New captain, same old England

Let’s hear your views today on England’s travails thus far in the ODI series.

We won the first match via the means which make us an effective test side: classical new-ball bowling which took several early wickets and put too much pressure on the Sri Lankans. The other two games have been more typical one-dayers, and our age-old ODI failings have been as blatant as ever. With the bat, we just cannot effectively mix defence with attack: our batmen stay in their shells for too long, and when they try and force the pace, wickets fall freely. With the ball, we seem to have no way of containing the opposition.

We’ve played ODIs in this manner for as long as any of us can remember. There’s no obvious solution – and surely no tinkering with selection will make much difference. But for starters, as we suggested last week, we could do worse than move Bell up the order, where he can use the pace on the ball, and move a big-hitter into the middle order – someone who can use brute force to dictate proceedings when the spinners, or Malinga, are strangling the life out of us.



  • Why not try KP at the top of the order? It seemed to be working in the World Cup before he came home. The problem we have is that when we put a middle order blaster in to open they can’t cope with Lee, Clarke or Steyn. So we then put openers in whop can survive the initial attack but then can’t change gear. So try KP and Trott followed by Bell and Morgan. The Selectors seem to have been influenced by Gilchrist and keep pushing wicket keepers up to open without any real success.

  • I was at Lords yesterday, and we felt terribly slow for the first 10-15 overs. Delighted for Cook to get a century (and if he hadn’t it would have over by tea-time) but it was painstakingly constructed whereas SL came out blasting and had 80-odd on the board before England knew what had hit them.

    The losses of KP and Morgan was massive (you could tell because the Sri Lankans went berserk with joy when the latter was given out) and we should have put Swann in earlier to give it a heave.

    But sub-250 is no real target for batsmen of that calibre, they walked it (and I didn’t think much of Dernbach, too much leg-side nonsense and easy 1s/2s).

  • The first match was helped enormously by having Jimmy conditions with the ball. The other matches have not been so kind in terms of friendly bowling conditions.

    Also, Morgan has played a big part in England doing well in Odis in the past 2 years, it’s harder when he gets out cheaply as he is the most dangerous batsman by a country mile.

  • The selectors need to make a big call on Cook / Trott / KP. The current order and balance is not working – i would like to see either Cook or Trott dropped but given Cook’s status and hundred, they is unlikely. The other option is that England be a bit flexible and if Cook is out Trott comes in; if Keiswetter is out, KP comes in.

  • England’s ODI selectors seem stuck in a time warp – still thinking in the 80s when an ODI innings began like that of a Test match, carefully seeing off the new ball. Cook and Trott are ideal for that role: that’s one of the qualities which make them such good Test players. But the one-day game changed a long time ago, and (Tresco apart) we’ve not changed with it: we just can’t afford to have both Cook and Trott in the same ODI team. Well as he played on Sunday, we’ve compounded the problem by making Cook captain and therefore much more difficult to drop unless he has an absolute stinking run of form.

    Trott needs to be dropped and left to make runs for Warwicks until the Tests resume. For all their flaws, Bopara (or even Napier) should be given a crack at the No 3 position and told to play their natural game. Ben Stokes may fill the role (as well as providing a sixth bowler) in the long term, but he’s not ready for it yet.

  • I was at Lords on Sunday. England were a shambles and have problems throughout. I’d go as far a saying Cook was England’s problem throughout. He put pressure on Trott, Pieterson and Morgan by batting so slowly early on. By the time Bell came in we were well behind the rate but he just had to bat (same with Bresnan). Bell is, in my view, the guy to open with Kiesweitter (if he has now addressed his problems). My logic? Jayawardena typified how to bat at the top of the order: with the field up good cricket shots get boundaries.

    Worst of all was England in the field. It was hard to believe that Cook was captain. It minded me of a public school match where the 14 yo selected for captain on the ground of being a ‘good boy’ but given that he knew nothing about captaining the cricket wise naughty boy (Anderson) was doing the thinking with other boys crowding around to say there piece. To compound it our best bowler, Swann, had only bowled 3 overs by the time was all but over… Typical school cricket.

    Cook back out the ODI squad and stripped of the captaincy by the end of the summer? If only England selectors could change their mind that quickly!


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