England now a white ball force

England cricket fans will all agree the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was an all time low in terms of the limited overs teams with the progression that we have seen in the Twenty20 competitions.

Failing so badly in that World Cup as we all know sparked some what of a rethink from the England management in how white ball cricket is approached on the international stage but also how it looked at by counties. We have seen the last few years the "fearless brand of cricket" that the media, players and coaches have been calling it since the series with New Zealand in the Spring following the world cup.

England have since managed to pass 300 runs in an innings more than any other side and this has been down to the change in mentality when it comes to the shorter formats of the game we all love. Calling up and remaining consistent with players like Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Butler and Adil Rashid has shown this. Players who previously haven't had a look in because of the old guard approach to 50 over cricket or have been called up then dropped are really being given chance to play their natural game which has seen them excel for their counties. Previously if a player went through a spell out of form the media would be calling for changes and the selectors would act on this and change them. However, during this Champions Trophy we have seen something which shows to me exactly how much the importance of consistency and backing in players is now being placed on the current squad. Jason Roy, who will admit he is in the middle of a terrible run of form right now but where we have seen previous managements of the England side and other teams around the world who are quick to make changes, (coach) Trevor Bayliss and (captain) Eoin Morgan have both come out and given their backing to the Surrey opener.

Giving these exciting and aggressive batsmen their chances in the team coupled with the experience and technical genius of Joe Root and Eoin Morgan to break them up really allows for for the explosive players to showcase their full array of shots. All this without mentioning the most expensive foreign player in IPL history, Ben Stokes. He has continued to develop at a staggering pace in recent years since his first call up and all this while suffering a few injuries which have ruled him out at busy/important times for the national side.

Formerly an issue for England in limited overs cricket as well has been the slow bowling department, especially either side of Graeme Swann being in the set up. Although, now with the continued international development of Moeen Ali and the development and growth of Adil Rashid, England now have two spin bowlers who can win games on their own in the right conditions as well as contributing vital and some times match winning runs down the order too. Rashid has really stood out with his improved leg spinning ability and subtle variances have made him unplayable at times for opposition batsmen.

An area of their game which England isn't lacking in looking around the county circuit is the fast bowling department. With Jake Ball, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, the formerly mentioned Ben Stokes, Liam Plunkett and Steven Finn, England aren't short of quality fast bowlers in their current set up and that is without mentioning those on the edges, the Curran brothers at Surrey, Toby Roland-Jones and Stuart Broad to name a few.

It isn't surprising to see why England have been favourites for the ongoing Champions Trophy even long before it started with the strength in depth they have as well as their impressive performances at home and abroad since the change of approach. When you have players the quality of Sam Billings and Jonny Bairstow sat on the bench you know the quality of those holding the positions is at another level.

My money is on England for the Champions Trophy and I will not be surprised to see this current crop of cricketers continue to progress and perform how they have over the last two years if they seriously challenge, if not win, all three limited overs trophies.

Then fingers crossed with Joe Root now as captain the same approach can be carried over more to the longer format too following last summers success in the home series before the next Ashes series.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.



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