This isn’t repeat until funny. This is repeat because you haven’t said it in a while and people seem to be missing something pretty obvious about one-day cricket – English people mostly.
It’s about anchors and openers.
A batsman’s ‘range’
No batsman likes to be stereotyped, but let’s be honest, they all operate within a certain range. Shahid Afridi’s most responsible batting might just occupy the same ground as Alastair Cook throwing caution to the wind.
Better batsmen have a wider range. Rahul Dravid can score surprisingly quickly. AB de Villiers can be uncharacteristically defensive should he need to be. All the same, when planning your batting order, it’s worth considering a batsman’s general tendencies.
Alastair Cook is best suited to the anchor role. Where do you want him to bat?
An opener to anchor the innings
No, no, no. Christ, no.
The first 10 overs, a fifth of a one-day innings, is predictable. Fielding restrictions are in place. You know who will be at the crease. You can make a plan.
Why would you plan for one of your two batsmen to be an anchor when the whole point of the powerplay is that it’s an opportunity to slog a few boundaries?
England try and position a batsman down the order to take advantage of their batting powerplay, even though they don’t know what will happen and even though it only lasts five overs. Why is the totally predictable 10-over powerplay at the start so different?
Are you suggesting England open with two attacking batsmen? What if there’s a wicket?
Who cares? Don’t consolidate with no wickets down. Bring in Cook or Trott when someone’s out, not before. At least dream of a successful first powerplay, even if it doesn’t necessarily happen.
Your opener doesn’t have to Afridi it, but nor does he have to be Alastair Cook playing at the top end of his range.
But Sachin Tendulkar is there to bat through the innings and he’s the best one-day opener around
Sachin Tendulkar is also a frigging genius. His batting range is double Cook’s. He can pretty much match Sehwag shot-for-shot if he sees fit, but Sehwag’s presence generally means he doesn’t have to.
After 733 international innings, Tendulkar is pretty bloody adaptable. He’s two batsmen in one. England don’t have that.
You seem annoyed
We are a bit. We’ve read a lot of solutions to England’s one-day batting woes and they all take as gospel that your sensible batsman has to come in immediately. To us, that just seems inefficient.
Also, we hate repeating ourself.