MX23RW : Wednesday, December 19 12:12:58

Woakes pleased to see England bowlers aren’t overstepping the mark in ODIs

Eoin Morgan’s bowlers have not delivered a front-foot no-ball in 40 ODIs.

Chris Woakes has praised England’s precision after their one-day bowling attack racked up more than 10,000 deliveries without conceding a front-foot no-ball.

Cricket statistician Mazher Arshad calculated that Eoin Morgan’s side passed the remarkable landmark during their victory over Sri Lanka in Saturday’s second one-day international, with Liam Plunkett the last man to transgress in Cuttack 40 games ago.

Overstepping can be a costly error at the highest level, adding a run to the total, an extra delivery to the innings and a free-hit from the next ball. In a world of marginal gains, England’s eradication of the habit is a valuable one.

Woakes, the most experienced seamer in the limited-over set-up, told talkSPORT: “It’s great to hear, over 10,000 balls is a hell of a lot of deliveries.

“The bowling unit who’ve bowled over that time know how dangerous they can be. They can lose you games of cricket.

“One no-ball at a crucial part of the game can cost you seven runs or more, with guys hitting boundaries off it, with the free hit that follows, they can be disastrous for a bowling side.

“It’s a great stat to have but we need to continue making sure we have our feet behind the line.”

Liam Plunkett
Liam Plunkett was the last England player to overstep in a one-day international, 40 games ago (David Davies/PA)

Avoiding straying a couple of extra inches beyond the whitewash may seem like a minimum expectation for the average fan but Woakes insists it is not as simple as it appears.

“It sounds like a basic skill but a lot of teams around the world do still bowl them. It’s a credit to our guys that we haven’t for a long time,” he said.

“Sometimes you get criticised for bowling no-balls but you’re running in at a serious pace and trying to bowl as fast as you can, also focusing on where you’re trying to bowl the ball. A slight slip of concentration – like a batsman playing a rash shot – and you do slightly overstep the line.”


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