English cricket comeback expected after record defeat to India
The last six weeks have seen a revival in English red-ball cricket, with the coining of terms such as ‘Bazball.’
After going 17 Test matches and only picking up one solitary win, England have turned their fortunes around, winning four of their last four Test matches, against arguably the two best Test teams in the world, New Zealand and India. Courtesy of their ultra-attacking style and mindset of accepting failure, England are suddenly a force to be reckoned with in red-ball cricket.
The same remains to be said of their white-ball fortunes, however.
Just quietly, England have been doing horribly in the shorter form of the game this month.
Underwhelming results beginning to stack up
Playing against India at home, England have lost an entire T20 series over the last week.
It’s not so much the fact that England have lost a home series in a World Cup year, but more how they’ve lost. The first two T20 internationals saw England chase, leaking totals of 198/8 and 170/8, before going on to be bowled out for 148 and 121, losing by margins of 50 runs and 49 runs respectively. For a format of the game that is typically decided by fine margins, back-to-back losses of 50-odd runs are significant.
It wasn’t until the series was decided that England decided to pull out their best cricket, plundering 215/7 off the Indian bowling and winning by 17 runs after restricting India to 198/9.
ODI series off to worst start possible
Adding to England’s T20 woes, today they lost the first of three ODIs against India in dramatic fashion.
Never before have England lost to India by ten wickets—yet today, they did. The home side were rolled for a measly 110, after being reduced to 26/5 at one stage. Buttler high scored on 30 from 32, with Roy, Root, Stokes and Livingstone all picking up bagels.
In response, India were merciless. Clearly still in T20 mode, India chased the target down within 20 overs, only requiring 18.4 overs to score 114/0. Shikar Dhawan was relegated to the support role scoring 31 from 54, and Rohit Sharma took centre stage, slashing a rapid 76 off just 58 balls.
The star of the show was none other than Indian strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up his best figures of 6/19—the key culprit of England’s batting demise.
Odds show faith in England’s ability to bounce back
Despite England’s string of poor performances over the past fortnight, betting odds still show the home side have a good chance of levelling the series against India in the second ODI on Thursday.
India are only slight favorites heading into the match, with odds of -128 for India, and -105 for England.
Clearly a team stacked with form players such as Root, Bairstow, Stokes and Buttler still offer some promise, despite their inability so far to translate their Test cricket form into wins in the shorter form.
Perhaps this Thursday is when we’ll see ‘Bazball’ arrive in white-ball cricket.
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