England’s ongoing ODI series with New Zealand has been highly engaging and high scoring encounters have been witnessed in the series so far. The England side looks highly rejuvenated after roping in talented youngsters with an aggressive frame of mind. The sacking of Peter Moores and appointment of Andrew Strauss is said to be another factor which has helped the England side to become far more positive.
Until recently, England was branded as a “boring” ODI side by several greats of the game. A significant reason behind their poor showing in the ODI’s was said to be their lack of aggression and positivity. However, now that positive change has finally come about and England as an ODI side is surely prospering.
In the current series against New Zealand, Steven Finn has been a key contributor for the hosts. Finn has looked exceptional and has bowled with great vigor. In a recent interview, Finn said that being aggressive was the plan for the World Cup, but unfortunately it didn’t come off. It must be remembered that England was knocked out from the first round itself.
Finn was quoted saying about England’s World Cup journey, “We talked about what we wanted to do in the World Cup,” Finn said. “We sat in front of the media and said we wanted to play with freedom and smiles on our faces. We didn’t do it. I’ve been involved in both series and I can’t put my finger on why but it seems there has been a huge change in attitude here.”
The towering pacer also spoke about the changes made in the personnel. “There’s been some personnel changes and those guys have come in and done really well. Everyone is playing with a smile on their face. Even when we walked off the field after going for 350, we felt as though we were in the game. When you are 100 for 0 off 11 overs, everyone is sitting there in the dressing room and there’s a real camaraderie with the guys that I’ve rarely experienced in a dressing room before. It is really exciting,” said Finn.
The talented lad spoke at length about the new revolution of belligerence taking place in the shorter formats and ODI especially. “It is about accepting that the game has changed. McCullum hit me over wide long-off for six and I thought, ‘that was probably hitting the top of off stump’. So you have to walk back and think, ‘fair play, that was a good shot’. It’s that sort of attitude that bowlers are having to take into games.”
“It’s like playing a long Twenty20. You almost have to accept that you’re going to be hit for boundaries, you have to accept that people will play good shots. It’s just trying to make sure they are playing good shots to get their boundaries and they are not hitting bad balls. It has changed big time since the World Cup. To come into this series and for there to be scores regularly of around 350, as a bowler you have to change your mindset and go about things slightly differently.”
“It’s been tricky so far but it’s been really exciting. We have a good, young, very talented group of players at the moment. We’ve talked a lot about playing with a carefree attitude and playing with freedom – we talked a lot about it in the winter but never did it – so it’s great that four games in a row now, win or lose, we’ve played with that attitude. It has stood us in good stead so far,” concluded Finn.