As England kick off the T20 International Series today, we take a quick look back at how the team are performing while on tour in South Africa…
England started the tour of South Africa with four test matches, a tour which was going to see arguably the world’s best bowler and world’s best batsman go head to head, in the forms of Dale Steyn and Joe Root respectively. It saw new faces come into the team mainly in the batting department, Alex Hales opened, with Nick Compton and James Taylor coming in to the middle order.
In a series which was tipped by many to be a tough test for England, they came through with flying colours, winning the series 2-1! In front of AGAME Director, Adrian Noott, Ben Stokes hit a record breaking 258, destroying one of the worlds best bowling attacks in the process and putting him as bright prospect in international cricket. Another good series from Joe Root saw him average 55, showing his class and why he is one of the best players in the world. One of the breakthroughs came from behind the stumps, where Jonny Bairstow scored 359 runs at an average of 72 including a 150*.
Since Matt Prior’s retirement England have struggled to find a replacement, the rise of Bairstow, who has been threatening for a few years now, has proved he may well be the answer to this problem.
The two Notts lads who play alongside AGAME Ambassador, Jake Libby, struggled on their first full tour, however both showed glimpses of what they are capable of and will no doubt have many more chances this summer in both test and one day cricket.
The bowling department on the tour was a bit up and down with Stuart Broad the pick of the bunch with 18 wickets at an average of 20, including a 6/17 which ripped apart the heart of the South African batting order.
Overall, it was a great series win for England, with many new faces and all in the absence of their go-to man, James Anderson, who has led England’s bowling attack in recent years.
The tourists new attacking style of cricket has raised eyebrows around the world and has put them as a real threat to once again rise to become the best in the world. A brilliant winter has given them good momentum to play Sri-Lanka and Pakistan in the summer. However their focus currently turns to the T20 International Series as England look to end their tour to SA on a high.