Do England attack too much? (and other questions) – mop-up of the day

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Steve Smith (via BT Sport)

Steve Smith says England’s one-day international (ODI) tactic of ‘going really hard the whole time’ is risky because sometimes they might get bowled out.

He doesn’t seem to acknowledge that England play this way because they pick 10 batsmen. Nor does he seem to realise that his hypothetical scenario in which England have a bad day in the semi-finals of a World Cup isn’t exactly a cold sweat nightmare for an England ODI side.

As for his own team, Smith said of Australia’s poor performance: “A lot of it comes down to poor decision making, and execution out in the middle.”

So basically the main issues are deciding what to do and also doing it.

India in England this summer

Shortly after England have played yet another five-match ODI series against Australia in July, they’ll square up against India in Big Man Cricket.

Last week we floated the idea that India might outpace South Africa in the third Test and this proved to be the case. We now predict that they will bother England greatly later in the year.

It’s not so much that they have a whole bunch of fast bowlers. Nor is it that they are consciously refusing to complain about pitches (and really, they’ve been deafeningly non-critical even when there’ve had good reason to moan). It’s more that Virat Kohli’s side’s seemingly accepted its limitations but then cracked on without ever once subsiding to defeatism.

Difficult overseas tours rarely climax with hard-fought wins for the touring side. It’s not a feat to be overlooked.

This is where you’ll find us

We imagine you’ll have one of two responses to that headline.

Half of you will immediately think “passed out on waste ground” or “rummaging in the bins round the back of Aldi”.

The other half will think “we find you here at King Cricket – what on earth are you talking about?”

What we’re talking about is other places where you can find us. We thought it was time for a recap.

But in addition to all of that…

We recently started a Twitter account for our film and TV writing.

This is new. We’re wholly reliant on editors agreeing that our ideas are good before articles can actually come into existence, so don’t expect great swathes of stuff to appear any time soon. Hopefully there will be a steady drip feed though, so please follow, retweet etc.

Secondly, our pro cycling website still exists – and it too has a Twitter account.

Finally, there’s Cricket Badger, an irreverent weekly cricket newsletter that you’ve probably already signed up for. If you’re not a subscriber, this is where a fair chunk of our cricket writing ends up, so maybe take a look.


Thanks for reading and paying some degree of attention to our work. It’s very much appreciated.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. The appreciation is more than mutual, KC. I do promote Cricket Badger amongst my people…

      1. We have extensive experience trying to pitch things that would be unlikely to command any great audience, so that does indeed sound like something we’d do.

  2. Re: England’s attacking cricket, Andrew Miller at Cricinfo wrote a piece largely backing up Steve Smith’s opinions.

    Only England’s horror collapse this time around seemed to be less about their brand of cricket than an opening spell of bowling that just ripped the top order straight down the middle and which the Aussies proved unable to replicate, either later in the innings or the next match. It also came in a match where Australia nearly tripped over their own cocks trying to get to the finish line and where 17 wickets fell for fewer than 400 runs.

    If England do fail next summer, we can at least acknowledge that it won’t be while watching them poke around trying to work out what a competitive score against Bangladesh and Afghanistan might be.

    1. It is good to see Bangladesh coming through as a test nation.

      So much doom and gloom about the future of test cricket, but they are proving, I think, that there is still desire and drive to play the longer form.

      Roll on the Afghanistan test side.

      1. Afg U19 vs Pak U19s for the 3rd place World Cup play-off … was looking forward to this one as Afghanistan had beaten Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the group stage, though slipped up with a defeat to Ireland (who were thwonked by the other two teams in the group).

        “Match abandoned without a ball bowled. Pakistan Under-19s will take the 3rd place as they have topped their group with a better run-rate ahead of Afghanistan Under-19s.”

        Thought that was harsh personally, as they had already had a head-to-head record to look back to. It was Pakistan’s demolition of Ireland (and Afghanistan’s slip-up) that saw Pakistan sneak through on net run rate.

      2. Test cricket has no future, as it is slowly being digested alongside us in the mushroom cave that is the modern world.

        Does test cricket dream of electronic decision review systems?

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