You might not have observed with it taking place in the dead of night, England got off to a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood. 

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Win in the T20 series against New Zealand was protected with a Super Over which is now how all matters, sporting and diplomatic, will be settled between the two nations. Yet unlike the World Cup final in July, it all felt a bit anti-climactic. The first four matches were one-sided, even the Super Over was 17/0 plays 8/1. 

England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood
England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood

Of course, Eoin Morgan and the management team will have assembled more from it than English fans did at home. With a number of players rested after a taxing summer, new and older faces had a chance to stake their claim. Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan in particular impressed.

But it was an unsatisfactory tour for the five international debutants. At a time when established county cricket fans are gathering behind “their own” with the Hundred coming into full view, there was a tangible sense of disappointment that these poster boys of the T20 Blast were incapable to make their mark. 

Despite starting all five matches, Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory faced just 19 balls, bowled only four overs and picked up a couple of “thanks for coming” awards. His county teammate Tom Banton showed flashes of his smartness with 54 runs scored at a strike rate of 164.70 and a top score of 34.

It was the three young bowlers who had the most chastening experiences, racking up the worst economy rates for the tourists. Pat Brown of Worcestershire was the only one to come in below 10 (9.84), with the Lancashire pair of leg spinner Matt Parkinson and right-arm quick Saqib Mahmood finishing on 10.16 and 11.50 respectively.  

England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood
England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood

 Brown has been one of the stars of the Blast, his array of variations a fine example of his nous in the format; Parkinson the best English leg-spinner after Adil Rashid, Mahmood a fine promoter of the yorker.

Yet their displays lacked the verve domestic viewers are aware with – perhaps aside from Parkinson’s four-wicket performance in the fourth T20. Accordingly, those who did follow the series were questioning their readiness for this level. There are a couple of mitigating factors for their struggles. 

One is the sizes of the grounds, such as Eden Park, the venue for the 5th T20, which saw 292 runs scored in 22 overs of play. Scoring rates in New Zealand are frequently higher, thus Kiwi batsmen and bowlers have judged accordingly when being assessed for overseas competitions.

The next more exciting development is that despite all five coming into the series without a cap to their names, New Zealand knew what to expect of them, from their field settings to their change-ups. And so, too, do the rest of the world. 

England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood
England became a winning start under new head coach Chris Silverwood

The outcome of the data revolution within cricket means the grace period of a debutant, in which they might usually excel as an unknown quantity, has never been smaller. Perhaps the best examples of this miracle happen in Test cricket. 

Gary Ballance, enjoyed a fine start to his England career, scoring 1,060 runs and averaged 62.35 in his first 11 Tests, with four hundred, five fifties.

Once there was enough information on him, both anecdotal and analytical, plans were formulated to counter his deep-sitting in the crease and ball-onto-bat approach to ensure he only scored 438 in his next 12.

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