5 reasons why England can be world-beaters in ODI cricket
A couple of years ago, after England failed to win yet another 50-over World Cup, despite having appeared in all eleven editions of it, there was a big question to be raised. The question wasn’t about their inability to win a World Cup despite being the fathers of the game. Rather, it was about the importance that they paid to the shortened version of Test cricket.
While England’s home season is one of the most awaited cricketing events not just in the United Kingdom, but also all over the world, it is anybody’s guess that Test cricket gains prime importance throughout the season and the limited-overs matches only come after that. A small example to elucidate England’s negligence of 50-over cricket can be the list of their top run-getters in ODIs.
Only two of their top ten ODI run-getters have scored more than 5000 runs, despite having played in excess of 150 games. None of them average above 40 in ODIs, while the record for the maximum number of ODI centuries lies with Marcus Trescothick who has scored 12 centuries in 123 games. Whereas in Tests, the top 21 run scorers for England have all scored more than 5000 runs and 17 of those 21 average in excess of 40.
However, this attitude has seen a shift since their last World Cup debacle, in the aftermath of which, England completely transformed themselves, and within a short period of two years, they’ve become one of the sides to beat in ODI cricket. Here, we take a look at the reasons why this current England team could go on to be world-beaters in international cricket.
#1 Solid opening partnership
Since the departure of Alastair Cook from England’s ODI setup after the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in December 2014, Alex Hales and Jason Roy have given a new dimension to the way England open their innings in ODIs. From the 14 innings in which Hales and Roy opened together for England in 2015, six times an opening partnership of 50 or more was raised, while three times out of those six, the partnership was carried beyond 100 runs.
Fast forward to 2016 and the opening sojourn has continued for England as Hales and Roy have scaled even newer heights. While the duo could put up just one 50+ stand during the away ODI series in South Africa, the batsmen made up for it with an all-time highest opening stand for England in ODIs, when they put on 256 runs in the 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka in 2016, and helped England chase down the target of 255 runs with 10 wickets in hand.
Their combined efforts kept aside, the individual forms have been no less brilliant. Hales broke the record for the highest individual score by an England batsman in ODIs, when he scored 171 against Pakistan in the 3rd ODI in Nottingham, wherein England also broke the record for the highest team total in ODI cricket by scoring 444/3. Since the 2015 World Cup, Hales has scored 6 half centuries and 4 centuries in 28 innings.
Roy, on the other hand, since his debut in May 2015, has scored 968 runs from 29 ODIs at 37.23 and a strike-rate of 105.33 including 3 centuries and 4 fifties. The solidity that these two have provided at the top of the batting order has played a major role in England’s ascendancy in ODI cricket.