From start to finish of the World Twenty20, with the possible exception of the Ireland game, England have been fantastic. With the ball, with the bat and in the field, England have performed like deserved winners and it was great to see.
It hasn’t always been this way in limited overs cricket after all. In fact, in the relatively small amount of Twenty20 cricket England have played, they haven’t quite seemed up to the task on a number of occasions.
The current team has just about everything though. The seam bowlers are disciplined, the spinners can tie up an end, the batsmen are destructive and in the field, they are almost flawless. So, what is the transformation down to?
First of all, credit must go to Andy Flower and his coaching team. They have installed a very positive attitude amongst the players and the self belief in the team seems more evident than ever before.
The selectors, along with the coach and captain, have to be praised too for the decisions they made when it came to selecting the team. This is because it is the introduction of new players or surprise inclusions that have helped England to the success they have achieved.
The two men at the top of the order have to be mentioned first in this bracket. Neither Craig Kieswetter nor Michael Lumb had played international Twenty20 cricket before this tournament, but they gave England the impetus they needed at the start of the innings.
They are both aggressive players and when they gave England a good start, it took pressure of Kevin Pietersen who was in stunning form throughout. KP was also eased by the fact that Eoin Morgan – who has proved to be a revelation – was still to come, meaning it wasn’t all down to England’s star man, like it has been on so many times in the past.
Next on the list of why England played like they did is the fact that surprise selections paid off. Michael Yardy and Ryan Sidebottom weren’t many people’s picks to be in the starting eleven, but both performed superbly well. The latter doing particularly well to take 10 wickets overall, keeping James Anderson out of the team in the process.
Amongst the new boys and the surprise selections were players that are proving to be some of the very best in this form of the game. Pietersen has already been mentioned as being superb, but he was joined by Graham Swann, Morgan and Stuart Broad in leading the way for England.
Luke Wright and Tim Bresnan were excellent too. Both have had their doubters at this level of the game, but they have done more than enough to ensure they will be part of England’s Twenty20 set up for the next few months at least.
Overall, it was a massive team effort from Paul Collingwood’s men. Let’s not forget the skipper either. He may not have had the best tournament with the bat, but he led superbly well and perhaps it was fitting that he steered the team home against Australia in the final.
England cricket fans are not used to seeing the team celebrating two major honours in quick succession, but the Ashes win and now the World Twenty20 win mean that the team is moving in the right direction and credit goes to everyone involved.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before we see similar scenes again. Preferably on Australian soil…..