Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bringing in Buttler Earlier Will Help Build on Brilliance of Opening Pair

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bringing in Buttler Earlier Will Help Build on Brilliance of Opening Pair

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Key

ENGLAND have turned it round brilliantly in the last week and are into the last four of the World Cup.

They are giving a lot of credit to an "open, honest chat" they had after losing to Australia. Fair enough, but I think everyone overplays meetings. This England one-day team don't have many, because it is only when things go wrong that meetings begin. Head coach Trevor Bayliss isn't much of a meetings man.

It is possible to have productive meetings, but in cricket they are almost always the same. Someone says we need more intensity in the warm-up. Someone normally a batsman pipes up and says we need balcony support. There has never been a meeting where someone has not suggested that a team's success depends on people supporting loudly from the balcony. Fact. Another fact is that no batsman actually cares who is on the balcony when Mitchell Starc is at the top of his run.

More than any meeting, I would put England's resurgence down to Jason Roy's return and that they have played on slightly better pitches and won both tosses.

Roy's style makes such a difference. We tend to look at players in other teams as the guns,such as David Warner and Virat Kohli. But if you picked a World XI, you could make a great case for Roy and Jonny Bairstow to open. You could never have said that about an England pair before.

There are lots of fine openers but no pair that gels so well. They are the most destructive, but in this wonderfully controlled and consistent way. They score more quickly than anyone else, but are not just sloggers or even pretty-30 merchants. They go big. Pinch hitters and sloggers struggle against an international attack. They hit medium pacers around, but once it goes up a notch they come unstuck. Roy and Bairstow are technically solid.

In a good opening partnership, one player takes pressure off the other. …

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