The early stages of England’s one-day cricket revolution saw the team transform from one that scored about 250 on average to one that score about 250 on average.
The difference was in the range. They went from making 240-260 and losing every game to making 100-400 and winning half the time.
In India, they made over 320 in all three matches, winning one and losing two. From purely a batting point of view, this seems to be further progress.
‘Consistency’ is a recurring press conference platitude. Another is that a team can bat well, bowl well and field well but needs to start delivering in all three areas at the same time.
Being as England’s win came in the match in which they made their lowest total, we can perhaps presume that their bowling on this occasion attended the shindig. Was there any reason why this match was different to the other two? Well, there was a bit of nip, wasn’t there?
After one match of this series, England dropped their best spinner and instead fielded four seamers. This slightly bizarre step left them a caricature of themselves with four of their five bowlers greatly more effective if the ball swung or seamed.
England don’t do extraordinary pace; they don’t bowl slower balls with a quicker one for a surprise; they don’t do weird knuckle balls and the like; and they chose not to do wrist spin.
The good news is that the next major competition, The Champions Trophy, is being played in the United Kingdom. British pitches – even the relatively tame ones produced for one-day cricket – tend to provide a bit of nip, while the climate tends to provide that unspectacular level of swing that is generally referred to as ‘tail’.
We’re going to stick our neck out here. If their batting really has achieved some level of reliability, nip and tail should allow the host nation to win more than half its matches at that tournament.