5 things we learnt from this winter #INDvEND #SAvENG

England have had a mixed winter in white ball cricket this winter. Dominating South Africa int he T20Is 3-0 was followed by a 3-2 loss against India in the same format, then a 2-1 loss in the 50 over format.

1) England's batting reserves are proven deep in ODIs.

England have a long conveyor belt of batting talent as show cased this winter. Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone slotted in seamlessly into the 50 over set up with no issues. Both making their weight known and means that the CWC19 winners have to keep looking over their shoulders. Since the beginning of last year; players who average more than 40 in ODIs (minimum 2 innings, minimum 50 runs) now include: David Willey, Joe Denly, Sam Billings, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.

Despite England's lack of voluntary rotation; England are well stocked in batting depth.

2) Tom Curran is in the firing line.

Tom Curran has had a torrid 18 months since becoming a first team regular after the CWC19. This winter was a harrowing performance. His T20I bowling economy is an eye watering 11.83 for the winter. Combined with only two wickets across his 12 overs. He was the most expensive of the T20I bowlers and the least frequent wicket taker. His position in the T20I team is not justified and he needs a period away from England duty. His ODI performance was no better from his two games, an bowling economy north of 7 and only two wickets to boot.

3) Chris Jordan is perhaps no longer Mr Reliable.

A similar story to Curran, if somewhat more painful. For a long time Chris Jordan was Eoin Morgan's go to man at the death; however a painful India T20 series with an economy of 10.51, after an underwhelming South Africa campaign, means Jordan is not only not reliable but actively costing England runs. England are blessed with pace depth; given Jordans very average IPL record to; before the world cup later this year; England desperately need to find better death bowlers.

4) Mark Wood is really rather good.

After erratic displays in South Africa in the pre-covid world of January 2020; Mark Woods inclusion in the T20I side was a subject of much debate, despite notable performances against Australia. Whilst not included in the South Africa series, Tom Curran being favoured instead. Taking wickets in the powerplay and middle overs, he was at times frightening to watch with his hard length bowling.

He was arguably England's second best bowler behind Archer in the series. An excellent ODI performance to boot; England need to handle him well as this is a big year for the Durham man with world cups and Ashes looming.

5) England's lack of rotation could well prove costly.

11 players played the 3 match South Africa T20 series and 12 players played the 5 match T20 series in India. The only change between the two sides was Tom Curran swapping for Mark Wood. No other batsmen or bowler played. Whilst it is good England have some idea of what their strongest XI is; it is bizarre than no players have been "blooded" to find if they can do it.

With the struggles of Tom Curran, Chris Jordan at the death; the lack of rotation for a different death option is strange. The lack of use of rotation options for middle order batsmen is bizarre, particularly with Ben Stokes seeming all at sea as a T20 finisher. The misuse and sometimes lack of use of Sam Curran being further stranger still; when Moeen Ali is meant to be a important member of the team.

Finally the lack of rotation of Adil Rashid is further complicated by his long history of shoulder injuries; means that England's second wrist spinner Matt Parkinson has spent the entire year of 2020 to date in the England bubble with no break in the rest and rotation policy and yet remains entirely untested in international level save for two T20Is in 2019 and two ODIs in January 2020.


So there you have it; what else did we learn from the winter that was? Let us know @insideedgecrick on twitter


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