How England’s game has transformed over the past four years
World Cup 2019, England vs Afghanistan: It was just another day for England. They decimated another attack, posted a massive total and batted their opponents out of the game—at the receiving end this time were the bottom placed Afghanistan.
The Tuesday assault against Afghanistan, led by the England captain himself, was brutal, to say the least. England raced past their way to 397. They scored 198 in the final 15 and Morgan, the captain, smashed 148 himself in 16 overs that he was at the crease. And guess what: every fourth ball that he faced went over the boundary rope for a six.
But this attack might only surprise people who haven't really followed Eoin Morgan's side over the past four years. The time since they suffered a humiliating group-stage exit from the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
They seemed like a team stuck in the past. And they frequently failed to score quickly enough with the bat. Fast forward to the present day and the situation could hardly be more different.
Let me give you a stat: between the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, England's highest score with the bat was 325-4. They reached the 300 mark only five times in 79 ODIs.
Since the 2015 tournament, England have surpassed 325 on 27 occasions, and have won often by a huge margin. The five matches they have played in this World Cup, they have gone past 300 four times.
They smashed the world record by scoring 443 against the Netherlands, plundered 444 versus Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016. And raised the bar further by hitting a scarcely believable tally of 481 against Australia last June.
And now let’s talk about individual centuries, where England have been far more productive. In the four years leading up to the 2015 World Cup, England players managed a combined total of 20 ODI hundreds, half of which were scored quicker than a run a ball.
The figures since 2015 show another huge improvement, with the team piling up 53 tons. Eight out 10 of those hundreds were scored quicker than a run a ball.
The 2019 World Cup has seen five centuries already. Needless to say, the table toppers England are the favourites.