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After a buildup of unusual intensity the Champions Trophy is upon us, with England’s team of white-ball Adidas Bill Barber Womens Jersey buccaneers kicking off things against Bangladesh at The Oval on Thursday morning. The early Men's Authentic Reebok Ben Scrivens Green Jersey - #30 NHL Edmonton Oilers Salute To Service signs are of course good. Players, coaches and surrounding hierarchy have had a distinct unity of purpose about them for the past two years, perhaps for the first time before a global 50‑over tournament. And so once again English cricket is looking to relaunch itself, to splurge the game across the summer consciousness via London, Cardiff and Birmingham. This time, though, the England and Wales Cricket Board is all business. An entire two-year mini-era has been staked out around this summer and the 2019 home World Cup. Sacrifices have been made. Unassailable rules have been bent, old certainties abandoned. In a good way, too. The priority is not simply to win but to win the right way, playing with verve and brio and generally re-gearing the domestic product for the new world.“I like the idea of us creating cricketing heroes,” Andrew Strauss said on the eve of England’s opener, while even the presence of Ben Stokes is being billed not just as a winning edge but as a tool to capture the hearts, minds and disposable leisure income of the masses. “It’s a great fillip for the game in this country to have a world-class, potential superstar in our ranks. Just think what that can do in terms of attracting people to the game.” Again then. No pressure, Ben.This is the real paradox of the task facing Eoin Morgan’s fine, settled, attacking team over the next 18 days. In a neat moment of circularity the last game of the ancien regime was a defeat in Adelaide by Bangladesh, a World Cup exit that saw England approach the task of chasing down 275 with all the fearless attacking charisma of a damp tea towel. Three months later, playing now with a nihilistic kind of freedom, they racked up 408 against New Zealand. Cue ignition and a run that has seen England complete five of the six highest scores in their ODI history, freewheeling success interrupted only by a series defeat in India.At the end of which the pressure to express this winning formula will test this sense of abandon on a very basic level. In reality this is not a gamble to nothing. For all the air of fun and freedom, resources have been deployed and choices made. Career trajectories are on the line. Strauss’s own enthusiasms for the white-ball world, for allowing the best English players to duck domestic cricket in favour of global franchises, has not passed without the odd grumble, albeit these have been drowned out by the fanfare of success.Even small sensible things like relaxing the idea a player cannot fly back from overseas white-ball cricket and play in a Test match will have met with some resistance. The appointment of Trevor Bayliss is of a piece with the same strategy, a white-ball specialist under whose guidance England have won only three of their past 12 Tests.The decision to let Morgan return to the IPL rather than playing for a county he last represented in the summer of 2016 has been vindicated by his hundred against South Africa. Against this injuries to Stokes and Chris Woakes, which might have happened in any event, have left Strauss defending the decision to let both play a full Indian Premier League season so close to a vital home tournament. Similarly the suggestion that Stokes’s wonderful hundred in Pune vindicated on its own the decision to release English players does not chime with Jason Roy’s experience. A poor spell with the Gujarat Lions seems to have Authentic Jay Beagle Youth Jersey broken his rhythm at just the wrong moment. Roy has no fifty in 10 innings over seven weeks, with four single-figure scores in a row, out driving loosely each time.This sudden evaporation of form represents the only real selection dilemma. There is something persuasive about the idea Roy will simply click into gear at The Oval and spank Bangladesh around his home turf for a galvanising half-century. But it is also hard to ignore the fact that Jonny Bairstow, who could also open, is simply a better player: more complete, better able to deal with the moving ball, and blessed also with destructive power.Run hot for the next five games and this team really will start to gain the wider traction the ECB craves The most vapid argument against change is the oft-repeated idea England have made changes in the past before tournaments and so should not do so now, a level of analysis that suggests some former pros in the media are still struggling to move on from the idea sitting in a different seat or standing up to go the toilet can have fatal consequences for a burgeoning partnership in the middle.England’s problems in the past have stemmed from systemic confusion and lack of skills, not the odd close selection call, just as the same fearfulness would have seen Graham Thorpe rather than the skunk-haired debutant Kevin Pietersen face Australia at the start of the 2005 Ashes series. A really ruthless winning machine would probably slip in Bairstow in place of Roy. A more conservative approach would perhaps see him eased into the top six and a bowler drop out, although Stokes’s knee injury may preclude this.It also makes an instinctive kind of sense to go with the same again from the start, with the freedom to simply play for the team without fear of deselection. Hales, Roy, Root, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Wood are a wonderfully attacking team, balanced towards every aspect of the game except solidity when the ball moves, as the collapse against South Africa at Lord’s showed. No matter: run hot for the next five games and this team really will start to gain the wider traction the ECB craves before that home World Cup. More of the same, chaps. Just don’t look down now.

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