England's World Cup hero Ben Stokes has announced his shock retirement from one-day cricket, departing with a word of warning about the "unsustainable" schedule. Stokes' bloody-minded…
Much of the Poms’ criticism over the past decade has surrounded their false starts, the advertising of a new age of English cricket, only to succumb to their sub-par standards.
This repeated offence has created headlines in recent years, deemed as a laughable attempt at a fresh beginning with their downfall being only a matter of time.
Homegrown England fans have acknowledged the fact this is a touchy subject but with Brendon McCullum appointed at the helm, they can be confident in the direction their men’s side is heading.
This time, the dawning of a new era with McCullum at the forefront of the Poms’ team, adding his vast experience to the group in helping fulfil their capabilities, looks as encouraging as ever from the small sample size observed.
In the early signs of their battle with New Zealand, fingerprints of the coach’s attacking brand of cricket seem imprinted in the DNA of the Lions to date.
They loom as a scary proposition with the complements of captain Ben Stokes working wonders alongside him in tandem.
Within both their new jobs, they’ve passed with flying colours in their first assessment of taming the beast that is Black Caps cricket.
New Zealand were crowned as inaugural Test champions in 2021. But England are in full control, boasting a 2-0 series lead on home soil.
The daring nature of Stokes leading the 11 presents as a sign of the intended path they wish to follow, in turn allowing Joe Root to further flourish with the weight of the captaincy lifted off his shoulders.
Root has started the calendar year where he left off, scoring runs for fun in uncomplicated fashion and relishing his new role with only his batting to focus on.
England stalwarts Stuart Broad and James Anderson have proven their ability to age both like fine wines but the more promising indication of a steady up-rise in the standings lies in the youth brigade learning at the feet of the two fast bowlers.
From a batting perspective, the Poms’ top order has been a topic of conversation over a long course of struggling times.
However, somewhat of a balance is noticeable currently with a mix of flare from Ollie Pope as well as the stubbornness of Alex Lees, who is putting a price on his wicket.
Bereft of depth that has been lacking in the past, the crop of talent now stretches as far as Broad, who’s positioned at a handy number eight.
One lower in the order sits the keeper Ben Foakes, who has grasped his opportunity with both gloved hands, rewarding the faith shown by selectors in picking him.
The writing is on the wall for England fans, turning the corner with the neat blend of young and old. A bright period ahead seems inevitable.
In spite of this, the constant murmurs of history repeating itself with a false dawn still echo, despite the newest form of a leaf turned over showing no signs of slowing down.