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Champions Trophy 2013

June 21, 2013

Is England's watchful batting at the top the way to go in ODIs?


With two new balls in play, it's important for teams to ensure they don't lose early wickets. Keeping resources for the end overs is key. Batsmen like Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott are perfect for these circumstances.


Two new balls upfront also encourages stroke play, which combined with field restrictions, makes the early overs a good time to score heavily. Three obdurate batsmen at the top is not ideal.


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June 25, 2013, 8:40 GMT


I don't thing this tactics will work everywhere. Think of that kind of start in sub continent pitches where scoring 300 is quite easy, getting such kind of start will not be enough in those conditions. Also you are putting a lot of pressure to your middle order to get those extra runs.

One thing to remember is keeping wicket in hand gives you the license to go for everything in final overs but does not guarantee you runs, still you have to play good cricket to score those extra runs.

June 22, 2013, 15:33 GMT


when I look at the deeper picture, there is only room for ONE out of Cook, Bell, Trott going into the future and the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Thing is, Bell is a poor ODI opener so eliminate him. Then it's out of Cook and Trott. You can't really drop your captain, then you can't drop someone that always gets runs. But it's what comes second that is the problem. STRIKE RATE. Because of that, there's only space for one. You COULD have both in the team, but only if you're assured that Trott could maintain how he's been playing in the CT and Cook accelerates more.

One last question which could possibly mean you can play both is that, do we have enough firepower in that batting line-up to make big totals and chase big totals both in the region of 300+?

I'm not so sure.

June 22, 2013, 15:31 GMT


Of course the numbers look "pretty good" for England's top order batsman, because they bat for their averages so they make them look good. Together, they play risk free cricket and look to hit everything along the ground, instead of go aerial and try to get it to the fence, and subsequently, pushing the field back. The problem is, we have far too many pundits and people who think the averages column is their bible for ammunition to defend the top 3 together. They forget that strike rate also plays an important part. That's the Twenty20 effect I'm afraid, but we have to live with it.

First 15 overs, on average, we block 64.47% of our deliveries and our average run rate is 4.58 runs per over. Yes, the other sides are similar, but their top order have enough fire-power to score quickly, or go on and bat for most to all of the innings for a lot of runs at over a run a ball. For me, our top 3 aren't aggressors and the longer they bat, the less chance we have of making a big score.

June 22, 2013, 14:21 GMT


If they prefer to do so,I think it's the best way to go out and play.Of course at times it can be challenging,but for a team consisting players in the caliber of Cook,Trott and Bell there's no problem.But if you imagine for teams like India or Sri Lanka there game is playing always positively.But of course if you get players who could play so then there's no worry because you could always get a healthy score of 250+ which is always a daunting chase when you face the likes of Anderson,Finn,Broad,Dernbach,Swann etc.

June 22, 2013, 13:56 GMT


Either way it is the relative strength of a team. The way I look at it is if the team that looses the toss and wins the match it should be considered a better team, if the team gets the toss and wins the match it is on an equal footing and if the team wins the toss & looses the match then there is a problem with the team. All other conditions are equal to both the teams.

June 22, 2013, 12:32 GMT


Yes! However the top order need to be able to recognise when it is time to breakout, and the middle order need to figure out how to bat themselves in. There have been too many failures by the 5, 6, 7 & 8 batsmen, which invalidates the effort that have been put in by the 1, 2, 3, and 4. My biggest criticism of England however, is in the field. At the start of the innings, wickets are the main goal, and the bowling and field settings should be set for that, however after the 25-30 over, the emphasis should change to economy. A lot could be learned by studying the New Zealand field settings. They have a saying in baseball, that the way to score is to "...hit 'em where they ain't." I seems to me that when NZ was fielding, there were very few places where "they weren't". McCullum attitude and field settings have been fabulous, its a shame that their batting let them down.

June 22, 2013, 7:11 GMT


if batting first on a swinging track top 3 need to bat cautiously for the 1st 10 overs before opening out. If batting second and chasing a huge target the top 3 need to be aggressive so that the lower order does not have too large a run rate to counter.

June 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT


The change in rules is relatively new, captains are still adapting to the new format and thus overtly cautious. However with maturity, teams might think about including 2 pairs of openers in their batting line-up and scores of 400 might start to look more likely in ODIs. Its an interesting alteration as it gives a fair chance to both the new ball bowlers as well as the stroke makers to go for it and reduce the boredom of the middle overs. Dhoni is placed in good stead since the inclusion of DK provides a viable new ball batting option for him down the order. India has been the dominant team in the competition and could try to surprise Eng by having a potent plan B as a compliment to the success of Plan A, should they bat first.

June 22, 2013, 14:37 GMT


Englands approach is defensive and while this may work against teams with a weak batting line up, this will fail against teams with strong batting. They will fail while batting second and against tall scores. Also if they loose a bunch of wickets after such a slow start they would be in a soup and unable to recover. Engaland have a decent all round team however lack the flair that a Kevin Pietersen or Flintoff brought to the table. If even one of the dangerous payers in the opposing team fires be it a gayle, devillers, dhawan, dhoni, or kohli. England would find it tough to get into the game. The onus is completely on their bowling to win them matches.

June 22, 2013, 8:50 GMT


England's approach to batting cautiously in the initial stages may suit England and English conditions. But its not necessarily the best way to go about in all ODI cricket. In sub-continent and in West Indies where the pitches tend to slow with the progress of the match, the best bet for the teams would be to aggressive with the new ball bowlers and throw the opposition bowling out of gear. Even in Australia and South Africa, the approach of being aggressive at the top pays because there is every possibility of leaving the charge a bit too late in good batting conditions.