ENG vs IRE | Today I learnt: Cricket’s Hybrid problem and the downside of English aggression

ENG vs IRE | Today I learnt: Cricket’s Hybrid problem and the downside of English aggression

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England won the ODI series 2--0



It was a better day of ODI cricket than the first match a couple of days ago, but the game left a void that was so much to fill from the outset. Jonny Bairstow made up for it with a clinical half-century while Curtis Campher hit the nail at the right spot but England scampered to a 2-0 series win.

Hybrid wicket is a terrible proposition

Owing to the fact that Hilton Group somehow thought of the idea of having two on-site hotels at Old Trafford and Ageas Bowl, Steve Elworthy deemed the two venues fit for the English summer. It served a blueprint but to make things simpler, they had to process hard and eventually, created a hybrid wicket structure to make the wickets last longer. However, a month and a half into it, we already know this is not working. After hosting one Test and several warm-up games, the wicket has gone real slow now and the variable bounce putting the Pakistan series in a spot. It stopped on its path so much that most of the balls stayed low once the ball went old, ensuring the fun factor of the ODI match going for a toss.

Curtis Campher has a solid future

Curtis Campher plays for Ireland but he is yet to touch down in Ireland. Yes, that is a fact. The former South Africa U-19 player has been recruited through his grandmother’s Irish nationality and until last month, he couldn’t even join the team due to nation-wide lockdown in South Africa. But boy, how much of an impact he has on the team so far! Well, his knock might have been slow but didn’t he do just enough to keep Ireland in the game and then got them to a cool position after 91/6. All of that after being touted as a bowling all-rounder and now he has gone two half-centuries in two games for the Irish side. The future looks bright and it needs a bit of preservation that would do a world of goods for him.

Thanks for the memories, KOB

Whoever watched that Kevin O'Brien innings in Bangalore would never forget the audacity that the Irishman endured after that - a rob of green and always on the verge of exploding. However, a decade after that, KOB still stands with the reputation of that century and his century against Pakistan in Test cricket is his only triple-digit score in any format of international cricket. Almost everything has gone wrong for him in the last five years at least and there is no escaping from that but O’ Brien still continues to hold on to that one spot despite Cricket Ireland clearly showing the signs of moving from the ageing superstars. Well, it’s for Cricket Ireland to rethink their projections in regards to the belligerent batsman from Dublin.

Aggression is a nebulous entity

It would be blasphemous to suggest that there is a problem in England’s ODI approach, especially after their World Cup win last year. They have planned their game around a fixed rigmarole, menacing as it would be and eventually found success for their own good. However, the aggressive mindset can be a double-edged sword as the hosts found out in the mid-way of their run-chase. After Jonny Bairstow was dismissed, with the scorecard reading 131, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali followed suit adding just six runs to the tally. So much so that England found themselves at 137/6 with David Willey already being out in the middle. Thanks to the coolness of Sam Billings and the able support from David Willey, they crossed the line but the World Champions must have had a lesson in itself. 

Watch out for this David Willey second-coming

A canny left-arm pacer David Willey has an armoury of positivity that can rattle many batsmen on the go. He doesn’t swing much as he is touted to do - at least, he didn’t in the first two ODIs - but the effectiveness of his bowling was so stunning that it made up for that with a fine bowling performance at Ageas Bowl tonight. His deal at the top was the major reason why Adil Rashid had such an influential role in the middle over and became the first English spinner to pick 150 ODI wickets. Willey - as per Cricviz - had only extracted 0.8 degrees of swing, even lesser than Saqib Mahmood but what mattered the most was his ability to pronounce the fundamental with a certain managing consciousness. His batting was not the cherry on the top - it was, in fact, a serious addition that saved England from embarrassment - something they will remember for a long long time.  

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