England Finally Turn Up for the Summer

Posted on May 06 2018

It’s a week late, but England has finally turned up for this summer’s cricket. After their no-show at Lords last week, England have looked much more like the team that thrives in their home conditions, as they took a commanding victory over Pakistan that was set up by bowling Pakistan out for 174 in just 48.1 overs on the first day. With a good basis from which to start, the batsmen finally put together a decent score, and a good England performance proved too much for Pakistan to handle.

If they were looking for the perfect opportunity to put their Lords woes behind them, then they found it at Hedingley, as they set out to bowl on a pitch that looked like it would offer a fair bit of seam and swing. After recent performances, England would have relished the opportunity to run in with some real energy and verve, and what they showed early on was certainly a massive improvement on their performance at Lords.

Certain corners of the media had been calling for some big changes to the bowling line-up, with Stuart Broad receiving particular criticism. But England’s biggest problems have not been with their bowling, and dropping a man with 410 test wickets, who bowls well in English conditions seemed like change for change sake rather than a move that would reinvigorate a struggling team.

Broad put to bed any questions over his ability early on as he expertly removed both the Pakistani openers and set the tone for a sumptuous England bowling performance. This was exactly what England needed, blowing away any nervousness and allowing the wobbly batting lineup a bit of breathing space as they looked to play themselves back into some form.

What followed was once again a huge improvement on the last test, as the England top order batted with resolve against the new ball. While critics will bemoan the fact that all the top order batsmen got themselves in but failed to push on for a ton, the nature of the dismissals was far more satisfactory than in previous tests. Instead of giving wickets away through poor shot selection, the majority of wickets fell to good bowling; a big improvement for this England side.

Thanks to the hard work of the England top order, England were in a strong position when their power player Jos Butler walked to the wicket. This gave him the opportunity to push the accelerator and effectively end Pakistan's hopes of winning the game. Low and behold, England play the sensible cricket that everyone has been clamoring for and they get the results they so desperately crave.

It is important that England doesn’t simply forget the lessons they have learned and revert to type. Next up they face an impressive India side that will pose England problems. While they can be notoriously bad travelers, it would be foolish to write off a side that contains Virat Kholi, no matter what the conditions. What is for sure, if both sides bring their best form, we will be in for some excellent cricket.

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