Well, wow. I arrived home from university on Tuesday and England were 350-6 from 30 something overs. Yes, I’m sure about that, and yes, we were playing the finalists of the 2015 world cup. Jos Buttler was dispatching the kiwi bowlers to all parts of Birmigham, while Adil Rashid was doing his very best to emulate his partner. New Zealand were then rolled over for a score more typical of recent England sides, as the clinical nature of Morgan’s men was evident for all to see. England lined up with only Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes remaining in the side from the test match series.
One day cricket in this country has been crying out for change, and that is exactly what the fans were provided with on Tuesday. One of those new faces got off to the worst possible start though, as Jason Roy sliced Trent Boult to gully off the first delivery of the match. If a first baller on your home international debut is bad enough, then spectacular hundreds from Joe Root and Jos Buttler rubs more than salt in the wound. Yorkshire’s latest star set the innings up in incredibly stylish fashion, hitting 100 from 71 balls, maintaining his rich vein of form. If Root’s innings was a text-book ODI knock, albeit a fast-paced one, then what followed from Buttler was everything but. As the Lancastrian took balls from outside off and deposited them over long on, viewers would certainly have been forgiven for thinking AB DeVilliers had copied the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, and come over from the cape.
Adil Rashid’s efforts should not be ignored either, with the bowling all-rounder proving that he is more than capable with the bat, after striking a convincing fifty. Should the Yorkshire leg-spinner match his performances on Tuesday and for the remainder of the series, he will surely be considered for the Ashes. Not only did he highlight his ability with the bat in hand, he also proved that he can both take wickets (more specifically, 4) and hold up an end.
Finally from a batting perspective, Eoin Morgan showed signs of a return to form. The skipper’s form will be essential if England are to make significant strides forward in one day cricket over the summer. So, England scored over 400 for the first time in their ODI history, but the positives of the day did not end there.
After going for consecutive fours, Steven Finn removed Brendon McCullum to take his first of four wickets. How I would love to see him firing on all cylinders once again…4-36 isn’t a a bad start! Adil Rashid has already been mentioned, but he was particularly impressive throughout a spell that saw him also pick up 4 New Zealand scalps. New Zealand were bowled out for 198, and if their batting was explosive, then their performance in the field was the definition of clinical.
Now, it’s important to say here that I don’t expect 400 every game. If we get bowled out for or restricted to 200 tomorrow then I won’t go all ‘doom and gloom’, but as long as we start to consistently show positive intent when we go out to bat, there won’t be anything to complain about. Essentially, England could get rolled out for 80 in tomorrow’s match, but provided they do it inside 15 overs, I think we should all just move on!