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Dean Wilson: How to keep the feelgood factor with a T20

22 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: How to keep the feelgood factor with a T20

Maintaining smiles on faces in this week's T20 could prove pivotal to Ashes success, writes Mirror cricket correspondant Dean Wilson

The feelgood factor is definitely back in English cricket.

For the new-look one day team to beat New Zealand over the course of five matches is a genuine triumph that cannot be put simply down to beginners’ luck.

The odd match maybe, but three wins out of five plus two narrow defeats suggests that England were authentically the better team during the Royal London one day series.

We all know that New Zealand are a more mature team with a longer track record of success and without Trent Boult for the back end of the series they were weakened.

But that mattered not-a-jot as Jonny Bairstow took England to glory in Durham.

The question is what now?

Most people will be looking forward to the Ashes with great gusto now, but there is the small matter of a T20 game to be played and the outcome of this match on Tuesday could have its own repercussions.

Remember 2005 and all that came with it?

Well, if you ask any England player involved they will tell you that the line in the sand for that summer was drawn when they took on the Aussies in a T20 in Southampton and thrashed them by 100 runs.

It was the game that set the tone for that summer.

So if that is the impact a T20 match can have on one of the greatest series’ ever played, the match on Tuesday in Manchester cannot be taken lightly.

It is another chance to fire the crowd, get people thinking about and cheering about cricket, and most importantly keep a winning feeling that was so obviously powerful during the one dayers.

For the likes of Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Mark Wood and Steve Finn who have all been included in the Ashes training squad, their mood in Spain could be wildly different depending on what happens at Old Trafford.

And that is where Eoin Morgan comes in.

This is what his best mate Finn said about him after Trent Bridge: “When he walks into the dressing-room, you wouldn’t know if he’s had a bad day or a good day.

“He’s one of the most flat-lined people I’ve ever met. That’s a huge strength of his.

“To remain that level and especially as a captain, you wouldn’t know if the team has had a good day or bad day by looking at him because he is that much of a solid person.”

And that is what England could do with Morgan passing on to his charges, so that come what may the T20 doesn’t pop what is a jolly happy bubble right now.

Of course, on current form England could run away with the match and keep their grins right the way through to Cardiff in July, but no-one can honestly tell which way the wind will blow these teams over just 40 overs of cricket.

One thing that should be focusing Morgan’s mind as well is the fact that the next global tournament for his teams will actually be the World T20 in India early next year.

And while that might seem like a reasonable distance away, there is only a handful of matches to be played before they try and regain a title won back in 2010.

As such it would be well worth having a look at Reece Topley in the side, perhaps alongside David Willey in a two-pronged left arm attack while giving Wood a free run up to the Ashes.

England have been craving genuine international standard left arm quicks ever since Ryan Sidebottom retired and now they have three involved in various squads with Mark Footitt the third in the Ashes training squad.

There is a long wait until the next T20 outing, they shouldn’t spend it wondering whether or not Topley can cut the mustard.

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