England, the current World Champions of both T20 and ODI Cricket, had an up and down year in 2022.
Test Cricket has seen a remarkable revival under the leadership of Brendan McCullum, however the down turn in ODI form is becoming something of an issue.
The Barmy Army are currently on tour in South Africa, however England’s ODI nightmare has very much continued.
Having already conceded a 2-0 defeat in the series, England are bidding to ensure they avoid a fifth straight One Day International loss.
South Africa beat England in the second match of a three game series in Bloemfontein, despite the best efforts of skipper Jos Buttler who struck an unbeaten 94.
However, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma’s 109 was enough to help his side complete a brilliant run chase.
England’s top order batting had been a consistent problem for the Test side before last summer, however the one day side have been struggling for form with the bat since the retirement of Eoin Morgan in June 2022.
Jason Roy, who was a fixture in all of England’s white ball sides under Eoin Morgan, had a disaster of a year in 2022, although the South African born opener returned to the white ball set up with a century on Friday.
However, despite the efforts of Roy, the middle order failed to finish off the Surrey cricketer’s stellar work early on, collapsing to a 27 run defeat.
Early wickets have been a issue for new captain Jos Buttler, as England have often found themselves four or five down inside the first 10-20 overs.
This puts a lot of pressure on the middle and bottom order, who consistently have to try and dig the rest of the team out of a whole.
The loss of Test captain Ben Stokes has also left a whole in the one day side, as the experience and versatility of the New Zealand-born cricketer gave England captains a useful weapon.
Stokes retired from 50 over cricket to focus on being Test captain, however Jos Buttler has struggled to find a replacement, although Harry Brook – who hit 80 on Sunday – has offered new found quality with the bat.
Buttler has been unable to find someone who can offer a threat with the ball in the middle overs, something Stokes would have given the captain in abundance.
There have been positives over the last year however, with Sam Curran progressing into an extremely versatile and dangerous bowler.
Curran who finished second in the wicket taking charts at the T20 World Cup, has a unique ability, due to the amount of variations he has in his locker.
The Surrey cricketer usually bowls at around 78mph, however is very deceiving, as his skiddy action means that ball comes on to the bat a lot faster than expected.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer is also making his return from injury after two years on the sidelines, a welcome boost for England, who could do with the option of express pace in the bowling attack. Especially with the inconsistency of Mark Wood’s fitness.
Ultimately, England need to improve the consistency of their batting, with the top order failing to impress in 2022.
More discipline in their batting could be needed, with too many batsman giving their wicket away cheaply, early on the innings. This makes it extremely difficult to build big scores, as the platform that can be provided during the first 10-20 overs is not strong enough.
Therefore the middle order have 30-40 overs to bat just to complete their innings, something that is becoming way too common for Jos Buttler’s liking.