By: Chinmay Vaidya
After a disappointing loss at the hands of Scotland, England fired a massive warning shot to the rest of the world with a thorough beatdown of Australia in five ODIs and a lone T20. With a pivotal tour against India looming, England showed why it is finally a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.
England's batsmen put on an absolute clinic in the ODI series. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow combined for 604 runs across five games at the top of the order. The opening duo averaged 120.8 runs on strike rate of 125.3 and combined for three centuries and two half-centuries. Alex Hales and Jos Buttler added to the demolition, putting up 507 combined runs. Buttler had three not-out performances, inflating his average to 137.5 for the series. He scored an unbeaten 110 in the final ODI to seal England's sweep.
Australia came into the tour missing its three best players: Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc. I'm not sure the results would've changed had these players been available. Australian bowlers had the four highest economy rates while failing to take wickets. Andrew Tye and Jhye Richardson went for 7.96 and 7.92 runs per over, respectively, over the entire series. Australia scored 1,272 runs across five ODIs. Roy, Bairstow, Buttler and Hales scored 1,111. Australia was never able to put together a complete game.
The surprising and scary thought in England's sweep is that it came without big contributions from Joe Root. England's superstar scored just 104 runs in five innings and knocked in one half-century. Not exactly the performance you'd expect from one of the five best batsmen in the world. Root should be better against India.
Even if England's spin attack can't replicate its success against Australia (Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid picked up 24 combined wickets) to lift a mediocre pace attack, the team can rely on its deep batting lineup to put up runs. With a gigantic clash against India looming, England has another opportunity to cement itself as the most dominant side currently playing the game.