England’s ODI renaissance still a work in progress

Monday 9th March 2015 was the date when England’s one day side had finally hit rock bottom. They’d already been hammered by Australia and flat out humiliated by New Zealand and yet were still in with a chance to qualify for the knock-out out stages of the World Cup.

All England needed to do was beat Bangladesh to all but secure their place in the quarter finals. Chasing 276 for victory, England’s cautious approach left the tail too much to do at the death and slumped to 260 all out. Another World Cup been and gone, another World Cup that England had failed to make an impact on.

The resulting fall out of the disastrous World Cup campaign saw Peter Moores removed as head coach of England, Trevor Bayliss hired as coach and Andrew Strauss named Director of Cricket. All this upheaval in the name of dragging the England out of the dark ages and back into relevance.

This was no mean feat considering the paucity of batting prowess in the 50 over format, where our top century maker, Marcus Trescothick with 12, last played an ODI more than a decade ago. And Graham Gooch is still third in the all-time list…

England’s top century makers:

  1. Trescothick – 12
  2. Pietersen – 9
  3. Root, Morgan & Gooch – 8

All-time top century makers:

  1. Tendulkar – 49
  2. Ponting – 30
  3. Jayasuriya – 28

The England side had long been mired in the same batting tactics that had been discarded by so many teams a decade earlier. The plan to keep wickets in hand for the later overs, only served to put pressure on the middle order and invariably leave them 20/30 runs shy of a par score.

The new era of English white ball cricket began in a sensational five match series against New Zealand, in which England recorded both their first ever 400+ score and their highest winning chase (350-3 in the fourth ODI). It proved a watershed moment and England have pushed on to become one of the most exciting teams in the world.

Since the World Cup, England are the highest scoring team in terms of runs per over with 6.31. Compare that to the previous two years where they ranked seventh with 5.28 and you can see the seismic leap that the England team has taken.

Runs per over – 1 April 2013 to 29 March 2015:

  1. England – 6.31
  2. South Africa – 5.85
  3. Australia – 5.81

7. England – 5.28

Runs per over – 30 March 2015 to 26 February 2017:

  1. England – 6.31
  2. South Africa – 5.85
  3. Australia – 5.81

However, while England have made significant progress they are still lacking the experience and consistency to be considered one of the great teams. In comparison to other batsmen, England are still behind the likes of India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Morgan & Root are England’s leading active century makers with 8 a piece but that doesn’t get them into the top 10 of current players. Kohli is the most profilic with 27 to his name and to put that in context; the current England side only has 30 between them. This disparity highlights the work that is still ahead for this exciting young team.

Most ODI hundreds of active players:

  1. Kohli – 27
  2. Amla, de Villiers – 24
  3. Taylor – 17

Most ODI hundreds since 30 March 2015:

  1. Warner – 9
  2. de Kock – 6
  3. Taylor, Kohli – 5

But England’s growth in ODIs cannot be overlooked. The shift in mindset and performance in such a short space of time is nigh on miraculous. Freed from the shackles of an archaic batting strategy, the team has exploded into life. And with so many young players hitting their stride, this team is going to be one of the most enjoyable teams to watch for the next decade.

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