White-ball cricket marked its comeback with the three-match ODI series between England and Ireland which the hosts won 2-1.
England were without a few of their stars who stayed back in the bio-bubble in Manchester ahead of the first Test against Pakistan, which commenced on August 5th, which gave some of their fringe players an opportunity to shine.
Did they take that opportunity or let it squander? We assess the key learnings from the series:
David Willey’s terrific all-round display
In the absence of Ben Stokes, David Willey filled in as the seam all-rounder in the England lineup and performed brilliantly in all three matches.
The southpaw picked up five wickets in the series opener as England bundled out Ireland for just 172 and chased the total with ease.
In the second match, Willey bowled a good spell of 2-48 and scored 47 off 46 balls to guide England to victory after coming in to bat with England needing 75 with four wickets in hand.
The all-rounder scored another half-century in the final game and picked up a wicket with the ball to finish a brilliant series on a high note.
Willey has increased his stock with his performances and could feature prominently in England’s upcoming series.
Sam fits the billing
Wicketkeeper batsman Sam Billings also enjoyed a good series, scoring 132 runs in three matches, with game-winning contributions in the first two ODIs.
Billings scored 67 off 54 balls in the first ODI to guide England to victory and played another gritty knock in the second ODI, scoring 46 off 61 to help the hosts avoid an upset.
The 29-year-old could not do well with the bat in the third ODI, however, two excellent displays should definitely make him a contender to retain his place in the next series.
Moeen and Vince woeful
Two of the senior statesmen in the side, Moeen Ali and James Vince had three forgettable outings during the series.
Ali scoring just one run in two outings with the bat while Vince could muster more than 20 runs just once in his three innings during the series.
If the duo do not bounce back in the next series, England might be forced to assess their options for the future.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Mike Hewitt