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Matthew Mott is optimistic about the potential of England’s inexperienced ODI team.


After England’s loss of the one-day series against West Indies, Matthew Mott spoke positively about his team’s experience on the outfield at Kensington Oval. He emphasized that it was a valuable learning opportunity for the players.

“We are thrilled with the team we have here. We just need to be patient, support them, and ensure they stay true to our principles. Our ultimate goal is to win games, and while we would prefer to be in a better position currently, it is crucial that we give these players the opportunity to play.”

Over the course of the past 10 days, both the strengths and weaknesses of this revamped team were brought to light.

Inexperience

Except for the captain, the group was relatively inexperienced – Jos Buttler has played 29 more ODIs than the other 14 players on the England team combined, with eight of them having played less than 10 times or not yet made their debuts. In order for any of these players to be selected for the 2027 World Cup, it is crucial for them to gain experience in different conditions and match situations, especially since they do not have much exposure to domestic 50-over cricket. As long as England remains in the top 10 of the International Cricket Council’s rankings, their main goal is to learn rather than win, as automatic qualification for the World Cup is guaranteed.

There are a total of 37 One Day International matches planned over the next 40 months until the conclusion of the current Future Tours Programme in April 2027. Almost half of these matches will take place in the final 10 months, as preparations for the tournament become more intense. Initially, the concept of playing an ODI series shortly after one World Cup and several years before the next may have seemed strange, but it has proven to be beneficial in shifting attention towards the future. This has also sped up England’s rebuilding efforts and has led to improvements among the players participating.

Spin bowling

The spinners of England collectively bowled for a total of 58.4 overs during the series, managing to take 12 wickets at an average rate of 24.08. They also gave up an average of 4.92 runs per over, making them more effective and less costly than their seamers. Despite facing challenging conditions, especially with a wet ball in the final game, their performance was still outstanding. Rehan Ahmed stood out as the top performer, consistently excelling in various situations. According to Liam Livingstone, Rehan has seamlessly replaced Adil Rashid, almost making it unnoticeable that Rashid is absent.

According to Mott, the young player who is 19 years old has pleasantly surprised the team. Jacks performed exceptionally well in the last game, Livingstone was impressive in the first, and having Rashid and Hartley as spin options makes the team strong in that aspect. However, there is a worry about the team’s performance in the final overs, as Curran, Carse, and Atkinson struggled against West Indies’ pursuit of two runs.

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Batting

It wasn’t difficult to determine the main topic of discussion among the batters regarding their strategy for 50-over cricket. According to Harry Brook, there is always plenty of time in this format, more than one may initially think. Ollie Pope also noted that the top performers in this format have shown that there is more time available than one may realize in the middle order. However, there is still a disconnect between their words and their actions, as England tends to become anxious if they lose wickets early, as was evident in the World Cup.

In the last match on Saturday, the English team was struggling at a score of 48 for three when Brook was caught out while trying to take a single that was not needed, on his third ball of the day. In the same over, Buttler was caught after attempting a hook shot on the first ball he faced, with his team in a difficult situation and more than 30 overs left to play. Jacks and Phil Salt seem like a promising pair at the beginning of the batting order, although there is still room for improvement. However, it is evident that the batters are receiving the correct message – now they must put it into action.

Source: theguardian.com