On debut he took the new ball, came out to bat ahead of Graeme Swann to face down a hat-trick ball, smacked Shaun Tait for 6 after getting verbals and then just for good measure he got England home. It was exceptional stuff.
Ajmal Shahzad also deserves credit in my book as he didn’t panic when he couldn’t get Shane Watson away in the final over, for two young men of such inexperience to get England home like this bodes well for the future.
There are negatives and positives here for England though. We should have won this far more easily than we did, if Eoin Morgan fails to finish the job, you sometimes wonder just who will. Although we are world champions and world record holders, so we must be doing something right.
The positives are that if the batsmen fail we have lower order players with the talent and temperament to get us home. Also, even without Tremlett, Broad and Anderson we can still put out a team that can win.
Fine margins also got England home today. I know we should have won it easily from 99/3 in the 12th over, but that aside, I believe we won it in the field.
It was obvious in the test series who the strongest side was in the field, it was also obvious who the better disciplined team was as well, just think back to those wickets with the no balls.
In ODI’s and T20 internationals any cricket watcher knows you have to be disciplined and efficient in the field to be the best side. England simply were better again with their catching and their ground fielding and ultimately that won us the match.
Shane Watson was almost better than all of England put together.
Thought you might post about Woakes when I read he played for Warwickshire!
Exciting match! Tremendous stroke-play from Bell…calculated innings from Morgan…and nerveless finish by Woakes! And as you said, tight & efficient bowling & fielding from England earlier. In contrast, Australia’s catching and ground-fielding wasn’t in the same class…O’Keefe being the chief culprit. But manful fight from Watson…he remains Australia’s best match-winner in the shorter forms (in my book). That was a cracking final over from him…accurate and nerveless…unfortunate that the result went against him.
But Woakes…I was really impressed! Didn’t see much of his bowling, but his batting ability and temperament were fantastic! The ease with which he handled Lee and Tait…his absolute composure in the last 3 overs…and all this at age 21! England have found another quality cricketer for sure. And I’m amazed at the number of good-to-high-quality bowling all-rounders England are churning out! (Especially since my own country has none…sadly)
Has there ever been a greater time to be an English cricket fan? 🙂
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Chanakya, you’re not far off there. I was planning to write a piece about Watson, I have been really surprised with his bowling in the tests in particular, and impressed with him all round.
Think he would be great batting 6 in the test side, he would be ideal to play the role Andrew Symonds used too.
BP, yes I was always going to write a biased piece about Woakes, I can’t really see him being an out and out all rounder though, more a bowler who is handy down the order like Broad, Swann, etc. Although I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
I think that in this day and age there probably isn’t the time to develope the batting to test level, the amount of fielding drills and amount of effort required to be a top bowler must make it really hard.