England beat New Zealand 3-0 white ball style in Test series

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root lead England to a third Test victory and seal a 3-0 victory over opponents New Zealand.

England secured their first whitewash win in the home series in nine years after easily chasing New Zealand’s 296 to seal the deal.

The England Test team have had a shocking time over the past 18 months but the ‘new era’ that has been discussed in such detail with a new captain, coach and chief executive finally marks a change that has never felt so welcome.

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Ben Stokes was handed the reins just before the start of the New Zealand series and spoke of how he wanted to turn his own traumas in cricket into triumphs on the pitch – it seems he has done just that.

The field saw a total reversal of attitude, with England attacking aggressively rather than sitting back and persevering, and this has now resulted in three notable victories in the chase.

England do not have long to savor their recent successes ahead of the rescheduled Test against India, but they hope to add to their triumphs when they take on Rohit Sharma and his side later this week.

One of the biggest takeaways from this recent series was aggression in the final innings.

Last year England didn’t even try to chase New Zealand’s 273 target at Lord’s, instead slowly letting the game slip into a draw.

Bairstow and Root celebrate the final sprint against New Zealand

This year, however, we’ve seen England chase 277, 299 and 296 in their three Test series, making it all seem like easy work.

Jonny Bairstow was the star for both Trent Bridge and Headingley chases and his efforts highlight one of the other powerful changes in attitude of the new era: is white-ball style cricket now the way forward?

The Yorkshireman, who was hung out to dry a few years ago, hit 394 runs on just 328 balls in that streak, hitting 51 fours and 10 sixes as he secured victory in both games north of London.

The 32-year-old also posted an incredible batting average of 120.12 as he scored for two centuries and another half-century.

Joe Root secured England’s first consecutive win in a much more Test-like manner, scoring the crucial 115, not from 170 that carried his team safely home – but not without the odd extravagant shot.

When it came time for Bairstow to hit the bull’s eye, he scored England’s second-fastest hundreds in a Test match and appeared to reveal the secret to England’s recent success: Why play traditional Test-style cricket when you can win games with a more entertaining, all- gun’s blazing white ball approach?

There has definitely been a shift in focus in recent years towards placing more emphasis on white ball cricket, with England themselves being much more successful in this area than when the red ball is in hand.

Now Brendon McCullum seems to be using this to his advantage, encouraging players to ruthlessly use their ruthlessly honed and perfected one-day skills in test matches.

Whether this technique will work against a test site as historically strong as India remains to be seen, but why change a system that is currently working well?

While it was Bairstow who showcased his white ball skills at Trent Bridge and Headingley, it’s hardly surprising that Ben Stokes endorsed such a technique.

After all, the new England captain shone in 2019 by leading the side to their first-ever ODI World Cup victory and pulling England over the edge in the Ashes test match at Headingley by hitting white-ball style.

It seems inconceivable that such an attitude can be sustainable. White ball cricket is obviously a much faster paced format that requires a constant stream of hard-hitting boundaries – a feat that seems unfeasible for the distance of a five-day game.

Furthermore, there is also an inconsistency between England’s batting ideas and their bowling philosophies.

With the likes of Stuart Broad, Jack Leach and James Anderson still on the roster, it’s clear that bowling strategy conforms to the Test format – create those wicket-taking opportunities while keeping run-rate down with reliable metronome Line and length deliveries.

If Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood and Chris Woakes all find themselves fit enough to bowl again, who knows if bowling strategies will veer into the white ball style as well.

However, with both veterans Broad and Anderson well-placed in the roster, it appears for now that the division between bowling and batting will remain.

What that seemingly white ball technique has done has given England a winning attitude, an attitude that says ‘whatever the result, we’re going to chase it’, and that positive attitude was a much-needed refresher on a team left in the dark was , depressive zone far too long.

With just days before England’s next Test match against yet another bitter opponent, Ben Stokes and his team are in a solid position to build on what they miraculously achieved over the past month and continue to provide their revered Barmy army exceptional entertainment to offer .

England v India starts on Friday 1st July 2022 at 11:00 CET. Sky Sports Cricket will have live coverage from Edgbaston, Birmingham.

https://www.nationalworld.com/sport/cricket/england-v-new-zealand-is-white-ball-test-cricket-the-secret-to-englands-3-0-success-3748166 England beat New Zealand 3-0 white ball style in Test series

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