England scored a comprehensive win in the first one-day international against New Zealand to dispel a lot of the forecasts of doom for the summer. We look at whether England fans should be optimistic after this amazing 210-run victory, using our cricket crystal ball.
"Yes, This is the Dawn of a New Era!"
England has won one-day internationals before, but not in this way. Abandoning ECB-approved tactics of "slowly accumulating runs" and "gradually building an innings", England instead went for the alternative approach of absolutely wellying everything over the boundary. Whether by luck or judgement, it worked.
After that wretched World Cup campaign, it was great to see players from that squad attacking the ball, taking quick runs wherever possible, and playing generally with more urgency and confidence than they had implied up to now that they could.
To watch Eoin Morgan regain his mojo, and Joe Root and Jos Buttler shake off their malaise with the white ball, was to witness a treat. New Zealand are a canny bunch of players - they're the World Cup finalists, of course, but they also are a team that seem to gel well together, and understand how to play well as a collective. It's no small feat to knock them aside, and it bodes well for the Ashes, in part because of the feelgood factor.
Top Optimistic Bet: Eoin Morgan to be top England batsman, at 6/1 with Ladbrokes
"No, It's a Flash in the Pan."
England fans have been here before. There is a reason why they are the gloomiest supporters in world cricket. This reminds a few people of the walloping England received in the 2002-03 Ashes, which was followed by victory over Australia in the one-day series. No-one remembers one-day series in the long-term, and that's because they aren't reliable indicators of a team's overall wellbeing.
Although one-day cricket is a great confidence-booster, it's pretty easy to win one game, it's harder to put a run together. We'll see what England do in the next few games of this series, but, just as we said previously that no-one should worry overly if Australia win all the summer ODI matches, we'd add that no-one should hold a street party if the New Zealand series is won.
The test team also has different personnel. Morgan turned out to be an effective and decisive captain in the first ODI, but he won't be playing tests this summer, and Alastair Cook, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have looked at times tired and short of ideas, will be in the team. Just as the aggressive tactics on show yesterday will not be deployed in tests, neither will the same team.
Top Pessimistic Bet: New Zealand to win the One-Day series 3-2, at 11/5 with Bet365
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