Saturday, 25 June 2011

England's Twenty20 Identity

Amongst all of the doom and gloom surrounding England's One Day side, it's easy to forget that England are actually not that bad at T20s. Apparently we're World Champions, and World Record holders for the most consecutive wins. So we must be doing something right.

However, since our last T20 game, it's all change. Captain and mainstay of the side Paul Collingwood is no more, and has been replaced at the top by Stuart Broad. We're entering a brave new world of English T20 cricket, but we shouldn't forget what got us to this point in the first place.

England went into the World T20 with a clear plan of attack, with five bowlers who knew they'd bowl 4 overs each, two explosive openers given the licence to blaze away, and a middle order set in stone. As has been repeated an infinite amount of times since, England played an "in your face" aggressive style of cricket; were big-hitters with the bat, clever with the ball, and hawkish in the field.

For this T20 game today at Bristol, Sidebottom, Yardy, Bresnan and Collingwood miss out from the mainstays of the World T20 victories, for a variety of different reasons. However, it's important that while personnel may have changed, the way England play doesn't. England have developed a winning formula for T20 cricket, and while players may come and go, it's important that the brand of play doesn't. Dernbach will come in for Sidebottom, Patel in for Yardy, Woakes in for Bresnan and Bell in for Collingwood.

Today under Stuart Broad, England start a new era of T20 cricket. However, it's vital that it is a case of evolution, not revolution.

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