England attempt to relight their one-day fire

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As the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and if the smoke drifts into the dressing room, you should probably exit there as well.

A number of England one-day players have exited both kitchen and dressing room for this series, although some of them seem to think they’ll be walking back in once the heat has subsided.

A good one-day player at the eye of a storm of mismanagement during the World Cup, Gary Ballance may well return before too long, but what about the others? Ian Bell, James Anderson and Ravi Bopara have all played well over a hundred one-day internationals, none of which we can remember. They have competent to good records, but each retains plenty of detractors.

Then there’s Stuart Broad. His record is not dissimilar, but he’s a few years younger than that trio so is perhaps fractionally more likely to play again. He does however appear to be in denial. Even though the selectors have made it abundantly clear that he’s been dropped, Broad still thinks he’s being rested. In the weeks leading up to the next World Cup, he’ll be telling anyone within earshot that England have been doing the right thing keeping him fresh over the preceding four years.

Oddly, James Taylor – one of the few players to emerge from the winter with reputation marginally enhanced – is unlikely to play today. This seems hard on the man who played England’s best – although admittedly pointless – innings during the World Cup and who had shown great promise leading up to that.

We’re not quite sure how a team that can’t bat can’t find a place for a player who can bat, but actually, once you look at the team, it is quite hard to get him in. Cricinfo are predicting that Hales, Roy, Root and Morgan will be the specialist batsmen with Stokes as a top-order all-rounder and Buttler at six.

Will new-look England fire or will they merely deliver a slightly different brand of self-immolation? Let’s draw conclusions based on today’s match alone and then stick with them for the next few years regardless of what happens in the future.


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  1. Why are all fire engines called Dennis? Must be mightily confusing down the station.

  2. Oh. It’s all gone to shit.

    Fun while it lasted, though.

    “Hello, is that Ian Bell? Fancy playing in the second ODI?”

    1. Shit, amazing, shit, amazing… I can’t keep up with what to think of this current England crop.

  3. 197 for 5.

    England have been in this situation before, but never with any overs left to bat. In this match they’ve got 21 overs left to bat, which is a lot.

    So the chances are that they’ll get a big score, which seems like a Good Thing. But getting a big score just lets your opponents know exactly how to play. They have to Go For It. Australia must have thought that 434 runs was enough, but it was just a big notice telling South Africa exactly how to go about winning the match.

    No, 285 is the right number, no more, no less. Not quite six-an-over. The Kiwis will fall into a dead panic trying to work out how to chase it. At some points, the required run-rate will go over six, and this will add to the panic. Start off needing more than six – fine. Start off needing five-and-a-bit and then seeing it go to more than six – catastrophic.

    Everyone has been saying that England needs to get radical. I’m hoping they’ll become the first ever ODI team to declare.

  4. I think my internet is broken. It says England scored 400. New Zealand to win by 7 wickets?

  5. All over them like a RASH
    ADIL the real deal
    RASH hour
    It all ADDs up

    The invoice is in the post

  6. This is all very confusing. Those 210 runs get carried over to use in the next innings, right?

    I see Chris Lewis is available for selection again.

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