The Week in Cricket: Buttler, Bairstow, Hundreds, blunders and Virat’s pimples
This last week has, like all weeks before it, seen some cricket happening and also off-field news. Here’s our round-up of the cricket that happened and also off-field news.
Jos doing Jos things
Just another normal week of post-2015 England one-day internationals. Two games against Pakistan, two England wins, and two games where the lowest total from either side was 358/9.
First up was the Ageas Bowl on Saturday, where Jos Buttler’s latest nonsense involved spanking his eighth ODI century from just 50 balls. It was his and England’s second fastest ever, and means he now joins Shahid Afridi in boasting two of the 10 fastest ODI hundreds ever.
England players now account for eight of the 36 fastest ODI hundreds ever, and all but one of those eight have been scored since the last World Cup. The one cheeky hundred in there from the olden days? Scored by Buttler himself, obviously, against Sri Lanka in 2014.
Before that 61-ball effort at Lord’s, the previous England record for fastest ODI hundred was held by Kevin Pietersen for a 69-ball blitz against South Africa in 2005. Buttler’s average ODI hundred now comes from 69.5 balls.
Jonny doing Jonny things
Buttler may have been doing Buttler things back in 2014, but he was very much on his own back then in the twatting-really-quick-hundreds-for-England stakes.
No longer. Just a few days after Buttler’s onslaught came a positively sedate 74-ball century for Jonny Bairstow. In all ODIs up to the 2015 World Cup, England batsmen had scored three centuries faster than that one; Bairstow alone has done so three times in the past 15 months. It really is impossible to overstate the scale and the speed of the change in England’s one-day cricket since that last World Cup. Ridiculous. There have been 20 ODIs in history with a match aggregate of 700+ runs; 10 of those matches have featured this post-2015 World Cup England side.
England bowlers doing England bowler things
While England’s batsmen continue to score a metric f*ck-ton of runs, their bowlers continue to concede them in very slightly smaller yet still industrial-sized quantities.
The genuine question, though, is does it matter? Increasingly, the evidence suggests not.
England have conceded 350 or more in four of their seven completed ODIs this year. Bad. England have won all four of those matches. Good.
Of the last 14 matches in which England have conceded 300 or more, 11 have ended in victory.
England scoring loads of runs and conceding loads of runs are obviously not unrelated. While it is clear their bowling is not as strong as their batting, part of the reason teams are scoring quite so many runs against this England side is because they know they absolutely need to, either to set something challenging or to try and chase something ridiculous.
Advert of the Week
12 month bans for both of them please.
— Yas Rana (@Yas_Wisden) May 16, 2019
The Hundred Clusterf*ck of the Week
For the sake of English cricket The Hundred really, really, really needs to be good and it still could be. But they keep running themselves out.
This week saw the launch of the logo – which everybody obviously immediately took the piss out of because it’s The Hundred but was absolutely fine – and the website.
The website managed to remove virtually all mentions of the word ‘cricket’ – cricket presumably being the last thing their target audience wants to hear about.
That target audience, previously mums and kids in the school holidays, has now been revealed to be people who attend rap concerts in Miami.
I've done a little digging and *that* picture being used to promote The Hundred was taken at a concert by American rapper Logic at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami in July 2017.
Not quite "mums and kids in the school holidays" pic.twitter.com/4wIq9Rcqkh
— Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_) May 15, 2019
And it’s not just 100-ball cricket those lads are excited about.
These lads bloody love 100-ball cricket. But what else are they into? THREAD. pic.twitter.com/gsZL1hedMr
— Dave Tickner (@tickerscricket) May 15, 2019
Legside Stumping of the Week
Guarantee one of these in every match of The Hundred and the game is saved.
— Cricket365 (@Cricket365) May 16, 2019
Statistic of the Week
Warwickshire’s Dominic Sibley scored a century for the sixth successive first-class match this week. He is in some tidy company.
Centuries in most consecutive first-class matches:
10 WH Ponsford
7 GE Tyldesley & DG Bradman
6 CB Fry, DG Bradman, SG Barnes, DCS Compton, NJ Contractor, RB Simpson, MJ Procter, DC Boon, BC Lara, JH Kallis & DP Sibley
— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) May 16, 2019
T20 World Cup
Chris Jordan believes England emerged stronger from T20 World Cup heartbreak
Carlos Brathwaite launched Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to seal a dramatic victory against the odds.
T20 World Cup
Chris Woakes won’t let Ashes be a distraction during T20 World Cup
Woakes is one of five players named in England’s squads for both competitions.
Broad v Warner and Root v Lyon – the key Ashes clashes this winter
The match-up between the rival pace attacks also promises to shape the series.
England star Ben Stokes shares positive injury update
The England all-rounder gripped a bat properly for the first time in six months.
Joe Root credited for getting England’s strongest squad together for Ashes tour
Concerns over Australia’s Covid travel restrictions and the prospect of multiple withdrawals were real enough last week.
England’s squad for Ashes tour has a familiar look about it
Fears over players opting out due to concerns over Australia’s travel restrictions have not materialised.
Business as usual for Afghanistan in T20 World Cup says ICC
Business as usual for Afghanistan’s men’s team for the Twenty20 World Cup despite the political upheaval in the nation.
The Ashes: Matthew Wade says there are ‘challenging parts’ to Covid requirements
An ECB board meeting on Friday approved the tour Down Under ‘subject to several critical conditions being met’.
On this day in 2013: Sachin Tendulkar calls time on cricket career
The India batter remains Test cricket’s highest run scorer with 15,921 runs.