The summer of 2014: how long has this thing been awaited? Probably since the very day when England surrendered the Ashes 5-0 on January 5 2013 and have been struggling to win since.
Being very incisive, this home season could be the last nail in England's coffin if the they continue to play in the manner they have of late. Can England stop being shambolic? Can England be the comrades of victory again? Can the puissance factor return to English cricket? All these questions would be answered when the players take the field.
A new look English team is what is expected this time around mainly in the longer version of the game. With Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Andy Flower gone, the time for the young brigade to shine has come. Sam Robson, Luis Reece, Moeen Ali, Graham Onions, Nick Compton, Jason Roy could well be seen turning the English fortunes around with the kind of mettle they have, with their perseverance.
These young guns have time and now proved that they are capable and ready to face the challenge of international cricket and its just a chance that they need and a chance is what they surely are going to get.
"We are going to focus more on ODIs this year" said Alastair Cook as the 2015 World Cup preparations have to be underway as well. Therefore, don't expect the doyens to be rested when the sub-continent giants and limited version specialists India and Sri Lanka would play the Englishmen.
However, there could be one or two changes at the top of order if Cook accepts to not to be an obdurate. As Michael Vaughan said, "England can't win a World Cup with Cook, Bell and Trott as our top 3", the new coach could well introduce Hales and Lumb into the ODI side, a format they they well and truly excel in.
The two have done exceptionally well at the top of the order for the 2010 World T20 champions and look far matured to take up the reins in the 50-over version as well. If the new coach shows interest in bringing the Nottinghamshire lads to the ODI side, the time would be now.
All in all, what I am expecting is glory this summer. The signs are already visible, whereas Prior has struck a blistering century in his very first match, Anderson and Finn have started their seasons with five wicket hauls. The others are either on rest or are yet to begin their season. What so much ignominy has done to Cook and Co. is that it has incensed them to get back to where they were few months ago. Will the might of the English Lions return?
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