England should stick to bold cricket

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I prefer it this way, when they will occasionally have to be reined in, than when they are playing full of fear.

We should not be concerned about getting it wrong on the attacking side when for the past 15 years England have been getting it horribly wrong on the defensive side.

Make no mistake, this defeat was all down to the headless collapse that saw England lose their last five wickets for 14 runs and 28 balls go unused.

In our era — the olden days — it would have been ridiculous. With six or seven overs to go, your job would have been to bat through, marshal the tail and use up as many deliveries as possible.

Part of me still believes that is the sensible thing to do, but you have to put it into context. They have been told to play without fear and, let us not forget, this is the side who at Edgbaston last week were 200 for six with 20 overs to go, kept going and ended up getting 400 and were applauded for it.

I much prefer they do that and occasionally get it wrong than always take the safe option.

Ben Stokes typifies this new approach. He is playing brilliantly with a carefree attitude and I think, like the team as a whole, he has to go through a little bit of a learning process.

It is odd to be talking like that when they are the first England one-day side to get past 300 in three successive games. At this stage I don’t think results are as important as style. They must keep giving it a go.

You never want to hold back youth and put doubts in young minds. You want to be praising them.

Eventually Stokes might say: ‘You know what? Maybe I should have sat in for a couple of overs and then gone again.’ It will be interesting to see how captain Eoin Morgan or Mark Ramprakash, England’s batting coach, handle that situation but I would leave it and hope Ben will learn that next time maybe he could do something different.

He is a very uncomplicated cricketer and he has a simple technique — he just bludgeons the ball. Some of those deliveries yesterday were six inches away from being the perfect yorker and they were getting drilled straight back over the bowlers’ heads.

I was trying to work out why Sam Billings is playing instead of James Taylor and I can only think that England want Morgan, Jos Buttler and Stokes higher up the order. We have had Buttler and Stokes come in at eight before and they are wasted there.

But it shows the ability in the batting department and we have to give them credit for taking the attacking option. Otherwise we will slip back into the old ways of always playing it safe. – Daily Mail

Original source: England should stick to bold cricket

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