“With almost 50% of defeats attributed to the bowlers, it then is clear that they need to work on their line and lengths before they can aspire for the World Cup trophy”
It is a unanimous belief that England are the team to beat in ODI cricket at the moment. Their journey from the early ouster in the first round of the World Cup in 2015 to being one of the strongest contenders for the title next year has seen stern decisions and a one-dimensional mindset, where the yearning to be the best overruled emotional judgement and feelings.
By assembling together a group of hard-hitters like Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, they formed one of the most formidable batting units in world cricket, and as things stand, they have the ability to run away with the game in any crunch situation.
Since July 2016, England have taken part in 52 ODIs, and have won a whopping 71% of their games. Morgan’s side have impressed with their innovative batting, scoring more than 300 runs 21 times, of which they have emerged victorious in 16 matches. However, these wins, unlike the other team’s victories, are often due to their batting, with their bowling looks non-threatening and below-par.
Although their skills with the bat are mind-blowing, they have been equally disappointing in the bowling front, conceding more than 300 runs on 13 occasions since July 2016, including letting Sri Lanka, a team that is looking out of sorts, make 366 in the fifth ODI of the recently concluded series.. The difference between the number of times 300 has been conceded and breached shows the imbalance that exists in the English side.
|How ODI sides have performed since July 2016|
|Team||300+ scored||300+ conceded|
The table above displays how the English batters have risen to steer their team to safety consistently, and the failure of the seamers and the spinners to leave an imprint shows how the Morgan-led side are dependent on the men with the willow for success.
While bowling first, England have given away more than 300 six times, and such is the strength of the batsmen that a target of more than 300 has been overhauled 50% of the times. Twice, despite scoring 366 and 365, they failed to register a win though.
Batting first, England have made more than 300 16 times, including mammoth scores of 481 and 444. A score between 330 and 400 has been set on six occasions and the side has won 13 of the 16 games where they have crossed 300 while batting first.
However, these victories have not been emphatic ones, with the rivals sides scoring above 265 in seven matches of the 13 that England have won and 300 three times. India, on the other hand, have been more disciplined with their bowling, allowing the rivals to cross 255 or more only three times when the target is more than 300. (India have made 300 or more batting first 8 times).
Another observation is that England have lost just 12 matches since July 2016, with most of them being a result of the inaccuracy of their bowlers. 4 of these losses saw the opponent chase down 300 without a huff, including 3 instances of 330 being chased down. In two other matches, despite the batting unit impressing, the hard work was negated by the wayward bowling. In the first of these games, India had set England a total of 381, and though the side managed 366, it was not enough. The other match that was lost despite the good work of the batsman was against Scotland this June, when the minnows chased down 365, as questions were being asked of the bowlers in the English camp.
With almost 50% of defeats attributed to the bowlers, it then is clear that they need to work on their line and lengths before they can aspire for the World Cup trophy.