I haven’t posted any cricket highlights in a little while, as the Ashes withdrawals kicked in during August, but England returned to Chester-le-Street yesterday evening to take on a visiting New Zealand side in the first of three T20i matches.
Below are a couple of highlights packages, from the ECB and Sky Sports Cricket.
Sky Sports Cricket Highlights
Recently we learned that Harry Brook did not manage to make the provisional ICC World Cup squad to travel to India next month, after Ben Stokes announced his decision to return from retirement as a specialist middle order batter.
Brook showed here, in his first match for England since that announcement – and having impressed in the Ashes too – that he is a dangerous man to leave out in any form of cricket. He heaved back-to-back sixes, but the third six he hit went miles into the sky, as he picked a slower ball and straight middled it.
Malan also showed the type of form he has been showing for Yorkshire recently.
For full disclosure, I am biased, as both a Yorkshireman, and person responsible for Yorkshire.com having Brook as a Brand Ambassador. I’m certain he’ll be heading to India with England, and, like Kevin Pietersen and several other commentators, I’m very hopeful he’ll play a significant role in the tournament.
It is certainly a tough call for selectors at present, as there are many very good batters around from positions 3-7, some of whom can bowl useful spin, which will be needed on India’s turning tracks; I’d take Brook… but would I sacrifice Ben Stokes for him? I wouldn’t want to.
We’ll need to wait and see what sort of form the others around him show in the next few weeks; England have got a good problem: whoever is striking the ball best should make the squad. Brook showed last night he is seeing it pretty well right now.
As for this match, the bowlers did very well against a truly deep NZ lineup, to provide a platform on which some monster hitting could take place under little threat. Job done for a clinical England side.
I’ll just leave this here for Jos Buttler to tell us in the comments section exactly what he saw?!