The post-Strauss era is a thing. We’re sure of it. We’re just not quite sure it should be called that.
It’s actually quite hard to identify different eras for a cricket team. You can label different chunks of time according to who was head coach, but lots of players will overlap different coaching eras so that’s not generally very neat or satisfying.
Sometimes you get a wave of players who stick around for a while, but they never arrive exactly simultaneously, which means the edges of player-defined eras are woolly and indistinct.
We often talk about “the Nineties” as England fans. This label doesn’t cover all the matches played in the Nineties and nothing else though. There were matches played in that decade that weren’t very Nineties in an England cricket sense. Equally, there were matches played in the late-Eighties and early-2000s that were decidedly Nineties.
The label’s accurate enough to have stuck though.
The Nineties was an era that was in large part defined by regular batting collapses. We’ve also had a lot of collapses since Andrew Strauss retired. We’ve done a thing for Cricket 365 campaigning for this period to be considered an era.
Since 2012, the England Test team has delivered regular batting collapses, a rotating cast of openers and a far greater number of middle-order all-rounders than should ever be crammed into a side. Those are the features that define the era.
We actually think the era might be about to end because England have picked a load of top order batsmen for this New Zealand tour. When we look back on the double-digit totals and all-rounder-ism of these last few years, what will we call this period?