Inconsistencies Blighting England’s Tour
England’s tour of New Zealand is fast becoming a farce after another shock defeat outlined severe inconsistencies in the side that may have a devastating impact on their short-form matches later this summer.
Stuart Broad’s T20 side fared well in their opening match of the three-game series with New Zealand earlier this week, smashing 15 sixes to record 214-7: their highest ever 20-over total. They were as convincing with the ball in hand as the whole order was at the crease.
Three days later and the complete reverse happened, England falling to a humiliating 55-run defeat in Hamilton, upsetting the New Zealand v England betting odds, and abruptly ending any hopes of building form before the ODI and Test series later this spring.
It was a damning result and a demoralising performance, where England let Martin Guptill (47) and Hamish Rutherford (40) make 75 before the first wicket. The pace attack were all at sea and Broad – captain who made 4-24 in the first match on Sunday – recorded a demoralising 0-53.
England’s reply to the Kiwis’ stunning 193-6 was short-lived: Alex Hales, Luke Wright, and Jonny Bairstow all falling for eight or less. Only Jos Buttler, who has fitted into the team perfectly this spring, made any headway with a spirited 54 but his team-mates’ lacklustre efforts meant no partnership ever materialised.
Heading into a final T20 on Friday, England must reform their bowling attack and implant some backbone to this top order. When the wickets start falling there is nothing we can do and that form cannot be afforded to move into the summer, where England face both New Zealand and Australia in home T20s.
2013 is a crucial year for England international cricket and, with back-to-back Ashes series on the horizon, our short-form game can prove pivotal to inspiring confidence in the squad.
Broad must get his men together and win this T20 series, for the risk of a rut setting in the side is one neither Broad, Alastair Cook, nor fans learning how to bet on cricket can afford to take.
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