Friday, July 20, 2018
Sports

Chris Tremlett: Hales performances highlights England’s depth

Trent Bridge is renowned for being a high-scoring ground. It has a short boundary one side and is a very good wicket.

But England took batting to another level on Tuesday, breaking their own world record highest one-day international score by 37 runs to post 481-6, thrash Australia and take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

If it wasnt for Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan getting out Im sure they would have got to 500. It was a fantastic effort – pretty much the perfect performance. The Scotland loss of last week has now faded from the memory.

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England showed just how much the game has changed. Twenty20 has moved up a notch and 50-over cricket has become like an extension of the 20-over game. When the wickets are flat we now see scores up to nearly 500, which used to be unimaginable.

England play with no fear of failure and they have a captain and a coach who back the players all the way to play aggressive cricket. When it comes off and they score 481 it shows how far theyve come over the last few years.

Its great to see them taking it to the likes of Australia, who back in the day were the side dominating and playing cricket like this when no one could keep up.

England are now pushing the boundaries of one-day cricket. Theyre certainly favourites for next years World Cup on home soil if they keep playing the way they are and putting huge scores on the board.

Theyve still got their best player, Ben Stokes, to come back into the side too. Its great for this England side to have that depth.

Ben Stokes is currently out injured with a torn hamstring (Source: Getty)

Alex Hales, the man in the team in place of the injured Stokes, has certainly given the selectors something to think about with his magnificent 147 at Trent Bridge.

At the moment its Hales and Jason Roy, who is also in great form, fighting for a place in Stokess absence. Theyre equally talented players with similar records who bat in the same position.

With the balance of the side, its unlikely theyll drop a bowler. Jonny Bairstow has come in and done so well; hes so consistent, so you cant drop him. You cant drop Joe Root, or captain Morgan either.

Whoever does get left out when Stokes comes back will feel hard done by, but thats just the nature of a competitive team.

As well as the batsmen firing on all cylinders, spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid continued to impress with the ball on Tuesday too.

Rashid has been fantastic over the last few years and is Morgans go-to man for wickets, while Moeen has been building his confidence after being dropped from the Test side.

England & Australia Net Sessions
Moeen Ali (left) and Adil Rashid (right) have are the top two wicket-takers in the current one-day series (Source: Getty)

Together theyve done an excellent job, being economical and taking wickets. Theyre both mainstays in the side and are invaluable.

Theyve proven that pace off the ball can be the way to go in one-day cricket, especially when the wickets are a little bit slower and batsmen are forced to up the ante.

England definitely know who their strongest side is at the moment but, being 3-0 up, they can afford to rotate the team and give others an opportunity at Chester-le-Street today and Old Trafford on Sunday.

Sam Curran and Craig Overton have been called up, with Tom Curran and Jake Ball already in the squad.

With the guys in the first team performing so well, the others are just waiting for their turn. They want to show the country and the management what they can do.

It means if someone goes down injured in the run up to the World Cup theyll have players pushing for their place. Morgan spoke of a near perfect day at Trent Bridge – well, England are in a near perfect position overall with the World Cup less than a year away.

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