IT MAY only have been one match but I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that a new dawn may have broken in limited-overs cricket, given what we witnessed in England’s record-breaking 210-run victory over New Zealand at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
I have seen players perform for their counties in domestic cricket over the years but when they go into the England side they seem to play in a different way, almost heavily restricted. But that wasn’t the case this time.
The team looks to have been given freedom to play a new style of cricket, and I think that can be traced back to the dismissal of Peter Moores as head coach in May.
It was such a frustrating brand of cricket we witnessed during England’s group-stage exit at the World Cup. We were playing one-day cricket that was stuck in the past, from a decade ago.
So whether it has been director of cricket Andrew Strauss or caretaker boss Paul Farbrace – whoever – a different message seems to have been conveyed to the dressing room.
I would say the guys who represented England under Moores and Andy Flower before him were scared of failure, but on Tuesday it looked as though players had been urged to adopt a mindset centred more on expression.
But this new-found enthusiasm is not reserved solely for one-day cricket. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the English game for some time, whether it be the Kevin Pietersen stuff, or the way the team was playing.
The World Cup was such a disappointment and then there was the drawn three-Test series in the Caribbean, into which we went thinking England would beat the West Indies.
It was all doom and gloom and people seemed to lose faith with the England set-up. But the manner of victory in the first Investec Test against New Zealand at Lord’s last month, coupled with the knocks of all-rounder Ben Stokes, seemed to reignite things.
England lost the second Test at Headingley but the way they played their cricket, compared to the previous few months, really proved that we are going in the right direction.
The public have wanted a change in emphasis for some time and this new brand of cricket that we have seen started in those Test matches against New Zealand. Long may it continue.
Turning to domestic matters, we are approaching the halfway stage of the county championship and Surrey are second in Division Two, 31 points behind leaders Lancashire, albeit with a game in hand.
As a team we feel as though we are in a good place. Our main goal this summer is to get back into Division One and at the moment that is looking a big possibility. On a personal note, I returned to the first team during our 178-run success at Leicestershire this week. It has been a frustrating campaign for me, having suffered a couple of hamstring injuries, so it was great to get through unscathed and take some wickets.
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