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Article Posted: 23rd February 2015
The word ‘relief’ best describes the emotions for England cricket supporters and I’m sure there will be a bit of that in the England dressing room too!
From an English point of view, having been put into bat, the nerves were immediately calmed, probably within three or four overs, when some average Scottish bowling let Moeen Ali and Ian Bell get the innings off at a good rattle.
I’m sure the Scotland teamtalk would have been that ‘These lads will be nervous, let’s keep them under pressure, pick up a couple of early wickets and see where that gets us’ and that simply never materialised.
Moeen Ali, in particular, punished any wayward deliveries and struck the ball cleanly.
Perhaps England were on for posting a slightly bigger score but I’m sure at the start they would have settled for 303.
The captain Eoin Morgan looked in reasonable touch and played some particularly fine shots. To me these were not the shots of a player who looks ridiculously out of nick.
Jos Buttler did not spend long at the crease but also looked in good touch and these two are going to have to marshal the lower middle order in the weeks ahead.
It’s almost easier to change the team when you have won a game than when you have been hammered twice.
To this end it seems clear once again to the majority of cricket commentators, scribes and supporters that Alex Hales needs to be in this team, batting at number three in order to perhaps give us a little more firepower in our batting order.
The lads now have a few days before the next cup final back in Wellington against Sri Lanka.
It’s always easier to have days off when you have won your last fixture. Everything seems a bit more relaxed and I’m sure that Saturday can’t come quick enough for the England players now.... » More