England deserve their outstanding Twenty20 triumph

I can honestly say it has been the best one-day cricket I have seen an England team play. The intent in each game from ball one whether batting or bowling was so positive that it seemed to infuse everyone playing and really we absolutely hammered every team we played.

Neil Fairbrother, ISM's Cricket Director

As we reflect on the last few weeks of Twenty20 cricket, I can honestly say it has been the best one-day cricket I have seen an England team play. The intent in each game from ball one whether batting or bowling was so positive that it seemed to infuse everyone playing and really we absolutely hammered every team we played. The one game we lost was down to Duckworth Lewis and I am sure if it hadn’t rained in that match against West Indies, I believe we would have hammered them as well.

The squad obviously worked unbelievably hard as could be seen with the massive improvement in their fielding skills. We were every inch as good, if not better than the Australians, who always lead the way with fielding standards. The opening partnership of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter made a big difference to the way England played. The pair of them came out and gave the team off to flying starts and averaged nearly 10 an over for the first six of the innings. Those starts took the pressure off the lads in the middle order and allowed the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood a bit of breathing space to have a look at the bowling.

I was also very impressed with the England bowling attack. Every bowler knew exactly what his role was in the execution of the plans they came up with and they did that fantastically well. The three pace bowlers – Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan – were very, very impressive as a unit. In Graeme Swann, who just keeps improving, we have as a good a spinner as anybody in the world. The captain and coach need to take an awful lot of credit for the way the team have played and have clearly created an atmosphere where the fear of failure has been totally banished from the dressing room.

From an ISM perspective, I thought Craig Kieswetter was absolutely fantastic. He kept well and some of his strokeplay with the bat was out of the very top drawer. The fact he kept pace and looked every bit as good as KP in the final, who I thought play an incredible innings, shows the skill and potential that Craig has. ISM’s other representative, Ajmal Shahzad, did not figure in any of the games but thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being in the squad. He has taken on board all that was talked about in the team meetings, particularly about how plans were implemented, and I am sure he will show with both Yorkshire and England that he has reaped the benefits of that experience in the not too distant future.

 

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