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dasg234
Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Sep 2017 Posts: 552
To have one individual score over 150 in a one-day series sticks in the memory, but to have five, as the England Lions did against the A sides of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in July, is unprecedented. During their four games, the Lions displayed skill, invention and brutality in abundance, qualities that so often have been missing from Englands one-day batsmanship. Rarely, if ever, can any England side have so consistently dominated opposition bowling attacks.Ben Ducketts 220 not out was the best of the five and was the second-highest List A score ever made by an Englishman and the eighth-highest overall. Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sam Billings, Dawid Malan and Duckett again completed the quintet of brilliant innings. They were performances that perfectly showcased the recent development of Englands one-day cricket at all levels and proved the value of some extensive one-day skill work by the England Performance Programme (EPP) last winter.Criticisms of England after the 2015 World Cup were wide-ranging and varied but the lack of imaginative and explosive batsman was perhaps the most valid. Some blamed the development system, coordinated from the National Performance Centre in Loughborough, for not developing enough unique and expressive players in step with the modern one-day game. Instead, so the argument went, it churns out players who have had their individuality knocked out of them. After Duckett and cos inventive and powerful displays this summer, few could now claim that to be the case.There was some absolutely outstanding one-day batting in that series, says Andy Flower, head coach of the Lions. If we had put some of our better national cricketers in there, they couldnt have done much better than the young Lions guys. The one-day focus over the winter was valuable in giving these guys the opportunity to really focus on their white-ball skills.From the moment Englands director of cricket Andrew Strauss took the role in May last year, his determination to drag Englands one-day cricket in to the 21st century was clear. He decided in conjunction with Dave Parsons, the ECBs performance director, and Flower that the EPP would focus solely on white-ball cricket last winter. They held a training camp focusing on one-day skill work in the UAE before the Lions played a series of five 50-over and five T20 games against Pakistan A. It paid dividends during the English summer.We are really lucky through the ECB to have the resources to go and do these things, Flower says. To go away post-season to have the opportunity to work on developing really specific skills but also having the time and the energy to work on when to use those skills, understand how to use them and then to be able to test them out in practice conditions, in middle scenarios and in practice matches, those are great opportunities.From this winter onwards, the EPP has been rebranded as the International Pathway, with 50 players chosen for four squads, all with a view to increasing the exposure of Englands best players to the standards expected at international levelThe purpose of it is bridging the gap between the county game and the international game, Flower says. The county game is an excellent breeding ground for our international cricketers but we believe there is a gap that exists in a number of areas and our purpose is to bridge that.While Englands one-day stocks look healthy, those of the Test side look rather different. Englands struggles at Test level to find permanent candidates for their top order as well as a top-class spinner are two areas which the EPP has recently failed to help address. Several graduates of the programme such as James Vince, who captained the Lions last winter, and Adam Lyth have failed to do their talent justice at Test level, while the recall of Surreys Gareth Batty to the Test squad at the age of 38 underlines the concern that not enough young spinners are developing quickly enough for the highest level.Have one-day priorities impacted the recent development of Test class players? It did mean that we havent given them any red-ball exposure, Flower admits. In the Test side we know there are a couple of positions up for serious debate in the selections for the winter and in a way, we dont have the in-depth knowledge that we want because we havent exposed these young guys to any red-ball cricket over the last year to 18 months at Lions level. That severely affects our understanding and knowledge of our young red-ball cricketers.For that reason, a training camp will again be held in the Emirates this winter, with three one-day games against the UAE and a three-day game against Afghanistan thrown in, followed by a red-ball tour to Sri Lanka early next year. Where the focus was one-day cricket last winter, there will be a mix of red- and white-ball cricket this time around.We do take in to account Englands needs so, for instance, on the opening batting front, I would imagine this winter - and the selections havent been made yet - there would be a focus on taking at least three openers with us for the red-ball tour to Sri Lanka. [Alastair] Cooks opening partner hasnt been nailed down for quite some time so we want to provide the opportunity for some opening batsmen to develop but also demonstrate to the selectors that they can hack it at a higher level.There are long-term issues with Englands Test team, so the failure to produce productive players to address them is not simply a matter of recent one-day priorities. England have not produced a Test-class opening batsman since Cook, although Lancashires Haseeb Hameed may soon fill that gap, nor a high-quality spinner since Graeme Swanns retirement. The EPP should take its share of the blame for that, as should county cricket and the players given opportunities.It is right to criticise the failure to produce players to fill these gaps but conversely, in recent times, English cricket has also produced some of the finest cricketers to have ever played for the national side. It is hard to say to what extent the EPP, the counties or natural talent made Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler the players they are, but each played a role somewhere along the line. Its unreasonable to expect superstars to fall off the conveyor belt each year but the structure, prior to this years rebranding, has not produced enough decent Test players who do a consistently solid job. Its either boom or bust.Flower understands the criticism but says nobody should be written off yet: Andrew Strauss is very keen to emphasise that we are here to develop great players for England, not just a great number. We are keen to aim quite high with our development but, unless they are outstanding cricketers like a Root or a Ricky Ponting, a natural cycle seems to be that these young guys - a bit like what happened to [Australias] Damien Martyn - go in to the side, find out what the challenges of international cricket are and sometimes have to step out again to then grow and develop to become a stronger, more mature package that can then handle the rigour of international sport.That is what happened to Jonny Bairstow, a graduate of the EPP who played on the Lions tour to South Africa in 2015, and the same may happen in time to Vince or Lyth. Did the programme fail because Bairstow didnt excel at the first time of asking at Test level or did it do its job because it played a role in helping him find his way back? Player development is rarely linear or standardised so the answers will vary from player to player. That is why Flower is keen that the quality of the programme should be independently assessed.How to measure [success] is a challenge. Weve talked about measuring it against how successful they are initially when they move in, or how successful they are over a long period of time. To be quite frank with you, we havent found the answer yet. What we do want to do is to make sure that we are challenging ourselves to be as good as we can be, just like we ask the players to be. Part of that will be getting independent views of our system. Dave Parsons and I have discussed our plan to bring in a critical friend, someone with experience in these areas to assess what we do and to make observations and be really honest about what they see.Those observations will be important, as will the success of the tweaks made to this winters programme, but runs and wickets at international level are the only currencies that prove the success or otherwise of Englands development system. It has proved capable of developing young, highly skilled one-day players but can the International Pathway, as it will henceforth be known, consistently produce players who succeed at Test level too? It is a question which remains as yet unanswered and which makes this winters work as important as ever. Cheap Air Force 1 Shoes Wholesale .com) - The Chicago Blackhawks aim for their third three-game winning streak of the season when they host the struggling Edmonton Oilers in Sundays battle at the United Center. Nike Air Force 1 Clearance . General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. http://www.airforceforsalecheap.com/ .J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left knee. Nike Air Force 1 Cheap Outlet . 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