England have eyes on top of the world

 

England have now won seven one-day internationals in a row. Win another today against Australia at The Oval and it will equal their record of eight, which they have managed three times before.

Win three more after that and they will have the series 5-0 and be ranked as the world's top one-day side. But that is to get ahead of ourselves. Australia hold the top position at present and, as everybody keeps insisting, there is a reason for that. They have won 10 or more consecutive matches on six occasions.

The home victory at Lord's on Friday was close but thorough. In its way it contained all the components of unswerving one-day cricket.

The batting was given a solid start with wickets being kept in hand, allowing scope for a late onslaught which was perfectly executed by Eoin Morgan.

Thereafter the bowlers did what has come to be expected. There were times when they were punished but they maintained their composure and kept to their plans. The relentlessness would wear down most opponents as it wore down Australia. If you were to be picky (and pickiness is vital given the close-run nature of limited-overs cricket), the fielders missed the stumps with direct throws too often.

According to the speedo-meter, the fastest bowler at Lord's, and perhaps the fastest bowler in the world at present, was Steve Finn.

The 19-year-old Australian Pat Cummins was clocked above 90mph but Finn was quicker than that and looked it, though it is pretty certain that batsmen do not have time to gauge the precise nuances.

Unlike some of his forebears (Fred Trueman springs to mind, as does Shoaib Akhtar, for whom speed was an end in itself) Finn tries hard not to idolise pace. He said: "I didn't take much notice – they bowled quick and they bowled really well but I am not fussed about the speed. I didn't run in and think I wanted to bowl quick. It was nice to turn around and see it at 90 miles an hour, but it is not something that plays on my mind."

But truly rapid bowling still tingles the spine like nothing else in cricket – unless it was the sight of Morgan hitting a Cummins 90mph special straight back over his head.

It is already possible to envisage Finn and Cummins going head-to-head in the next few years, perhaps in the back-to-back Ashes series to be played next year.

Finn first has to reclaim his place in the Test team. He is undoubtedly a better bowler now than when he was last in the starting XI and it undoubtedly helps, as it did on Friday, that there are another three accomplished operators around.

He said: "At the end of our marks everyone talks to each other, everyone passes on their own information that they have found has worked for them in the over before and it is a great unit to be involved in because everyone shares their information. You have to hunt as a pack and bowl as a unit to get results."

Bowling at high speed in the final few overs of a one-day innings may also benefit Finn and England.

The most eye-catching display in the opening match was provided by Morgan with a beautifully controlled piece of powerful hitting.

He has done it before, but the measured nature of it takes the breath away. Finn, who knows Morgan as well as anybody as they have come through age- group ranks with Middlesex and England, put it appositely.

"How he comes up with some of those shots I have got no idea. He is a little wizard."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate