It was a match-winning performance made despite cramp in his calves and his team being in dire trouble at 10 for three when he came to the crease. It won him praise from his Australian colleagues at Pune, Steve Smith and Adam Zampa, and rocketed Stokes’s profile in India. … [Read more...] about Ben Stokes’ IPL performances will boost England for Champions Trophy, says Eoin Morgan
Roy in the doldrums Jason Roy has been given the role to attack the new ball. It is a job that requires confidence, something he has lost in recent months. He was beaten for pace by Rabada in Southampton and was out playing a nothing, half drive at Lord’s, a sign of the tentitiveness caused by low scores. England will not shuffle the pack so close to a global tournament, a legacy of the Peter Moores era when Gary Ballance was promoted to no 3 on the eve of the World Cup campaign, which is bad news for Jonny Bairstow but good for Roy. An opening match at the Oval against Bangladesh might just arrive at the right time for Roy. The familiar surroundings and a game against arguably the weakest attack in English conditions could give him the spark he needs. … [Read more...] about Five lessons England learned ahead of Champions Trophy
The hammering by South Africa at Lord’s on Monday should serve as a wake up call. They played without their brains. They batted in a one dimensional way, throwing the bat at the ball when all the situation required was common sense to work through the first 12 overs of the new ball and then play some shots. … [Read more...] about No more talking, no more excuses – hosts England are Champions Trophy favourites and must win
But that was undermined by the dropping of Adil Rashid. They went with five seamers because of Ben Stokes’s fitness and they were worried about the short boundaries. Bangladesh had been blown away by India’s seamers on Tuesday as well, but Rashid had played 41 of England’s 44 matches since the World Cup, bowling in all kinds of different conditions. Only Jason Roy had played more than him since the last World Cup so I do not see any valid reason to not go with Rashid. England were just over-thinking a simple selection. … [Read more...] about England got the job done, but why did they needlessly confuse themselves with team selection?
“With the manic behaviour of the one-day game at the minute, especially at the end, the ball is flying here, there and everywhere,” Wood explains. “You’ve just got to be so clear with your plans. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if I disappeared around the field, if I stuck to my plan and executed it.” … [Read more...] about Mark Wood relishing his position as England’s death bowler supremo