The attacking cricket that Eoin Morgan and the rest of England's bright future stars - Joe Root, Josh Butler and Ben Stokes can't help but talk about - is what Andrew Strauss and the powerhouses in English cricket truly believe will transform the side into a world class modern day team. A team that can consistently score over 300 in 50 over games, a team that plays with no fear in t20 matches and a team that takes the game to the opposition in test matches.
With the bright stars mentioned becoming a world-class side again is an achievable goal, we are told, and we’ve already seen steps in the right direction with Ben Stokes’s blistering century at Lord’s, Joe Root’s remarkable form in all formats, Jos Butler’s astonishing 129 and even Adil Rashid’s vital 69.
Yet there is one reoccurring problem with those that the hopes of England’s future lies with – they are all being praised for their batting and you can’t take any of the praise away for them, they are scoring a vast amount of runs and in the process playing some extraordinary innings.
But the harsh reality is if England are to become a world-class team again they desperately need world-class bowlers. Other than Anderson, who will be retired before too long, there is nothing to really boast about on the bowling front and more importantly nothing to be getting too excited about. Jamie Overton who has just been called into the one-day squad is fast, but erratic and will get punished at international level, similarly to Wood who’s just broken onto the test scene.
Those already selected, Jordan, Finn, Plunkett, Ali, Rashid and even Broad are simply not world-class bowlers and I’m sorry, but they never will be.
World-class bowlers crucial
If you look at world-class teams of the past, they all had world-class bowlers. The Australian side under Waugh had McGrath and Warne, the West Indies under Richards had Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall amongst a stream of terrifying quick’s, more recently the South African team that stole the number one spot from us in 2012 had Steyn, alongside Philander and Morkel at their peak and when we became the best side in the world we had Swann and Anderson at their best respectively.
England need a miracle, the ECB knows it, the selectors (we hope) know it and the sooner the problem is pointed out and addressed the sooner England will have a chance of becoming the best team in the world again. By the looks of things they have the talent in their batting to do so, but it is the batsmen that set up games of cricket and the bowlers that win them.
We’ve just scored 1,075 runs in 3 one-day internationals, but have only won one of them. People need to start looking at why rather than celebrating the style of cricket we are playing, otherwise England will continue to score lots of runs, but repeatedly fail to win matches.