It looks like the England ODI team took my recent column in the spirit it was intended and sorted themselves out. We might not have been able to beat Scotland but we certainly gave it to the Australians over the last five matches.
England completed a dramatic 5-0 battering of their old foes with a stunning chase at Old Trafford winning the final match by one wicket. Jos Buttler was incredible, scoring an unbeaten ton and managing the lower order to chase down the 206 needed to prevent Australia from getting a result on the board.
Earlier in the week, England had sealed the series by scoring a world record 481-6 – a total that Australia would not have got if they had batted twice. England don’t have the actual ODI World Record though if we also include Women’s Cricket which, frankly, we should. New Zealand Women smashed 490 earlier this month in 50 overs. Last week England Women also claimed the world record T20 score, hitting 250. World records everywhere!
India come over to England very soon for a bit more ODI stuff before the serious matter of England collapsing as a Test team gets underway in August.
As I have said several times recently, I am delighted to see England being the #1 ODI side in the World (Scotland blip aside) but it still is important to work out what the hell we are doing in Test cricket.
Can the Test side adopt many of the principles of the ODI team? And by that, I mean gloves are off, no holds barred, no regrets, all-out attacking cricket? Of course they can. And we should. Why can’t it be England who define what Test cricket looks like over the next decade?
Sure, we will lose a few like we did with the ODI side when Eoin Morgan was appointed captain but if we have a plan, a vision and an end goal then it will come good in the end.
We caught a glimpse of it with Jos Buttler being recalled to the side for the Pakistan Tests. Let’s take it further. After the World Cup next season, could we get Eoin Morgan as Test captain and relieve Joe Root of the hassle? Can we integrate the likes of Jason Roy and Alex Hales into the team? Who says Tests have to last five days anyway? Maybe we can win them in three and a bit?
Come on England, become the thought leaders of the modern game. We’ve done 50% of it already.