England and India played a very evenly contested ODI series in the recent past. India having won the first match, could not sustain the intensity of this experienced English team and lost the series 2-1. (Should we say England were the favourites and they ought to win after seeing the table below!)
These two teams have got the better win % in ODIs among all the teams with England topping the chart quite comfortably.
After having an ordinary WC 2015, there have been many changes that have taken place within the England team / management which can be attributed to this success. Trevor Bayliss replaced Peter Moores as the England coach. Trevor’s success with T20 franchisees (Sydney sixers and Kolkata Knight Riders), taking Sri Lanka to CWC 2k11 final during his stint were achievements noteworthy.
Under his regime, England have made measured steps to achieve the pinnacle they have never reached and aspire to set the record straight. Aggressive batting at all times, batting depth, great strike power of the batters, confidence to chase any total, stability of players and usage of more slow bowling are some of the factors that have really contributed to this success.
1. Strike power across power plays
England has been a revelation in terms of strike power over the last couple of years. The intensity and aggression shown by the batsmen is a treat to watch. The average RR for England is 6.16 (more than run a ball) which is really an astonishing number given that the next best run rate is for Australia which is almost 8% lower than England.
Breaking this down further, England have been adopting a very aggressive approach in the PP overs since CWC 2015. One may argue that with the presence of Jason Roy / Alex Hales / Bairstow in the top, this is no-brainer. However, to do it consistently (RR of 5.53 during Power play 1) is no mean an easy achievement. They have maintained this run rate during chase as well, which speaks something special about the English top order.
Interestingly, the momentum is carried forward by the English batsmen even during the 2nd power play. Their batsmen hitting at almost 100% strike rate during this long phase consistently (RR being 5.83) is quite phenomenal
Astonishingly, the impact is further intensified during Power Play 3 as well with a RR of 8.35 and most of the other countries are way behind England in this aspect. Power play 3 has been a real issue for England during Moores days and clearly Bayliss has found a solution with a strong lower middle order (The analysis for that is provided later in the report).
2) Piling up large totals
English batsmen have a penchant to score large total and have piled up huge scores over the last couple of years. England have registered four of the top 5 ODI scores (481,444,438,408 and 399) recorded from April 2015. This speaks volumes about their batting ability
England have scored 300 and more runs more than 32 times during this period and the next team has achieved only half the number of times. Truly an astonishing record.
Looking at this record while chasing targets, England have got a whopping 55% success in chasing 300+ scores during CWC, while the next team would be South Africa which has got 29% success. Bayliss has been instrumental in instilling the confidence in the team that they can chase any total on any day at any venue.
3) Centuries scored by English batsmen
There has been 41 centuries by English batsmen in this format since CWC 2015 , the highest across any team , with India coming close in second position. While Top 3 batters in England team have contributed to around 70% of the centuries compared to India 88%. This shows the middle order strength of the English team and why they are not overly dependent on their top 3 only to get runs. From the batsmen perspective, this helps the top 3 players to play with more freedom and achieve success. Compare it to what pressure the top 3 batters of India go through to get them to a decent score. This would speak volumes of the England batting depth in this format.
Hundreds – Since CWC 2015
4) Strike rates of individual batsmen
We further analyse the strike rates of the batsmen across the world in this format and it is no surprise 5 out of the top 10 batsmen with min of 1500 runs after CWC 2015 come from England. These 5 batsmen have also scored 26 out of the 41 hundreds that was highlighted earlier.
Best SR in ODIs – After CWC 2015 – Min 1500 Runs
5) Contribution of lower order to the team
Let us review the contribution from the lower order 6/7/8 across the various teams. Here again, you would find that the lower middle order of England have the excellent strike rate. There is no letting go of the momentum created by the top order and this has augured very well for England over the last few years. The lower order middle consisting of Butler, Moeen Ali, Woakes and Curran are good batsmen with a very healthy average as well and this has helped them post large scores while setting targets and also chase targets easily.
Strike Rate of 6/7/8 – After CWC 2015
6) Team composition and Stability
Bayliss – Morgan combination have reposed lots of faith in the personnel playing for England in this format. They have had a combination of experienced and youngsters part of the team and have worked out as a cohesive unit since CWC 2015. The below data highlights the above point on the stability within the team and the confidence that has been placed on these individuals
7) Using spinners in One day matches
One of the clear strategies introduced by Morgan – Bayliss combination over the last few years is to use spinners more as part of their bowling armoury (Avg overs bowled by spinners increased from 12.2 overs in a 50 over match to 17 overs post CWC 2015) . Primarily the burden of bowling spin has fallen on Adil Rashid / Moeen Ali during this period. This spin duo, have gone for more runs, but they have also taken more wickets during this period as the below table suggests. They have moved away from being Conservatist in their approach and have become aggressors. England have accepted this risk as part of their overall plan.
With the batting prowess having proven successfully over the last few ears, Trevor – Morgan combination have raised the hopes of lifting the World cup for the first time ever. However, the fact remains whether the English team can shed away their choker tag in World cup tournaments given their past abysmal record. They currently rank 7th in terms of their win percentage in World cup.
Given the fact that CWC 19 is being played in England, there be could added pressure on the hosts. The strong batting line-up could have some off-days and the local crowd sincerely hope that history does not repeat itself for them in CWC.