Joe Root believes the set of players that England presently has for the shortest format

Joe Root believes the set of players that England presently has for the shortest format of the game is quite capable and they will have to rise to the occasion in the coming World Championship in India next year.

As per Root, inexperience can’t be used as an excuse at the highest level of the game.

In an interview to a British television network, the deputy skipper of the Three Lions said, “When you are up against the teams at the World stage, you need to ensure you produce the goods. Yes, you want to learn and make progressions as a Cricketer, but, at the same time, it’s also very important to win games because ultimately it’s that which would give you confidence.”

“Our aim is to play consistent Cricket in all forms and clinch trophies. There are so many ambitious individuals involved in this group at the moment.”

When asked about England not having played that much of Twenty 20 Cricket of late and whether that is a concern leading to India, Root said, “Yes, we haven’t had too many games under our belt in that format in the last couple of years, but, we would be playing quite a few against Pakistan and South Africa in the coming weeks and I think that would help us sort our combinations keeping the big picture in mind.” Continue reading “Joe Root believes the set of players that England presently has for the shortest format”

Some great batting by James Taylor and Jason Roy helped England secure their first win

Some great batting by James Taylor and Jason Roy helped England secure their first win in the 5-match One Day International series against Australia.

While, Roy scored a quick fire half century, his second in the series, Taylor got to three figures and the English managed to post a decent score to the Aussies after batting first at Old Trafford.

And, then the spinners played their part as they accounted for five dismissals in helping conditions and restricted the opposition far behind the target.

Winning the toss benefitted England as the pitch just kept getting drier and drier and more difficult for batting especially to the slower bowlers.

301 had looked like a score which could be chased with the firepower in Australian batting and the openers were in mood which got the visitors off to a fine start.

Aaron Finch, who was making a comeback, was happily taking the aerial route on regular occasions and was collecting boundaries down the ground with ease.

But, as the shine went off the ball and the spin bowling came into play, the game changed.

The spinners put the squeeze on and the fielders did their bit as well with fully committed efforts.

There were no easy singles on offer in the inner ring and with the number of remaining balls getting lesser in comparison to the number of runs required to be scored, the batsmen started trying to manufacture shots and the wickets tumbled. Continue reading “Some great batting by James Taylor and Jason Roy helped England secure their first win”

Ben Stokes in good flow

Ben Stokes, who is being seen as England’s biggest trump card in this year’s Ashes, was in pretty good flow yesterday in Cardiff as he played a flamboyant innings of 52 and stitched a very good partnership with the centurion Joe Root to take his team to the position of solidity.

Stokes later got a beauty from Mitchell Starc which cleaned him up, but, he had already shown his array of strokes.

Before actually getting dismissed, the left hander was in no trouble whatsoever. He was tight in his defence and whenever he was opting to go for his shots, there was full commitment in that.

The Australian bowlers needed something special to get rid of him and Starc did that with the older ball which was starting to reverse a little bit for him.

He came up with an absolute peach which totally outfoxed Stokes.

It swung in first and then, held its line. Stokes was looking to clip it through the leg side with the swing, but, got deceived and the bells were off.

Had he stayed there, Stokes, with the rate at which he was going and the comfort with which he was putting the balls away, he would have put England in real command at the end of the day, but, it wasn’t to be.

However, there is still quite a big role to play for Stokes in the Cardiff test match. Alastair Cook would be relying on him to bowl a couple of tight spells when his main quicks would need a breather. Continue reading “Ben Stokes in good flow”

Moeen Ali has had as an off spinner so far in his test career

The success that Moeen Ali has had as an off spinner so far in his test career, he himself would be surprised by that.

He was picked in the test team for the first time primarily for his batting. The selectors knew that he would bowl a bit of off spin and would allow the captain to rotate the pacers around him for a little while, but, that was not the reason behind his selection.

Since, he was good enough to bat at the no. 6 position, he got the nod and in his very first test series against Sri Lanka, he got a fabulous hundred.

But, ever since, the contributions with the bat have been minimal. It’s the ball with which Moeen has rocked the opposition sides.

He has won England test matches as a bowler. Yes, as a bowler.

It can’t be a fluke. Flukes do not keep happening for such a long time.

When he got wickets against India at Southampton, he was considered ‘just lucky’. But, he repeated it at Manchester and then, at Oval, thrice in a row.

Still, not many gave the credit. It’s because of the arrogance of the Indian batsmen that he’s succeeding; that’s what people felt. Continue reading “Moeen Ali has had as an off spinner so far in his test career”

England most vulnerable against Spinners

Even on the flattest of the pitches, England is vulnerable against spin and that was evident when they played Pakistan in a World Cup practice game at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

That was a slightly dry wicket, but, there were no demons. The ball was hardly turning.

However, if you don’t have the proper technique to tackle the spinners, you would always be in trouble anywhere in the world.

The basic thing that the coaches tell you to do while facing spin is to play with a straight bat. You must avoid going across the line especially against the leg spinners because they have so many variations. Continue reading “England most vulnerable against Spinners”

England boys showed Australian Team what mood they came in

In the first practice game on the Australia tour today, the England boys showed what kind of mood they have come with.

On a short ground in Canberra, Ian Bell and company smashed the bowling attack of Prime Minister’s XI as the Three Lions put on a score close to 400 runs losing just 6 wickets in the process.

Bell fell just 13 away from what could have been his first double century in List ‘A’ Cricket.

Nevertheless, the Warwickshire man made a statement to those who were questioning his promotion to the opening slot despite the presence of Alex Hales there in the squad. Continue reading “England boys showed Australian Team what mood they came in”

England hopefull to make Comeback in Hambantota

The third One Day International game between England and Sri Lanka will be played in Hambantota on Wednesday. It is expected to rain a little bit, but, the good thing is that there is a reserve day allocated to each game of the series.

Hambantota is a beautiful place and England would hope that it brings some change in luck for them because they appear to be sinking quite fast.

When the morale of a team is down especially on overseas tours, it all comes down to the leader, how well the leader motivates the team.

But, presently, the leader is the biggest worry for England. Alastair Cook’s lack of runs has frustrated everyone and even he himself would have started to get slightly embarrassed now.

He is a mighty, fine cricketer, Cook, but, he has an old fashioned playing style and he looks awkward in limited-over cricket.

Yes, he is a stubborn character, he likes proving people wrong, he has done that in test cricket in the past, but, it’s a different form of the game which he is not suited to and his stubbornness is doing nothing, but, harming England Cricket.

Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, two of the top limited-over batsmen that England has produced ever, think that if Cook drops himself and Alex Hales opens with Moeen Ali, it would do so much good to the Three Lions in terms of batting.

The English selectors, for some reason, are a bit reluctant to ask Cook to make way for somebody else, maybe because Eoin Morgan, who has been tipped to be Cook’s successor, is also struggling with form. He has his own batting problems. But, he is a typical One Day Cricketer and the responsibility of captaincy might actually help him to sort his problems out.