev67 December 2, 2015 at 4:20 am - Reply

    Morgan frustrates me.
    Such a sublime player in short form cricket – and such a poor first class record. It just baffles me that someone with so much talent, so many shots, and such a calm temperament when it suits, can’t make the transition to the longer form.
    Morgan at the top of his game should walk into our Test side at 6 – and give some more aggressive tactical input to boot. But destined to be our Michael Bevan I think – a great lost Test hope.

    • jennyah46 December 2, 2015 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Morgan’s weakness is exposed in the longer form. They have a bit of time to set him up. So I’m told!

      I’ve never been a Morgan fan but to give credit where it’s due he has captained brilliantly, in all ways.

      I also enjoyed his post match interviews. He spoke clearly, honestly and articulately. It made a change from Cook tripping over his words and or putting his foot in it. 🙂

  5. Neil Harris (@NJHag) December 2, 2015 at 8:27 am - Reply

    We must be serious contenders in India, 3 spinning options and power hitters to chase down anything.
    Our best team in the SC?

    Roy
    Hales
    Root
    Morgan
    Billings
    Buttler
    Ali
    Rashid
    Woakes
    Plunkett
    Parry

    • Jamie December 2, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

      I like the look of that.

      Only change I would probably make is Stokes in for Parry. Then there would be hitters all all the way down…

      • Neil Harris December 2, 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

        This is a great problem. I’d forgot all about Stokes.
        My dilemma was between Parry & Willey.
        Hopefully Finn will be fit, he can be a fine T20 bowler.

        • Jamie December 3, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

          Good point, and I’d forgotten about Willey who I would definitely want involved…nice dilemma to have.

          Most if not all the candidates would be in the ODI team too. Next few years are looking promising…

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