As the 2015 Cricket World Cup draws nearer, England’s chances of getting anywhere near the final are diminishing, with India brushing them aside with ease in the second and third One Day Internationals at Sophia Gardens and Trent Bridge respectively.
One of the most prominent features of those two defeats was the distinct lack of runs that
Alastair Cook’s side were able to amass in 50 overs.
But England's limited-overs future could be brighter, if only they could score at a faster
rate throughout their innings.
Top of the order
Starting from the beginning, England’s openers need to launch an attack in the very first overs of a game. Whilst Cook and Alex Hales shared a stand of 82 at the top of the order on Saturday, the opening pair only managed to put a frustrating 11 runs on the board in the first five overs.
Coming out of the blocks at a blistering pace can really give a team momentum for the rest of the match, even when they are in the field later in the match.
Fortunately for England fans, it seems as though Hales could become a star in the international arena. The Nottinghamshire batsman has contributed scores of 40 and 42 in his opening two matches, both coming at reasonable strike rates.
The right-hander’s T20 ability has served England well in the past, and the only Englishman to have scored an international century in the shortest format of the game has an array of shots to find runs with.
While it is often important to conserve wickets and hence play a little more cautiously to ensure a team bats throughout their allotted overs, it seems that some players need to
start taking more of a risk at the crease.
More proactive scoring and running between the wickets can increase the totals that England can post. With more runs on the board, the bowling unit will be given an easier job, hopefully leading to more victories.
The form of some batsmen should be looked at, and call-ups for Jason Roy, Ravi Bopara and James Taylor for the T20 game against India could lead to 50-over appearances in the
There is a lot of limited-overs cricket still to be played prior to the World Cup, which will give players chances to audition for a place in the side.
Meanwhile, more experienced members of the dressing room still have time to return to a bit of big-hitting form before stepping onto the global stage in Australia and New Zealand.
In the ODI tour of Sri Lanka and the triangular series with Australia and India at the start of next year, England need to show an improvement in their rate of scoring.
If they still fail to get anywhere near 250, then it’s likely that they will be exiting the World Cup early once again.