9 March 2015, Adelaide Oval: As James Anderson was facing Rubel Hossain, the Bangladesh spearhead rattled the stumps and the Bangladesh team emerged victorious. The Asian team had beaten England in quite a fancy manner. Naseer Hussain on air commented the famous words, “The Bangladesh Tigers have knocked the England Lions out of the World Cup…”
The Lions were wounded badly. The whole of the England team was dejected as they could not believe what had happened. They were humiliated on the biggest stage and they had nowhere to hide, no one to blame. But in hindsight, maybe that was the best thing that could have happened to them.
England during the World Cup was playing the band of cricket as that of the 90s. They were too timid in their approach and played very conservatively. Amidst the old-school batters, there was a wicketkeeper-batsman who played fearless unorthodox shots in that particular match and later proved to be a pioneer in the revolution of English White Ball Cricket.
7 years later, the same wicketkeeper-batsman- Jos Butler, now leader of the England side, powered England to the final of the ICC T20 World Cup at the same venue. England humiliated India and made a mockery of the target of 170 runs set by India. They chased down the total in 16 overs with all 10 wickets in hand. Jos Butler led from the front scoring an unbeaten 80 in just 49 balls. His opening partner, Alex Hales scored 86 off 47 balls to take England to the final.
This match was a redemption of its kind. After being questioned about their style of playing in 2015, England had a completely different attitude in the semifinal against India. They were fearless, aggressive, and unfazed by the magnitude of the big match. They continued their momentum and with their brilliant hitting skills, they won the matches. From being embarrassed in the World Cup in 2015 to being the powerhouse and unbeatable in white ball cricket, this has been a journey of redemption and a life of full circle for English Cricket. Alex Hales also had a point to prove in this World Cup as he was dropped from the 2019 World Cup squad after failing a drug test.
What’s commendable about their batting is that they live on the motto that: The execution might fail but the intent and approach must remain the same.
Post the 2015 World Cup
Post the World Cup, Morgan continued as the captain and decided he wanted a new-looking squad. He wanted young players who played fearless cricket. The management was ready to completely change the squad, and even drop the veterans if needed.
James Anderson, Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, and Ian Bell were dropped from the squad. The management was very blunt about certain things and clear about their vision.
The first series that followed the World Cup consisted of young players like Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Butler, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, and David Willey. The new-looking team took everyone by surprise and a new chapter in English Cricket was about to unfold.-- Advertisement --
The English Cricket led by Captain Morgan had a pattern and the pattern was to bat aggressively and be fearless. They worked out a method that the team that scores more boundaries eventually wins the match. They decided that it is okay to play dot balls while going for boundaries. The message was pretty clear: ‘Go hard, be fearless and enjoy yourselves.’
They stacked their lineup with bowlers who can bat and score handy runs. Adil Rashid who bats at 10 or 11 has 10 first-class hundreds. In the semifinal on Thursday, Rashid slotted to bat at 11.
The batters started to whack the ball and could easily clear the boundary with their pyro techniques. They believed in matchups and also hired an analyst to closely analyze their games. Emphasis was given on power hitting and the team also hired Power hitting expert Julian Wood.
England faced challenges when the ball spin a lot. They adapted their techniques but the philosophy remained the same. Jonny Bairstow credits VVS Laxman who helped him improve his batting against spin during the 2018 IPL. England lost some matches being over aggressive but Morgan backed his team to play the same way. This paid dividends in the years to come. More than anything the change in approach helped English Cricket revolutionize.
And even if any collapse happened, Joe Root stood tall and held the innings together. He, along with Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes played cautiously but still scored with a healthy strike rate.
Records set by England post the 2015 World Cup
- Since the 2015 tournament, England has surpassed 325 on 23 occasions.
- They scored a mammoth 444-3 in 2016, just a year after the Word Cup. They even bettered this total scoring 481-6 against Australia in 2018.
- The six quickest hundreds by England have all occurred since the 2015 World Cup, with Jos Buttler scoring the two quickest, off 46 and 50 deliveries, respectively.
- England’s Win/Loss Ratio is the second highest after India’s since the 2015 World Cup.
- England has been the highest scoring team (6.29), that too after playing the most number of games. Also, their average per wicket jumped to 40.70 in 2015-2019 from 32.86 in 2011-2015.
Jos Butler has carried forward the legacy of Eoin Morgan. The team continues to play attacking cricket irrespective of the condition and the opposition. England will be playing the biggest match of their careers.
After facing a painful defeat in the last World Cup semifinal, England would be looking to get their hands on the title this time. Pakistan stands as a hurdle between them and the trophy. Winning the T20 World Cup would complete their journey of utter domination of English Cricket in the white ball format.
England will face the stern test of the unpredictable Pakistan team on 13th November 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A lot of parallels have been laid between the 1992 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup. England would be hoping for a reversal of result and would be up for the challenge against the Asian team.