Their Twenty20 International victory over Australia on Monday was further evidence that England are making strides and heading in the right direction when it comes to limited-overs cricket.
The improvement in their one-day game was evident in the series victory over New Zealand earlier this summer and the difference in their approach compared to their dismal showing at the World Cup was remarkable.
But there is still room for improvement. I don’t believe, for instance, that England’s players fully know or completely understand their roles in the side yet, and one thing which still needs addressing is the bowling at the end of a 50-over innings.
Our bowlers have looked pretty good up front and in the middle of the innings but we don’t really have a pair of expert death bowlers who really know how to execute what is a difficult skill. It’s been trial and error so far, with different players bowling the latter overs.
The five-match series against Australia, which begins today with a clash at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, is a good arena for people to step forward, stand up to that particular challenge and nail the role.
World Cup winners Australia will be a notch up from New Zealand. A lot of England’s batsmen like pace on the ball in one-day cricket but guys like seam duo Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will be bowling rockets at them.
When Cummins was bowling above 90mph in the T20, opener Alex Hales was getting nowhere near them. Australia haven’t really got a great spin attack so they will be looking to their pacemen to blow England away. It will be a tough challenge for our batsmen.
While England are still searching for their go-to death bowlers, someone like Starc knows what he is doing at that stage of the game. The challenge of Australia is nothing England cannot overcome, it will just be a tougher assignment than the New Zealand tussles.
But if England harbour hopes of returning to the summit of the one-day rankings, which they last topped in 2012, the real tests will come on foreign soil where, particularly in the subcontinent, we don’t get near sides and tend to get blown away.
Having plans in place to try and combat the types of conditions and pitches on which we have struggled previously is crucial. Coach Trevor Bayliss, with his wealth of one-day experience from around the globe, will be vital in that process.
The change in mindset seen against New Zealand was the most important factor for England to kick-start a one-day revival but Trevor will be able to feed things into the games of players who are still inexperienced to help them thrive in difficult and alien conditions.