England’s high-risk, high-reward approach

It was evident that England were opting a retroactive approach in ODI cricket after they were knocked out of the 2015 ODI World Cup.

Post that, the team decided to be a lot more aggressive. This is when the likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales joined the team and England began to play a counter attacking style of cricket.

Several other players joined them along the way including aggressive pace bowlers like Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett and Jofra Archer. By the time the 2019 ODI World Cup arrived, England were a formidable outfit.

Their mantra of going hard through the entirety of the 50 overs and wanting to score the most that they can on a given day and in a given set of conditions rather than being content with a particular score worked wonders for them. That their style of play was successful was reiterated when the team lifted the ODI World Cup trophy.

Even after that 2019 ODI World Cup, England have stuck to their approach. This is why when the team was cruising along in a chase of 318 in the first ODI of three match series between India and England at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune and then lost their remaining nine wickets for just 116 runs in a bid to go hard, losing the match by 66 runs, there were questions raised over their approach.

But, captain Eoin Morgan was adamant in the press conference that this is the way England play and this is what has got them a lot of success over the years. He said that it was way better to lose by a big margin rather than playing tentatively and losing by 10 or 20 runs.

It was this clarity of thought that helped England bounce back in the ODI series as Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes carted the Indian bowlers to all parts of the park in the second ODI.

Bairstow struck 124 off 112 balls while Ben Stokes was dismissed on 99 off 52 deliveries striking 10 sixes while batting at a strike rate of over 190. As a result, England overhauled the target of 337 in just 44 overs to win by 6 wickets.

It was the same approach which cost them the third ODI as well, but it does not seem likely for England to move away from their high risk high reward approach anytime soon. When it comes off, it looks like a million dollars. When it does not, it appears to be a bit foolhardy.

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