Cricket

England and the British Empire rise with complete plans professionally made

As strange as it sounds, the pre-game anthem said it all. God save the king Of course. A new reign is upon us.

With this victory, which was more sincere than the scorecard suggests, England become simultaneous world champions in both short forms. They beat New Zealand for the 50+ title at Lord’s in the most memorable final of all three years ago, but they’ll be pleased to have gotten this one at the MCG with Australia looking on helplessly.

They enjoy putting one on us as much as we like putting one on them.

Ben Stokes celebrates winning runs against Pakistan. Credit:access point

In Test cricket, England are fourth in the standings. But that’s largely the legacy of a sadly long string of defeats under a previous administration, culminating in last summer’s thrashing of Ashes here and his lowest point on this ground.

With Brendon McCullum as manager, playing his so-called Bazball, England won six of seven Tests at home last summer, against New Zealand, South Africa and India. Pretty soon, that previous losing record will be gone from the calculation. It won’t be soon enough to be considered for next year’s Test championship final, but it will add a layer of intrigue to next year’s Ashes series. In all its guises, England are a team in form.

The revitalization of England has been carefully thought through. His trial change began with a change of captains, from Joe Root to Ben Stokes. This title came from another change, Eoin Morgan giving way to Jos Buttler.

Specialists have been trained for the roles. Only two of tonight’s winning XI played in England’s most recent Test match, Stokes and Harry Brook. Stokes has been at the heart of everything England have achieved in his time, and he was the pivotal player again when it came to crisis time tonight. What a mighty cricketer he has become.

In a tournament characterized by fickle ups and downs, England were the height of consistency. Their only loss came to Ireland when rain abruptly ended their clash at the MCG, and it’s reasonable to conjecture that with a bit more anticipation, they would have won that too. Morally, they were undefeated.

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