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?
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
peopleBut who comes top of the wish list?
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, right, with Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds in Newtown, Powys, as part of her tour in support of the party’s female candidates
general electionNick Clegg's wife has impressed during the campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living