England v New Zealand: 4th ODI review

At least in the one day series we get the decider that all that has gone before merits.  And given how this sequence of games has gone, who knows what will happen.

England will of course be praised heavily for an astonishing run chase, exceeded in terms of runs only four times in history.  But it was more than that, it was that England plainly could have chased down another 50, 75, or even 100.  They were that in control they had 7 overs and 7 wickets still in hand.

It’s not so long ago that New Zealand setting 350 to win would have made the second half of the game academic, and by not too long ago, we can say about 10 days.   The turnaround has been astounding; not the turnaround in results, it is 2-2 after all, but in attitude and approach.

Amid the delight at seeing England play like this, it cannot be overlooked how much of an indictment this been of various previous managements of the England team.  Peter Moores will certainly be shifting uncomfortably at what he’s seeing (in truth, given that he’s that kind of man, he’ll probably be absolutely delighted because it’s England), but it isn’t and shouldn’t all be laid on his shoulders.  One day cricket has been like this for a number of years, and at no point until this series have England even attempted to play this way.  A whole bunch of them should be looking at themselves in the mirror.  And not just coaches either, the people above them, the selectors, some of the players, all of them carry the responsibility for the wasted years of trying to get just enough and hoping it will do.

Alastair Cook led that side, and led it in a way incompatible with how the game is now played.  It is completely inconceivable that England would be playing in this style under him.  Throughout the build up to the World Cup, those who pointed this out on a regular basis were dismissed as know-nothings, bilious inadequates, fools and knaves – even anti-England.  But they were right.  They were absolutely, incontrovertibly right.  An acknowledgement from the self-appointed great and good of that reality wouldn’t go amiss, and nor would a realisation that maybe, just maybe that even if you don’t agree with them, they have an opinion which has value.

I’m not going to hold my breath it’ll ever happen.

By way of contrast, some credit has to be given to those selectors who insisted on retaining Eoin Morgan, when he was in a dreadful run of form, and many were calling for his head.  They backed him, and to the surprise of many, re-appointed him as one day captain.  You see, when credit is due, it is given.  Another thing for them to learn.

In amongst the pleasure at seeing England play like this, there cannot but be a feeling of anger at the missed opportunity the World Cup represented.  These players are by and large the ones that were called for, to give England a chance of competing.  They haven’t suddenly become a great side, and there will still be ups and downs ahead.  The point is that allowing the team to have a chance was the thing.  They didn’t give England a prayer.  And that is not acceptable on any level.

During the World Cup, some people went as far as hoping England would lose.  Some people?  By the end I suspect it was a lot of people.  They didn’t do so because they liked seeing England get hammered, they did so out of despair that anyone would actually get out of their stubborn, ignorant, antiquated mindset and pay attention to what was going on in the world game.  This change is precisely because the World Cup was such a shambles, that it shocked even the ECB out of their complacency.

It remains to be seen whether Morgan’s clear desire that England continue to play without fear survives the inclination to conservatism that remains.  Today England set about the target with furious, but controlled aggression.  It’s only a few days since England were bowled out for 302 batting first and the conservative sirens were telling them that if only they’d been more restrained, they’d have got 340.  Their attitudes are obselete.

In defeat, New Zealand once again showed themselves to be a class act.  When Morgan was dismissed they were quick to congratulate him, likewise Root at the end of the game.  Perhaps the most thoughtful, kindest and most considerate action was at the conclusion of the match.  It was Steve Davis’ final game as an international umpire, and to remember that and invite him to lead the New Zealand team off the pitch said a lot about how they play the game.

England were magnificent today.  I can’t remember the last time I wrote that.  Long may they give themselves the chance to be magnificent – even if they sometimes fall short.



68 thoughts on “England v New Zealand: 4th ODI review

  1. Benny Jun 17, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    Agree with every word. What a great day.


  2. jomesy Jun 17, 2015 / 9:42 pm


    Thing that pisses me off is that this is what the “scapegoat” brought to the team….and he knew this was the future but now this approach being accredited to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dvyk Jun 17, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    Ach, a bilious inadequate complaining about the missed opportunity at the World Cup. Come on, there’ll be another one along in four years time…

    But seriously, I must (with only partial jest) disagree with this:
    “By way of contrast, some credit has to be given to those selectors who insisted on retaining Eoin Morgan”

    How do you know that they weren’t trying to make another appallingly stupid decision, only this time it backfired and worked out well?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mark Jun 17, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Paging Mr Paul Newman, Paging Mr Paul Newman. Will Mr Paul Newman please pick up the white courtesy phone please. Tremendous stuff. And you get the sense that NZ really are starting to fear England’s batting unit.

    Why did we waste the last 2 years?

    To quote Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

    “I could be the driver in an articulated lorry
    I could be a poet, I wouldn’t need to worry
    I could be the teacher in a classroom full of scholars
    I could be the sergeant in a squadron full of wallahs

    What a waste! What a waste!
    What a waste! What a waste”

    Oh, and way to go ECB. Sign a contract for no live terrestrial coverage, and a highlights package that goes out at 12 midnight. That will spread the game far and wide. Morons.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paulewart Jun 18, 2015 / 4:28 am

    Agreed. A marvellous effort and vindication for many of those outside cricket, particularly Morgan who, when given his head has shown just what he’s capable of.


  6. metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 7:10 am

    It seems to be my job to make this note, so here it is again:
    England once again come alive against a team missing a front line bowler.

    Of course, you can only play the team in front of you – so still, great performance in my view. Crucially the attitude. There was never an acceptance of “retrenching” – and so we never fell behind the required rate.

    Hard to judge the bowling, it seems fundamentally to have been a pitch made for batting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • wrongunatlongon Jun 18, 2015 / 7:22 am

      it’s a good point, this isn’t as good a NZ side as we saw in the WC. Boult really is the best bowler in the NZ team – and they are missing Vettori and Corey Anderson from that side too. I quite like McLenaghan though.

      The batting line up is still the strongest I’ve seen from a NZ side. Williamson looks every bit as good as anyone I’ve ever seen in a black cap.


      • metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 7:41 am

        I definitely agree. I suspect that had we set NZ 340 in the previous match, they were well capable of chasing it down. That’s a big part of why I embrace the new “ultra-aggressive” approach.

        One might put it this way: if Pringle et al think the score is high enough, you’re probably going to lose… hence I’m happy to get out for less, trying to get more… as it were…


  7. metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 7:45 am

    On the bowling, I think the lack of experience on both sides led to more runs than might have been otherwise. I might argue that England at the moment are even less experienced that NZ in the bowling dept – but that’s probably balanced by England’s player pool maybe bringing slightly more talented understudies into the squad… Still, very much a batsman’s pitch. Throw in all the various rules of ODIs and you’d need very high quality bowling to prevent a big score.


  8. SimonH Jun 18, 2015 / 8:46 am

    He was going to add “….. for ignoring everything I previously wrote” but unfortunately the character limit got in the way –


    • SteveT Jun 18, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Notice who he gives credit to though. It’s not as though they have history for persisting with crap captains who don’t score any runs.
      How about giving credit to the man himself? He looks more like the player from a couple of years ago before Flower/Moores bashed all the individuality out of him. He was under enormous pressure to deliver in this series and hasn’t he done it. Also there has been no parroting of management-speak like at the WC (we thought 309 was an above par score, the stats back it up)
      Loving these irrelevant ODI’s (yes I thought the same before they started)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Jun 18, 2015 / 9:09 am

      What a perfect illustration that tweet is of everything we’ve been writing about for years.

      No context for Morgan’s “dreadful” performance, and the “well done” goes to the establishment manager, not the player.

      Top lackey work Paul.

      You ought to bookmark this one, LCL/TLG. What a prize specimen.

      Liked by 3 people

      • thelegglance Jun 18, 2015 / 9:42 am

        I don’t have the slightest issue with saying if that was Strauss’s call then it was a good one. It neither makes every decision right, nor affects what he does or doesn’t do going forward.

        But Strauss was one of those conservative captains too, he’s also partly responsible for the wasted years when he was in charge. As I say, praise where it is due, criticism where that is warranted.

        Newman spent years defending that style of cricket, he can’t pretend he’s been somehow vindicated. If it was up to him, Cook would still be there.

        Liked by 2 people

      • hatmallet Jun 18, 2015 / 11:25 am

        I also wouldn’t have picked Morgan. Yes he was given little time, but we somehow did worse at the World Cup than we feared. His captaincy record was one predominantly of losses and victories against associates. And he couldn’t buy a run at the World Cup.

        Fair play to him, a new coach and a couple of new players and he is transformed. Certainly worth his place now!


      • dlpthomas Jun 18, 2015 / 11:32 am

        Was retaining Morgan Strauss’ decision? I thought he wasn’t involved I selection matters.

        (And for the record, I would have dropped him which shows how little I know)


      • @pktroll Jun 18, 2015 / 11:45 am

        I’d be surprised if Strauss had much input into retaining Morgan. That surely has to be down to selectors and the coaching staff (Farbrace et al). Seems a convenient bit of praise to give him. Surely the style of cricket and the players involved in it go to the coaching staff and selectors for bothering to pick such a team and the players for veering away from the suffocating template.


      • Arron Wright Jun 18, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Yesterday Agnew was drawing a parallel between the rejuvenation of Morgan and that of Cook. Fair enough. But how many people ascribed Cook’s recent upturn to anything more than his own diligence, rather than the support of the management team? Going into the World Cup, Morgan at least had a century in the ODI series of 2013-14, and one in the tri-series of 2014-15. Cook had no ODI centuries since July 2012, but how many of the same people called him “dreadful” in Sri Lanka, even though he patently was as both batsman and captain? Finally, how many people inside cricket even bothered to report or analyse that bloody self-justifying crap from Cook about the World Cup, and how many will bother to recall it now that Morgan has proven him hopelessly deluded about his place in the world?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright Jun 18, 2015 / 12:04 pm

        The wider point, of course, is that Strauss (just like Flower) is exactly the sort of person who *will* be given credit for everything positive *and* excused the negative, regardless of his actual merit or contribution.

        Liked by 2 people

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 18, 2015 / 1:14 pm

        Sadly Arron I have seen a pro Strauss-ECB sycophant claim;-
        1.that the ditching of Moores (he was going to be ditched Strauss or otherwise;
        2. the non prospect of a Pietersen return (even if on form it was merited),
        3. retained Morgan as limited overs captain (again was that his decision)
        4. Appointed Trevor Bayliss (ok that was more him but that should have been done 18 months ago)
        5. Told the media off in a supposedly inspiring media interview on TMS (I missed that)

        Quite sad really and no it wasn’t Nash although a bit of a disciple which says it all.


      • Arron Wright Jun 18, 2015 / 1:42 pm

        “Told the media off” wouldn’t be the one where he said to Jonathan Agnew he was being “unbelievably negative”, would it? It was truly laughable that he ended up saying that to Agnew when the man was simply trying to do his job. There were plenty of people on Twitter who didn’t find that interview “inspiring” either.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas Jun 18, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      Surely he’s just trolling to upset those pesky bloggers.


    • paulewart Jun 18, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Risible. How was he expected to perform after that hospital pass? It wasn’t his team. That’s the nub of the matter.


  9. hatmallet Jun 18, 2015 / 11:16 am

    Vince and Topley in the squad for the T20 game.

    And Footitt and Finn both in the Ashes training camp squad, with Jordan left out. No backup spinner or batsman included.


    • wrongunatlongon Jun 18, 2015 / 11:41 am

      at least in Vince they’re picking a guy who is in good form in the format. 99*, 64* and 66 in his last 4 or 5 matches, when before that he’s not been, well, as good.


    • metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 1:27 pm

      I suppose given that Farbrace is well known to Bayliss, they’ve pre-narrowed down the options.
      Footitt is probably the main contender to break into the team because as a LH he would add some variety to the bowling attack. Not clear who would go though, Anderson is the icon, Wood brings more pace, but Broad has more experience. Stokes and Ali would seem to be nailed on…


    • metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      I’m also a bit concerned about Wood’s inclusion in the T20.
      How did we go from sage commentary about his action putting a strain on his body to picking him for every game going?

      Longer term, Root and Buttler are also being lined up for all three formats.
      I don’t disagree that they can clearly do the business – but somewhere I think Buttler in particular needs to be given some room to rest. Wicketkeeping puts a particular strain on the joints.


      • SteveT Jun 18, 2015 / 1:46 pm

        Maybe let Billings do some keeping and let Buttler play as a specialist batsman or miss the odd match/series here and there. They need to watch the workload of all players who are shoo-ins for all 3 forms of the game, given the inhumane schedules that are foisted on them. You would hope they have leant from past experiences, but don’t bank on it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • ArushaTZ Jun 18, 2015 / 2:16 pm


      He bowls slower than Willey and has been going at 9.95 RPO in this year’s competition. I like the idea of a left-arm bowler but only if he’s good enough.

      Good luck to him if he plays but I think international cricket is a level too high for him.

      If an Essex player was going to be picked it should have been Bopara. He’s been in good form with bat and ball in the T20 Blast.


  10. Mark Jun 18, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    In that one tweet Newman shows what a low life, disingenuous, duplicitous sack of shit he is. No wonder he and Selvey, and Hughes and Pringle all represent a group of the same losers who make a living being wrong about everything.

    And then like all snakes in the grass they try and jump on a new bandwagon which they opposed for 4 years. These people would rather roast their grandmothers over an open fire than admit they have been completely wrong.

    If Newman had an ounce of integrity his tweet would say………. “I resign , I am going off to be a drunk in the park, that’s all I’m fit for.”

    What’s even worse is the change was not rocket science. Even non playing, non professional supporters knew more than the over paid Newmans of this world. Just think how embarrassing that must be? People who don’t get paid knew more about what they were saying than ex professionals, and people who write about for a living. How low can you get? Taking money for nothing. They must have no pride in their own ability. No pride in their integrity, no pride in anything they do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 18, 2015 / 1:33 pm

      Well said lad!

      Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 18, 2015 / 1:45 pm

        I wear my vile ignoramus badge with pride!! Tee shirts anyone? xxl for me!


      • Mark Jun 18, 2015 / 2:00 pm

        These people make be puke Dave. Arseholes the lot of um!

        Vile Ignoramuses who live outside of cricket knew more than the so called experts. And they haven’t got the balls to admit it. Vile, horrible low life’s the lot of them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jun 18, 2015 / 2:56 pm

      Mark… I think I love you! (well, sat here ‘outside’ on a bench with a glass or three of a polite chianti, anyway)


      • Mark Jun 18, 2015 / 3:03 pm

        Thanks Bogfather, but I need to calm down. Trouble is I really get pissed at these people.

        A glass of wine in the sun is probably a good idea. I will think of The cricket writing greats of the past, and laugh at the pymies we have to day.

        Liked by 2 people

    • MM Jun 19, 2015 / 6:57 pm

      Mark: you rock.


  11. Rohan Jun 18, 2015 / 2:57 pm

    TLG I agree with every word you have written and I also share Dmitri’s concerns about ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ to soon, so to speak. I am enjoying watching this team play ODI cricket, but every performance that they put in, makes me dread the return of our test team more and more. I am not sure I will be able to reconcile the freedom and lack of fear we are seeing in the ODI arena at the moment, with the Cook led test team, where the twins (Broad and Anderson) are clearly in control!

    I think the contrast between Morgan’s England and Cook’s England will be stark and glaringly obvious. I am not wholly convinced that the ODI team are ‘there’, however, they are far better to watch and listen to (interview wise) than the test team.

    I hope I am wrong and the Morgan led players are able to percolate their ODI influence through the test team, but I cannot see this happening. I only hope it quickens Cook’s removal as captain and return to opener and nothing else……..

    Don’t mean to sound negative, because they have been great wins, but I want to see this from the test team as well and then apologies from the ECB! I can dream……..


    • Grumpy Gaz Jun 18, 2015 / 4:40 pm

      The contrast is clear. I have actually enjoyed watching an England cricket team play. Shame the Ashes is up next though. I just can’t seem to give a single toss about who wins it this year.

      I notice Sky have started the promo for it and are using the tag line #myashes. Couldn’t be further removed from how I feel about the whole thing. As long as Cook is still captain and we are picking the team from those not on the Strauss shit list, it is nothing I want a part of.

      Liked by 2 people

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 18, 2015 / 5:13 pm

        I don’t feel quite as bad as that. I genuinely like quite a few of the England players, especially some of the younger, newer faces, but the Ashes is NOT a special series anymore. £85 for a ticket? No thanks. 3rd Ashes series in 2 years? No thanks? Going back to the tried and too far trusted methods that have seen the last 3 years become largely less enjoyable as time went on? No thanks.

        The light at the end of the tunnel is that the coaching set-up might be far less computer analysis orientated and make the players, and yes even Cook think a fair bit more for themselves. It is something they can’t do, and I fear for some of the older generation then it will be time for them to sling their hook once the season is out. The only problem is that a few of them oh so conveniently have a couple of friends in high places.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Benny Jun 18, 2015 / 6:45 pm

      I’m enjoying the ODI performances too. I don’t do bandwagons – pretty much the reverse. I simply feel I’m getting value for my hard earned. Really Looking forward to the next ODI and similar to Rohan, not much interested in Cook’s team in the Ashes.

      One big message coming out – it’s clearly possible to change for the better, if you’re motivated to do so.


      • Mark Jun 18, 2015 / 7:27 pm

        They have been forced to make the changes they rejected for many years, and then they try to claim the credit for it.

        The English establishment in all its vile glory. That never changes. What is so revolting is how much the media worships the same establishment.

        The likes of Newman is nothing more than a glorified butler serving his masters. When the time comes for the elite to dump Cook and replace him with Root, the media will be totally on board.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 18, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    I said many moons ago, the thing about weasels are they’re slippery buggers!
    The next (far too soon but ICC demanded) Ashes will, for sure, see the last rearguard action of the poisonous “old” brigade! They know who they are, and they know what they’ve done. I’m sure the autobiographies of the future will reveal all (maybe?)
    I’m hoping this is the last of Cook, Broad and Anderson….then we can start afresh…maybe?


    • metatone Jun 18, 2015 / 9:20 pm

      Interesting about Tom Moody’s input improving Morgan’s form.
      You can’t help but feel that England’s back room have not had that kind of positive impact in the last couple of years…


      • ArushaTZ Jun 18, 2015 / 9:46 pm

        Also worth remembering that Moody was a candidate for the job when Moores was appointed the first time. I’ll say no more.


      • dlpthomas Jun 19, 2015 / 5:38 am

        Jus what do the ECB coaching staff do? Cook uses an “outside” coach to sort out his batting. Morgan uses an “outside” coach to sort out his batting. Perhaps we should seek an “outside” fielding coach (except Finn – he can have the day off)

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Jun 19, 2015 / 11:01 am

        Being on the “Outside” is catching on….

        Liked by 2 people

      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 19, 2015 / 2:54 pm

        Aye, and i smiled when it said they’d binned the analyst (not that one!) for the ODI’s, and, allegedly he’s back for the Ashes. They seem to be doing ok without one eh?


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 18, 2015 / 9:23 pm

      Just finished the book by Steve James called “The Plan”. There’s a bit in it about the book “Moneyball”. This boils my piss. People wilfully mis-read that book as I might, one day, explain.

      Peter Moores thought it was great. It is a great book. But I doubt Moores had an intimate knowledge of the Oakland Athletics at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 19, 2015 / 8:37 am

        Ah! The good old “piss boiler” eh? They should have awards for them! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sherwick Jun 19, 2015 / 9:34 am

        We’d run out of metal…


      • paulewart Jun 19, 2015 / 1:25 pm

        As a Liverpool supporter you can imagine how I feel about effing moneyball. Thing is, (to go all Ed Smith on you) Oakland haven’t won anything in Billy Bean’s time and baseball is a game without parallel: imagine a cricketer selected solely for his fielding abilities, a footballer purely for his ability to hit the ball hard.


    • Zephirine Jun 19, 2015 / 11:09 am

      The comments below are interesting too. As the saying is, a blind man on a galloping horse could see that removing one player, which was supposed to change everything, made no difference at all, while removing three other players and the coach has made a massive difference. As well as letting your captain go to the IPL and, y’know, learn stuff.

      Funny about the IPL, isn’t it? It was set up as a purely commercial venture but it’s turned into a kind of unofficial cricket university. Again, that’s obviously come from the players, or at least those who are still hungry to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Jun 19, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Sorry, that was a reply about the Telegraph piece, came out in the wrong place.


      • Benny Jun 19, 2015 / 11:25 am

        The IPL thing is summed up for me in that, as we shall shortly see, a ball slightly outside off in a Test, has to be left alone – to tumultuous applause from the commentary box but in IPL it will be hammered to the boundary and the bowler will be condemned for “giving it too much width”.


      • paulewart Jun 19, 2015 / 1:27 pm

        Removing one player and the coach could have made a difference, had that player and that coach been Alastair Cook and Andy Flower. They removed the wrong player and selected the wrong coach to justify the removal of said player. Idiots to a man.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MM Jun 19, 2015 / 7:01 pm

        paulewart: you rock, as well.


  13. Belgianwaffle Jun 19, 2015 / 11:48 am

    Lovely stuff all. Agree with pretty much every word above and below the line.


    • metatone Jun 19, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      Lots there. He agrees with me and not all those inside cricket that we should have been finding out about Rashid while Moeen was injured – playing Tredwell was laughable.

      But this is even more choice:

      “”“But Mo has bags of ability, he just doesn’t have the 10 years of spin-bowling nous and experience he would have had had he been a spin bowler rather than a batsman who used to be thrown the ball a bit. In a weird way that has put him ahead of the pack as he has avoided the coaching system that teaches spinners not to spin it in this country.””

      For emphasis:

      “”Avoided the coaching system that teaches spinners not to spin it in this country.””

      Thus speaks one of the best spinners we’ve ever had in the England Test team…
      I’m tempted to storm Bluffborough with torches and pitchforks…


      • paulewart Jun 19, 2015 / 5:23 pm

        Indeed, or could it be, given his closeness to Strauss, that he’s been given the nod: it’s ok to criticise the old regime now, including by default, Cook.


        • LordCanisLupus Jun 19, 2015 / 7:07 pm

          Swann told us to shut the hell up last year over Cook and the series win over India. Then he pipes up about ODI cricket and I’m supposed to say “OK”.

          Swann’s is FIFJAM to Smith’s FICJAM. Lovejoy of Cricket remains absolutely bang on.


      • paulewart Jun 19, 2015 / 11:33 pm

        Oh I agree (re Swann), he’s a bumptious opportunist.


  14. MM Jun 19, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    Just to cantankerize a tad more: if Cook and Moores were still in situ would we be 4-zip down with one still left to lose? No need to answer.


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