We don’t get to write the following words very often, so we’re going to savour every last one: England have won a cricket match at the WACA. That’s right folks, we played a match in Perth – so often the graveyard of English hopes – and emerged victorious. Of course, it helped that the opposition was India, rather than Australia, but I’ll take every victory going right now. Why look a gift horse in the mouth? India are still the reigning World Champions after all.
The stars of the show, from our perspective, were James Taylor and Jos Buttler. Both needed a score coming into this match, so their performances were most welcome.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to make of Taylor. He’s such a scruffy batsman and he can look extremely frenetic on occasion. Having said that, he manipulates the ball into gaps well, generates considerable bat speed when having a thrash, and is a whippet between the wickets. I think every team should have someone like him … just to irritate the purists.
Jos Buttler also played extremely well. Few batsmen managed to master conditions at the WACA today, but Jos timed the ball sweetly. His was an incredibly disciplined and mature knock which should do his confidence the world of good. It was just a shame that he couldn’t quite get us over the line.
As for the bowlers, Mo, Finn and Jimmy bowled nice spells, while Woakes (any ideas for a nickname?) and Broady picked up a couple of wickets. Conditions were helpful for them, but they still did their jobs well.
I think many of us feared that England wouldn’t win a single match in this Tri-series, so to qualify for the final is a decent achievement. Although Australia will probably pulverise us in the finale, I think we’re slowly beginning to see some positive signs. There’s something intangible about this particular England side that I like. Does anyone feel the same?