England has shown in the last one year or so that they are a different team in the limited-over format now.
After almost embarrassing themselves in World Cup in 2015, they introspected and certainly took the steps in the right direction by picking different sets of players for different forms of the game.
They have got rid of the solid, conventional batsmen and have given opportunities to some clean strikers of the ball and something similar they have done in the bowling department too.
Somebody like James Anderson who is obviously a legend in test match Cricket for England has been kept out of the shorter forms and the modern types of bowlers who are more of hit-the-deck types and are good deliverer of slower deliveries and cutters have been brought into the mix.
So, there has been some broad mindedness shown in selections and it has paid dividends as England has not been dominated by any of the oppositions in any of the limited-over series in the recent times.
Yes, they have lost a couple against Australia and South Africa, but, one can’t say they were outplayed in either of those series.
And that’s why, probably for the first time, they are one of the favourites going into an ICC tournament, that is the World Twenty 20 Championship 2016 which is to happen in India later this month. Read more »
MS Dhoni is one man who doesn’t lose trust in his players that easily.
If he has picked someone in the XI, he would give him a fair run, that’s certain.
When Hardik Pandya failed in Pune on a seaming track, there were talks if India should leave him out and get a spinning all-rounder in, maybe Pawan Negi who had gone so well in the domestic Twenty 20 tournament only days ago.
But, it was never going to happen with Dhoni in charge of the team.
The wicketkeeper captain put his weight behind Pandya and the young man repaid every bit of that faith as he played an eye catching knock in the very next game in Ranchi.
Being sent to bat up in the batting order, Pandya did exactly what he is in the team for.
The stand and deliver game that he has got, he put it on display and in that period of about 20 minutes, he, with his senior partner Suresh Raina, took the game away from Sri Lanka,
What was good to see was that Pandya was attacking in a calculative manner and was not just going bonkers and he was showing great game awareness as well.
Normally when the young players get on a roll and start getting boundaries, they just want to be on the strike and continue going for their hits and forget the singles in the process.
But, Pandya was quite mature in his batting. Read more »
James Anderson believes the retirement of Ryan Harris ahead of the Ashes series has given a big advantage to England as he was a bowler who could have a very large say in English conditions.
However, Anderson is a little sad that Harris’ career finished that way.
In Anderson’s words, “Ryan has been as effective as anyone when the ball swings. So, obviously not having to face him is something which we would not mind, but, obviously, as a bowler you feel bad when you see one of your fellows going out of the game in that manner.”
The Ashes series is starting this Wednesday with the first game scheduled to take place in the capital of Wales i.e. Cardiff.
Wales has hosted some interesting Ashes action in the past. None would have forgotten that test match in the 2009 Ashes series when England had been pushed on the verge of defeat, but, to be saved by the last pair eventually.
Anderson was a part of that pair and he had dug in deep to ensure England did not go one down to start that series.
The Lancashire man fondly remembers that test match. Read more »
James Anderson could not play in the last two test matches of the Ashes series 2015, but, he played a very important part in England’s campaign of regaining the urn.
He had gone wicket-less in the Lord’s test match and England had been thrashed by more than 400 runs.
The series had been squared up and the momentum was against the Three Lions.
The pressure was enormous on England and it was more so on Anderson as there had been a lot of talks about him losing his competitive edge and perhaps not being as potent a threat for the opposition teams as he once used to be.
But, he showed the strength of his character coming to Edgbaston where he absolutely tore apart the Kangaroo batting line up on the first day on a green surface.
He is basically a swing bowler, Anderson, but, that day, he relied more on seam movements. He put the ball up on good lengths consistently and got it moving both ways.
With the help of his 6 wickets, England bowled Australia out for just 130 odd and that test match was going to go just one way from there.
Anderson though did not get too many wickets in the second innings as he suffered a side strain bowling to Mitchell Johnson and immediately decided to go off the ground to make sure no further damage had been done. Read more »