England’s frustration in New Zealand
After a drama-filled and disappointing Ashes tainted with scandal and ending in a 4-0 defeat against Australia, England needed to pull something out of the bag for the final matches of their winter tour Down Under.
Despite being in charge for most of the course of action on the final day at the Hagley Oval, England could not bowl out New Zealand, resulting in the Test being held to a draw and New Zealand claiming their fourth series victory over England. As for England’s record, this has been their worst run away from home in Test history, drawing against New Zealand to lose the series 1-0, on the back of a 4-0 Ashes defeat.
England’s selection for the winter tour has been heavily critisised, particularly the decision to bring five of the same type of bowler to the Ashes (Anderson, Broad, Woakes, Curran and Overton); England will need to be more open-minded about selection if they are to perform this summer. Despite bringing viable alternatives as part of their squad, England’s propensity to stick to the same players ultimately let them down overseas, as did failing to experiment with the batting order, which omitted Livingston (who has been described as the ‘belligerent face of England’s next generation’) completely. England could have benefitted from such belligerence but instead took no risks and emitted no real hunger throughout the winter.
James Whitaker to step down as selector after 13 years in the role
The new and currently unknown national selector, replacing James Whitaker, will have a heavy job on their hands after a dismal performance of 13 away matches without a win. This could be the fresh revamp that England need, with selection being widely viewed as a reason for their misfortunate this winter as mentioned above.
England’s new selector is yet to be announced and will work alongside two others, one of whom will be Aussie Trevor Bayliss and the system is to change. The new revamp will mean that England will bring in a scouting system with a minimum of 12 ‘discipline-specific scouts’, who will give information to a panel comprised of a new national selector, a full-time independent England selector and the head coach.
England director of cricket Andrew Strauss has described the new approach as ‘allowing the team to see more players throughout the county game more often and (it will) simplify the selection process. We will have a greater body of information, deeper insight into the talent we can pick and a better understanding of who to help develop across the red-ball and white-ball games.’
Whitaker’s replacement is said to be in place by the time the next selections take place, which will be England’s Test series vs Pakistan in May. The change in the system will be an interesting one to behold, as the old system has been heavily criticised in the past due to the belief of a conflict of interest where Angus Fraser and Whitaker are concerned, as they are both selectors who are also county directors of cricket.
England’s schedule for summer 2018
24-28 May – 1st Test, Lord’s
1-5 June – 2nd Test, Emerald Headingley
10 June – Scotland v England, Grange CC, Edinburgh
13 June – 1st ODI, Kia Oval (1pm)
16 June – 2nd ODI, SSE SWALEC, Cardiff (11am)
19 June – 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge (2pm)
21 June – 4th ODI, Emirates Riverside (2pm)
24 June – 5th ODI, Emirates Old Trafford (11am)
27 June – IT20, Edgbaston (6.30pm)
3 July – 1st IT20, Emirates Old Trafford (5.30pm)
6 July – 2nd IT20, SSE SWALEC, Cardiff (5.30pm)
8 July – 3rd IT20, The Brightside Ground, Bristol (2pm)
12 July – 1st ODI, Trent Bridge (12.30pm)
14 July – 2nd ODI, Lord’s (11am)
17 July – 3rd ODI, Emerald Headingley (12.30pm)
1-5 August – 1st Test, Edgbaston
9-13 August – 2nd Test, Lord’s
18-22 August – 3rd Test, Trent Bridge
30 August-3 September – 4th Test, Ageas Bowl
7-11 September – 5th Test, Kia Oval
Looking forward to the summer’s cricket? Sports Travel South West can arrange bespoke cricket tours for your party – simply contact us today to find out more!