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"It was a shame England did not experiment in this series" - Michael Vaughan slams visitors' 'over-reliance' on data

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
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Modified 21 Mar 2021
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Michael Vaughan has lampooned England's uninventive selection choices for the India-England T20I series. Michael Vaughan said it was a 'shame' that Eoin Morgan's team was over-reliant on data and analysis and ignored the more crucial 'cricketing instinct' in the process.

Writing in his column for telegraph.co.uk, Michael Vaughan cited the example of England sticking to a solitary plan against Hardik Pandya to explain his point.

The visitors' death-over bowlers were successful in keeping the all-rounder quiet in the first 4 T20Is with chest-length balls. But this didn't work in the final game and Pandya notched a game-changing 39 (17).

"It was a shame England did not experiment in this series by giving other players a chance. They also left the left-handers to dominate the finishing positions and bowled in the same way for too long. Their bowling is good with Jofra Archer world-class but my concern is they went with one trick - bowling quickly into the pitch - and it was found out," said Michael Vaughan.
"They have to be careful not to become over-reliant on data, which showed that bowling quickly above the stumps was the way to go. For example, Hardik Pandya’s strike rate comes down if you bowl chest or shoulder height. But he is a good player. He knows what is coming. He just sat back and played off the back foot. He was not just going to allow England to dictate," he continued.

Barring injury-forced changes, England fielded mostly the same team in all 5 T20Is. Their bowlers also came with set plans against the Indian batsmen and Morgan rarely changed the powerplay combination of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid.

Consequently, the hosts out-prepared them in the last 2 T20Is. The batters carefully watched off Rashid and held back against Archer and Wood's short-ball barrage to collect quick runs. Both games were won by India and they took the series 3-2.

The former England captain further called for Eoin Morgan and co. to be more flexible and adaptive to the conditions at hand.

"You have to remember the opposition have the same data and you still need that cricketing instinct to bowl the ball the batsmen is least expecting in T20 cricket. You can’t just bowl into one place, banging out a length, because that is what the data says. A team has to react to the game, pitch conditions and situation of the match," said Michael Vaughan.
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Michael Vaughan criticizes Moeen Ali's snub from both the Test and T20I teams

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali

England's ace spinner, Moeen Ali, sat out all the 5 games in the series even as the hosts continuously played at least 2 tweakers throughout. This snub came after Ali was excluded from the last 2 Tests of the 4-match series, apparently to keep him fresh for the white-ball games.

Michael Vaughan expressed his displeasure with the same, quipping that the off-spinner was being held back to "make drinks" in the T20I series.

"They need a bowler who can bowl skillful cutters and slower balls. They also need a second spinner in Asian conditions. I just can’t get my head around the fact Moeen Ali missed two Test matches against India to make the drinks for five T20s. The communication within England setup is not right when that is happening," said Michael Vaughan.

Moeen Ali is expected to feature in the upcoming ODI series, which will kick off on March 23.

Published 21 Mar 2021, 23:43 IST
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