If the last two games have shown us anything it’s that the sky is the limit for England’s batsmen.
Twice in the past week they’ve scored over 350 in One-Day International victories against Pakistan. It’s happening so frequently now that it’s really no longer a surprise.
England have the best 50-over batting line-up in the world: they’re destructive all the way down to the lower order and have all bases covered.
What they used to struggle with five or 10 years ago is now being made to look easy and with the World Cup drawing ever closer it’s fantastic to see.
Jonny Bairstow was the star of the show in Bristol on Tuesday, smashing 128 from 93 balls in England’s chase of 359.
Bairstow came into the series on the back of a brilliant stint in the Indian Premier League and he’s so consistent at the moment.
His opening partnership with Jason Roy is ideal for England’s playing style and especially completing big chases. They go hard from ball one and yet rarely get out early, averaging 64.42 runs together at a run-rate of 7.20.
On Tuesday they put on 159 in just 17 overs to make it seven ODI century partnerships together in 26 innings, allowing Joe Root to come in and play his natural game at No3.
Roy and Bairstow look like a nightmare combination to bowl to. Although they’re both right-handed, they hit balls in different areas.
Roy likes to give himself room and hit over the offside, so a bowler might try to cramp him by aiming at his body. But once he’s up the other end it’s a different story, with Bairstow strong off his hip and on the legside.
Pakistan were missing Mohammad Amir and don’t have the best bowling attack, but England’s openers left them no margin for error and piled on the pressure.
England’s start was so good they reached their target with 31 balls to spare – and they did it while resting Jos Buttler, who scored 110 from 55 balls in the previous game. It just shows how blessed they are.
For me Buttler is already one of the best ever one-day batsmen. Like South Africa’s fellow genius AB de Villiers he hits balls 360 degrees, often makes a mockery of the bowling and, like many of his team-mates, seems to be peaking at the perfect time for the World Cup.
People tend to associate England with seamer-friendly conditions, but as we are seeing now when it’s dry groundsmen are increasingly curating good batting pitches.
There are no underprepared ones around, meaning batsmen can be confident in hitting through the line of the ball. The result is sky-rocketing scores, with teams like England turning ODIs into prolonged Twenty20s and making scores of 320-350 look par.
England will be without captain Eoin Morgan for Friday’s fourth ODI against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, but their form means it’s no problem.
Morgan can rest, Buttler may be given the opportunity to captain and James Vince might get the chance to impress.
For the next few weeks it’s all about the bowling positions. England’s batting is exactly where they want it.