For the most part of their ODI Cricket sojourn, England never exuded aggression or showed any semblance of it at least with the bat.
Traditionally, English batting in the limited – over format revolved around batsmen who never caused any blitzkrieg and imbued a traditional template of accumulating runs. England had a certain Marcus Trescothick who was a quick scorer at least by English standards and Andrew Flintoff who was a beast with the bat. But, in all its truthfulness England always lacked powerful batsmen who could clobber bowlers consistently. But, they are things of the remote past.
In the current context, taking England lightly is tantamount to putting one’s hand inside the jaws of a rottweiler, expecting no sprinkle of blood to drop.
Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Butler and Ben Stokes form the crux of one of the most dynamic and explosive batting lineups in the world. This is the great modern plank of England’s ODI game.
It’s a powerful pendulum that swings often in one-direction: toward massive hits and mighty hoists, as seen recently during the side’s accumulation of 481.
England as a side in the limited- over format has never been able to achieve appreciable results, the primary reason being the lack of batsmen oozing with skills to clear the boundary with aplomb. But, with the newfound lethal batting artillery, England seems to be well placed to come up with a strong performance at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Another notable improvement in the way the English Team has been playing over the last few years has been their relentlessness and the spirit of never wanting to give up even in the direst situation. The recent 5-0 routing of Australia gave us ample example of their batting prowess well complemented by a balanced bowling attack. In the fifth and final ODI against Australia at Manchester, England escaped with a narrow one-wicket victory when they miraculously recovered from a precarious position.
The scars of 2015 World Cup in Australia led England to change their overall outlook towards white ball cricket and that accelerated the induction of some fearless personnel led by a dauntless Irish man, Eoin Morgan.
With Australia going through a tough transitional phase, England and India seem to be well ahead of their contemporaries with their current ODI and T20 form which definitely augurs well for both the teams leading into the marquee event. England’s ODI outfit is in the pink of health and they are giving us glimpses of some unmatched batting performances albeit in batting friendly conditions.
So, as India embark on the much-awaited tour to England, it will be interesting to note whether England’s new look batting department manages to pulverize one of world cricket’s most improved bowling attacks. Historically, before any important tour, the talks have invariably been about India’s beefy batting against the opposition’s bowling lineup.
Will things be different this time?