England’s leadership is fantastic
It was a fairly convincing T20 series victory for England in South Africa. They just have the all-round capabilities to take wickets when they want to take wickets, to create pressure when they want to create pressure and to score runs quickly.
But what I really like is how Eoin Morgan is dealing with a player who is out of form.
One of the key features of Morgan’s captaincy is that he gives his players absolute license to go out and hit the ball hard.
Jason Roy hasn’t played cricket for ages, he hasn’t scored runs for ages, but in the second and third T20s he just went out there and tried to smack the ball, even though he’d got out in a similar fashion in the first match.
It looked horrible, but you could see that the captain and coach had said to him, ‘This is the way you play, this is the way we want you to play and we will back you’.
I think the captaincy and management of England cricket is the reason why these guys are playing the way that they play. They trust the system around them.
It would have been incredible to experience that when I played for England, but if I was in bad form I knew that the daggers were out for me. When you play in an environment like that, when you know that some people want you to fail, it’s not fun.
In one-day cricket, with bat and ball, you have to take risks. And if you take risks, like Jason Roy has been doing, I’m sure that Eoin Morgan will still be backing him in the ODI series.
That’s why they’re so formidable. These guys have the license, every single day, to go and hit sixes.
The purple patch is a brilliant feeling
Dawid Malan looks like he’s going to score runs every time he goes out to bat for England at the moment.
When the going’s good, the game just seems to happen slowly. You’re picking your spots. It’s a great feeling.
He’s just got to keep cashing in and keep enjoying it, because it happens for a very short period of time.
He’ll go through a bit of a trough eventually, and then come good again, and back into a trough, and so on. It just happens.
When the going’s good, and you’re backed the way you’re backed, and you’re playing so well, you’ve just got try and maintain that for as long as possible.
The game just seems to happen slowly, the ball feels like it’s being delivered at a place that you feel comfortable with, and you just keep picking your spots.
It’s a great feeling, it really is.
South Africa need more time on the field to click
South Africa haven’t played together for a long time as a team.
You know that as a team, you need to come together, you need to trust each other, you need to put on some good scores and you need to start getting back into the swing of things.
I know a few of them played in the IPL but there are plenty who didn’t, so they haven’t played a lot of cricket.
The demands on international crickets are huge – much more than at any other level the guys might have been playing over the last few weeks.
You’ve got to get back into that fast-paced action. When you haven’t been in that fast-paced action, it takes a while to get back in.
Mark Boucher will be saying, ‘Right, you’ve had three bites at this, you need to start turning it on.’
In one-day cricket there is a little more time to get yourself in, and, fortunately for them, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been rested, so England won’t be as fearsome.
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