How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

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How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:05 am

As per usual, in the series directly before the World Cup, England decide we had better try and get the approach to ODIs right. This is a proven recipe for failure and we have seen it all before. Here's a few suggestions:

1) Pick a captain from players who merit a place in the side. Vaughan and Cook are examples of poor ODI players who captained the team because they were Test captain

2) Give form domestic players a chance. Taylor had a great summer but had to initially carry the drinks in this series whilst proven failure Ian Bell added to his list of failures

3) The ODI game is not an audition for the Test team. Give more limited overs specialists a chance. They might develop into Test players anyway

4) Give fringe players a run in the side so they are under less pressure to perform straightway. Rather than dance with joy when they fail, so the favourites can easily be placed back into the team

I could write more but will leave it there for now!

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by freemo on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:03 am

If i was picking the England 15 for the world cup this would be my squad

first 11

1.Alex Hales
2.Moeen Ali
3.James Taylor (c)
4.Joe Root
5.Eoin Morgan
6.Ravi Bopara
7.Jos Buttler (wk)
8.Adil Rashid
9.Stuart Broad
10.Steve Finn
11.Harry Gurney

4 reserves

Gary Ballance
Chris Woakes
James Tredwell
James Anderson

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by KP_fan on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:21 am

Hire Srinivasan and Dhoni to run their cricket in some positions of responsibility
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:27 am

I can see where you are coming from freemo, its a team that offers a bit more variety. But there's been no medium term planning so rashid and gurney haven't had the chances they would have needed

Kp fan I think you are on the right lines there. Maybe not those names in particular (would love Dhoni, doubt he would touch it!) but a fresh approach. Ashley Giles was the safest appointment in history and was predictably a disaster!

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by liverbnz on Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:01 am

VTR wrote:As per usual, in the series directly before the World Cup, England decide we had better try and get the approach to ODIs right. This is a proven recipe for failure and we have seen it all before. Here's a few suggestions:

1) Pick a captain from players who merit a place in the side. Vaughan and Cook are examples of poor ODI players who captained the team because they were Test captain

2) Give form domestic players a chance. Taylor had a great summer but had to initially carry the drinks in this series whilst proven failure Ian Bell added to his list of failures

3) The ODI game is not an audition for the Test team. Give more limited overs specialists a chance. They might develop into Test players anyway

4) Give fringe players a run in the side so they are under less pressure to perform straightway. Rather than dance with joy when they fail, so the favourites can easily be placed back into the team

I could write more but will leave it there for now!

1) Drop Cook

2) Pick someone other than Cook

3) Don't pick Cook

4) Never consider Cook again

Smile

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Stella on Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:18 am

1. A big yes. This theory though is surely to sensible.

2. Yes. Problem is like in tests, Bell and others will go back and score shed loads of runs against the weaker county attacks, therefore claiming a recall.

3. I think we do this, to a point. I do feel you need some test quality players in the side. A happy mix.

4. Yes, a confirmed run of say three games will ease a bit of tension. Hales though was given a few games last summer.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Mike Selig on Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:41 am

Whilst I appreciate liver above was probably being a bit flippant, I do think it important to note that not all England's problems in ODIs stem from Cook. Indeed I suspect the continued selection of Cook as opening batsman and captain is more a symptom than a cause of a lot of the issues.

Put simply it boils down to mentality and is admirably illustrated by your 3rd point: England prioritise test cricket over ODI cricket, and this includes the fans. It was interesting to read recently that a couple of people (mysti was one, VTR may have been the other?) were saying they'd rather win the world cup than the ashes, but I suspect the vast majority of England fans, and those in the cricket system whether coaches, administrators, players would rather win the ashes. Until that changes realistically England will continue to struggle in ODIs.

For example Morgan chose to play the start of the county season rather than the IPL. This is England's best (at least potentially) ODI player. But he views test cricket as the pinnacle, and (possibly rightly, possibly not) thought his best route to the test team was to play county cricket rather than the IPL.

So the answer to your question is really "by taking ODIs more seriously". Sorry that that's not particularly enlightening.

Anyway to answer the specific points:
1- yes
2- maybe. Let's not forget the vast gulf in class between domestic and international cricket. Let's also not forget the big difference between 40 and 50 over cricket. I know Taylor has made the transition fine, but Taylor was earmarked as a future England player a long time ago - he wasn't picked solely on domestic form. If you have guys like Masters topping the bowling averages, I don't believe anybody is seriously suggesting to pick them.
3- yes, as above
4- absolutely. And a run of games is not 3 games. At least a full series, ideally 2. Current thinking is it takes something like 12-15 ODIs (5-6 tests) for a player to begin to properly find his game at that level. 3 games is hardly going to cut it.

I would add:
5- plan long term. Every time it seems like the world cup sneaks up on England. You have 4 years to prepare, use the first few years trying out different players and combinations, then the final couple of years shaping your team. Much like Australia have done say.
6- have a domestic 50 over competition. Well duh.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Liver, that made me laugh, I hope people take it in the spirit intended!

Stella, take your point on Hales. This series though, he did ok in one game, batted a different position in the next, failed and is then dropped. He needs a fairer go as he has shown in T20s and having got his domestic form back on track he might have something.

Mike - I was going to write something about fans. I wonder if some of the attitude to ODIs is a defence mechanism, it's dismissed as worthless because we aren't very good at it. And I use the word worthless, deliberately, rather than say inferior, I've heard comments like "pyjama cricket" and "not real cricket" used many times. I did indeed state WC success over Ashes - if I had one wish for the England team that would be it, because it's something that would endure. The latest wrestling back of the Ashes, I don't think so anymore now it has been devalued so greatly. People probably remember more about 2005 Ashes than 2013 for example.

Re point 2, I should have been more clear, it has to be a player with real potential of course. I hear these names like Vince and Roy and clearly people see something in them - they don't seem to be near selection though, but Bell walks into the squad every time.

5 and 6, absolutely. 5 is just infuriating, the last five or so World Cups I doubt we could see a team taking shape the year before, then it's last minute chopping and changing and inevitable failure!

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by amanuensis on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:23 pm

Bell "walks back in" because he's a top class international batsman with a decent record as an ODI opener (when they've actually bothered to field him there).

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Stella on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:28 pm

Bell as opener is fine, but not bell and cook. Once Cook goes, and he will after the world cup, then having Bell up top, with a Hales, Roy, Ali, can work. Bell's obvious problem is converting. These nice looking 45's won't win you too many games. He has the talent.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:34 pm

I'd say You lot are a little negative, to be honest. If pushed I'd say (having not looked at the draw) you guys are fourth favourites to win, maybe third. You guys can't score 300 consistently, but I don't think that's how you win this one. Massive boundaries, late summer pitches. Think England if they believe are definitely capable of semi finals
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by amanuensis on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:39 pm

kingraf wrote:I'd say You lot are a little negative, to be honest. If pushed I'd say (having not looked at the draw) you guys are fourth favourites to win, maybe third. You guys can't score 300 consistently, but I don't think that's how you win this one. Massive boundaries, late summer pitches. Think England if they believe are definitely capable of semi finals

I suspect England's batting order will be exposed by quality seamers - facing Matthews & a collection of spinners on generally low, slow tracks isn't much of a preparation.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:44 pm

kingraf wrote:I'd say You lot are a little negative, to be honest. If pushed I'd say (having not looked at the draw) you guys are fourth favourites to win, maybe third. You guys can't score 300 consistently, but I don't think that's how you win this one. Massive boundaries, late summer pitches. Think England if they believe are definitely capable of semi finals

We have every right to be I think, we have done nothing in a World Cup since 1992, whilst we watch teams like Sri Lanka and New Zealand (and I admire both of those greatly) repeatedly be there or thereabouts.

We seem to have stumbled on a half-decent formula in the current series, but it is clearly not as a result of any long or medium term planning. I would have us down as about 7th favourites to win in all honesty.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:47 pm

Indeed, so do I. Thing is though, I'd expect the same of basically every other side as well.

The four boundary riders rule becomes interesting when conditions are lively. India basically got shellacked twice in South Africa (closest conditions to Australia). Pakistan are the definition of mercurial. The Windies just aren't going to win... I really think you guys aren't going to do bad
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:54 pm

I agree with Mike's post above pretty much. I would add in support of point 4) of giving players a decent run the example of Jos Buttler. IIRC it took him a long time to find his feet (both in T20's and in the longer form), but England persevered with him because they could see his potential.

I think Mike summarises things well when he says too many people (both the fans and the people in charge) see ODIs as inferior to Tests. England have never won a WC, and haven't gotten even remotely close since 92. Quite frankly, that record is a little embarassing...

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Stella on Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:58 pm

The fans thinking ODI's are inferior is ok, as long as the ECB doesn't.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by guildfordbat on Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:34 pm

Interesting article and thread. I'll throw in a couple of comments.

I've never regarded Kevin Pietersen as the sharpest knife in the drawer but he had a good point when previously saying that for England's ODI players to become amongst the best in the world they need to be more regularly playing that format at the highest level, namely in the IPL. Whilst Pietersen may have been saying this more for his own benefit than England's, I think the comment is valid. The problem is one of timing and the impact on England's domestic season. I regret I don't have the answer.

The 40 over competition in England has now been replaced by a 50 over tournament. That now puts this on the same footing as England's ODIs. Interesting and disappointing though that this apparently wasn't the reason it happened. Surrey's CEO Richard Gould informed a forum meeting at the Oval that SKY wanted as much cricket coverage as they could get to boost their own viewing figures and so pushed hard for an increase on the 40 over figure. Gould added that SKY would have liked more than 50 overs for the domestic games if they could have got it. Very little to do with the interests of England's ODI team.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:17 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
The 40 over competition in England has now been replaced by a 50 over tournament. That now puts this on the same footing as England's ODIs. Interesting and disappointing though that this apparently wasn't the reason it happened. Surrey's CEO Richard Gould informed a forum meeting at the Oval that SKY wanted as much cricket coverage as they could get to boost their own viewing figures and so pushed hard for an increase on the 40 over figure. Gould added that SKY would have liked more than 50 overs for the domestic games if they could have got it. Very little to do with the interests of England's ODI team.

Great insight, did not know that. Just about sums up where the priorities are doesn't it?

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:25 pm

That is slightly humorous. We had a 40 over competition four years ago. It didn't catch on, so they reverted to 50.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Pal Joey on Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:57 pm

We've never touched 40 overs matches... except for that silly experiment in 2010. Honestly.... that didn't work.

English fans - how many years did you have the 40-over comp? For over a decade or more?

Regarding VTR's opening para:

Firstly - ECB need to develop and implement a proper plan(s). It's no use tinkering with past (unsuccessful) plans or seemingly ad-hoc inclusions of certain players then discarding them after a match or two. I'm sure posters like raf, kp_f and myself sometimes quietly shake our heads whilst simultaneously rubbing our hands with glee at some of the England team compositions. It's a major handicap and not a fair situation for you blokes to have to endure. England having the most conservative and "political" (western) board doesn't help despite recent efforts to try different players.

However, having said that - the gap is probably not as big as it seems. i.e. the difference between No.1, 3 even No.5. Any team is capable of producing an upset here and there (w.r.t. particular conditions) but the key, of course, is consistency, which in turn builds confidence and hopefully a better string of performances.

I keep thinking back to the Olympics or past Ashes. If England (or GB) really want to achieve something big and are really desperate to do so... then of course they can do it. It takes some money in the right places (tick), the tools to enhance player's skills... i.e. cricket/sporting academy (tick), creation & development of a unique set of skilled and compatible individuals who are not only driven to succeed (tick)... but can clearly see the pathway required to achieve success and then go and do it (where's my pencil?). Decisions need to be made and stuck to.

As for the world cup - you can't afford to think it's all doom and gloom. Anything is possible despite the current build up. England players should feel "half at home" here anyway. We have seen past England teams play very well in Australia with great leadership and brilliant individual performances.
So maybe with Morgan as captain there could be a mini shift in fortunes for the team. (not sure about his captaincy capabilities or ability to handle the added responsibility... can someone enlighten me?)

I then think that would suit the team in Oz... swallow some pride, put a "tougher nut" at the helm... and then let it all unfold. You might be surprised how that could lift the team. This is probably what many others on here seem to be suggesting as the best way to make serious progress for the team.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:20 pm

I think the biggest problem we have with the ODI side is we're always building towards something (the future), pick the team to win now...

That's how we won the T20 world cup. We picked the right squad of players and then the players in form and hey bingo we won

In ODI's all we've been doing is building towards this world cup, are we in shape? No!
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Mike Selig on Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:32 pm

England haven't been building towards the next WC though. They've been building towards the next ashes/test series in India/whatever. That's kind of part of the point.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:45 am

Good post Loaded Dog, interesting view from the opposition!

I agree anything is possible, as I have stated on another thread, it's most probably three one off games to win the thing. But we aren't giving ourselves the best chance of achieving that!

There hasn't been much planning Olly, look at the team sheet two years ago compared to now. We have had three coaches in that period as well!

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:42 am

Cook not definite to captain at the world cup according to BBC this morning

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Pal Joey on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:18 am

Oh good. Your campaign seems to be working!

The ECB must have received Mike's Player Recommendations letter too by now.  Smile

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Nakatomi Plaza on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:28 am

Agree that Cook shouldn't go, his form not been good enough, but can't get on the Morgan bandwagon. His form's been poor as well.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:33 am

Haha, Peter Moores the secret 606v2 reader (and poster?)

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:10 am

Indeed pick Morgan as skipper. Nothing says the captain must be indispensable like picking the only guy in your eleven with a worse average than Cook this year as captain...

I will say this about Cook, I think the assumption that he can't score quickly is unfounded. He isn't at the moment, but that's because he can't score at all right now. He had strike rates above 90 in 2010, 11 and touched 80 in 2012 (For reference, England's best ODI batter since the turn of the century, KP, only has one year with a SR>90, and that was nearly ten years ago). The problem isn't that he can't score quickly (that sort of problem means you simply can't pick him), but rather that he isn't scoring (ie, a temporary blip).

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:25 pm

"A temporary blip" 

2 and a half years is a little more than temporary I'd suggest....
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by KP_fan on Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:21 pm

it was too close to World cup to start this dissatisfaction / dissent  / whisphering campaign on Cook.

Now this will have an adverse affect on team-spirit if he stays on...as a leader who not all have faith in .

and if he is sacked it is also too close,  and will have an adverse affect on their campaign....

so in other words.......they shot themselves in foot picard
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:57 pm

Cook is too good not to come back. You don't average 45+ as a test opener and 35+ as an ODI opener without having some skills. His problems are more mental than anything.

Basically, since the KP saga, ECB have made it clear they're sticking his flag to their mast. That's a lot of pressure, unfair pressure might I add. In any case, Englands problems don't start and end with Cook.

I do though, quite rarely, agree with KPf. Too late for this nonsense. There's simply no way they can really think calling Cook's position into doubt now is the best way forward.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:03 pm

I agree on that, if you've decided to go with him (as much as it is the wrong decision imo), you don't change now when you'd have wasted a whole series and preparation 

Although with the way the ECB's muddled thinking has been recently you never know
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Jetty on Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:08 am

kingraf wrote:Cook is too good not to come back. You don't average 45+ as a test opener and 35+ as an ODI opener without having some skills. His problems are more mental than anything.

Basically, since the KP saga, ECB have made it clear they're sticking his flag to their mast. That's a lot of pressure, unfair pressure might I add. In any case, Englands problems don't start and end with Cook.

I do though, quite rarely, agree with KPf. Too late for this nonsense. There's simply no way they can really think calling Cook's position into doubt now is the best way forward.

I agree. It's too late to be changing captains.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Mike Selig on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:47 am

I don't know about too late.

I think a few people on here want to have their cake and eat it. You can't spend months moaning about how anything would be better than Cook captaining, and then moan that "but not now, now is not the time".

I do understand where people are coming from but I disagree. Realistically England have next to no chance of winning the world cup (I make them about 6th favourites); we all agreed on that. Therefore I repeat what I said at the end of the Indian series: what is there to lose? Not scraping through to the quarter finals to be well beaten there? Getting beaten up even worse in the quarters by being rolled over for 120 rather than stuttering to 230?

Weigh that up against what there is to gain: a new, exciting young team with a fresh approach, who opposition won't know much about and who may, just may, pull off some upsets. To win the world cup you basically have to beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh, then win 3 matches from the quarter-finals. I personally think that is still more likely without Cook opening the batting. Although I accept it is also (fractionally) more likely that "beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh" fails, and England somehow don't make the quarters.

But seriously, is there a huge difference between crashing out in round 1 and scraping through to the quarters, putting on 230 and watching the opposition chase it down for 3 down in 45 overs?

Of course it would have been better to replace Cook a while back, allow the likes of Hales, Roy/Vince, Taylor et al to really settle into their roles (although that may also have given their opponents more to work with in terms of gameplans etc.). But for me, it's still a risk worth taking. In fact, it's a risk I'd be willing to take right up until the start of the world cup. Nothing to lose, plenty to gain.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by kingraf on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:57 am

I've never advocated doing away with Cook... Just saying if it was going to be done it should have been done a while age
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by KP_fan on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:00 pm

your argument makes sense if the assumption :

" England has no chance of making it to the last 4 in any case holds good"

Mike Selig wrote:I don't know about too late.

I think a few people on here want to have their cake and eat it. You can't spend months moaning about how anything would be better than Cook captaining, and then moan that "but not now, now is not the time".

I do understand where people are coming from but I disagree. Realistically England have next to no chance of winning the world cup (I make them about 6th favourites); we all agreed on that. Therefore I repeat what I said at the end of the Indian series: what is there to lose? Not scraping through to the quarter finals to be well beaten there? Getting beaten up even worse in the quarters by being rolled over for 120 rather than stuttering to 230?

Weigh that up against what there is to gain: a new, exciting young team with a fresh approach, who opposition won't know much about and who may, just may, pull off some upsets. To win the world cup you basically have to beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh, then win 3 matches from the quarter-finals. I personally think that is still more likely without Cook opening the batting. Although I accept it is also (fractionally) more likely that "beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh" fails, and England somehow don't make the quarters.

But seriously, is there a huge difference between crashing out in round 1 and scraping through to the quarters, putting on 230 and watching the opposition chase it down for 3 down in 45 overs?

Of course it would have been better to replace Cook a while back, allow the likes of Hales, Roy/Vince, Taylor et al to really settle into their roles (although that may also have given their opponents more to work with in terms of gameplans etc.). But for me, it's still a risk worth taking. In fact, it's a risk I'd be willing to take right up until the start of the world cup. Nothing to lose, plenty to gain.
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by guildfordbat on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Mike Selig wrote:I don't know about too late.

I think a few people on here want to have their cake and eat it. You can't spend months moaning about how anything would be better than Cook captaining, and then moan that "but not now, now is not the time".

I do understand where people are coming from but I disagree. Realistically England have next to no chance of winning the world cup (I make them about 6th favourites); we all agreed on that. Therefore I repeat what I said at the end of the Indian series: what is there to lose? Not scraping through to the quarter finals to be well beaten there? Getting beaten up even worse in the quarters by being rolled over for 120 rather than stuttering to 230?

Weigh that up against what there is to gain: a new, exciting young team with a fresh approach, who opposition won't know much about and who may, just may, pull off some upsets. To win the world cup you basically have to beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh, then win 3 matches from the quarter-finals. I personally think that is still more likely without Cook opening the batting. Although I accept it is also (fractionally) more likely that "beat the associates and Zimbabwe/Bangladesh" fails, and England somehow don't make the quarters.

But seriously, is there a huge difference between crashing out in round 1 and scraping through to the quarters, putting on 230 and watching the opposition chase it down for 3 down in 45 overs?

Of course it would have been better to replace Cook a while back, allow the likes of Hales, Roy/Vince, Taylor et al to really settle into their roles (although that may also have given their opponents more to work with in terms of gameplans etc.). But for me, it's still a risk worth taking. In fact, it's a risk I'd be willing to take right up until the start of the world cup. Nothing to lose, plenty to gain.

I'm fully with Mike on this.

I'm no fan of knee jerk reactions but believe this is something entirely different, as very well set out above.

The only thing I would add is that there now seems to be an almost generally held acceptance that Cook will quit as ODI skipper once we're knocked out of the World Cup. I just cannot see anything to be gained by him prolonging such an already slow and painful death.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:38 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
The only thing I would add is that there now seems to be an almost generally held acceptance that Cook will quit as ODI skipper once we're knocked out of the World Cup. I just cannot see anything to be gained by him prolonging such an already slow and painful death.

It's infuriating and ridiculous. Sacrificing a World Cup so that someone's pride doesn't get hurt. Cook's position is untenable, as a player and as a captain. But England don't like to rock the boat and hurt people's feelings, so we will probably be going out there with the opposition virtually laughing at being gifted a wicket per game.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by guildfordbat on Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:29 pm

At a Surrey forum meeting tonight, Alec Stewart was asked about England's preparation and chances for the World Cup.

As Surrey regulars will know, I like Stewart. Unless there are contractual issues involved, he'll normally give you a straight answer and, although he'll often throw in a bit of humour, he won't worry too much if it's not the answer you wanted.

Anyway, he was of the view that there was ''no need'' for the selectors to have named Cook as captain when they announced their 30 man squad and considered that by doing so they ''had backed themselves into a corner''.

He stated that the approach of the selectors was ''strange'' and emphasised that their first priority, above choosing the captain, should be to ''find out what is the best fifteen and the style to play''. Thereafter, they needed to be ''brave'' in selecting a captain.

Stewart added that if England were to win the World Cup, ''it would be down to pot luck rather than good planning by the selectors''.

Stewart acknowledged in fairness that the current issues were hardly a new thing as poor World Cup planning had dogged England for the last two decades. He joked that when he captained England at the World Cup in the late '90s, ''we were knocked out before we had recorded the team song!''.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:28 pm

Guildford - what are your thoughts on the chances of Alex Stewart becoming involved in the England setup? Seems like the kind of person we are after: straight-talking and unsentimental and was also a cracking ODI player in his day

And re your last sentence, that made me laugh, and isn't there a bit of truth in that? I am sure I recall the official song being released after England had been knocked out!

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by SimonofSurrey on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:38 pm

Here's how:

1/ copy the Australians - be ruthless in dispatching tried individuals who aren't good enough at the form of the game/have lost their mojo: so out go Cook (not least to end his suffering and save his Test career), Bell and Morgan.

2/ choose a mix of proven and raw ability, starting from a blank piece of paper, eg:

Hales
Roy  
Taylor
Mooen
Root - vice captain
Bopara
Buttler
Stokes (if he finds it again)/Jordan
Broad - captain
Tredwell
Anderson
(Vince, Finn, Woakes honourable mentions)

3/ succeed or go down fighting, not with a whimper wondering how our best one-day players might have got on instead.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by guildfordbat on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:12 pm

VTR - as I've said, I like Stewart and you flag his ''straight talking and unsentimental'' characteristics that particularly appeal to me.

The difficulty would probably be knowing in where he fits in.

The first team coaching at Surrey is headed up by Graham Ford (ex Sri Lanka coach). Although Stewart helps out in that regard and isn't worried about getting his hands dirty, that isn't his main province. That leads me to think that Stewart wouldn't be a replacement for Moores, certainly not a direct like for like replacement anyway.

Stewart's label at Surrey is Executive Director of Cricket. He's ultimately responsible for all cricket aspects and is very much the face and voice of the club to members. He's really good at that. He's approachable and knows many of the 'ordinary' members well with a fantastic memory for matters previously discussed. He actually came up to me at a second XI game at Guildford early last season and started chatting to me about a young player I had asked him about six months before at a forum meeting.

He also combines the knack of being good humoured whilst also not suffering fools gladly. Having reassured members last night that our young seamer Tom Curran who missed the end of last season with injury was fully on the way back to recovery, the meeting was rather taken aback when someone asked in rather deathly tones, ''if Curran would now never be more than ninety per cent of the bowler that he was''. Stewart replied, ''I bet when you wake up on a lovely sunny morning, the first thing you think about is when it's going to rain! ''.

Whilst Stewart more than earns his corn, Surrey are fortunate that, unlike most counties, they have the money to be able to afford him in this type of position. The ECB could similarly afford him but would need to give a lot of thought to his role. Clearly, that would be unlikely to involve walking round the outfield at a stiffs' game and chewing the fat with the likes of me.

I still though believe that 'communication' is what Stewart does best and that he could serve a valuable role with the ECB in that regard. Certainly, the appalling aftermath of Pietersen's sacking and all the distracting recriminations would never have happened with Stewart handling matters. He understands the game, its players and the cricketing public too well.

Any role like that would though need to be agreed by Downton and I fear that Stewart might be seen by him (Downton) as a bit too much outspoken and his own man. Doubt that Stewart would want Downton's role - probably too office bound and number crunching for his liking (a role undertaken by CEO Richard (son of Bobby) Gould at the Oval).

Tricky but a good question and worthy of exploration. Given my current feelings about the England set up, I have to say it probably won't happen though.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:32 pm

Interesting post Guildford, a couple of points for me:

You say where would his role be, but I have to say I do wonder what Downton's role is or if its necessary. I would rather have a couple of people in more defined roles than one Downton who seems to be involved in a bit of everything whilst not adding much

Its chicken and egg with a Stewart type figure. Too outspoken to ever get into the ultra conservative ECB, which will never change unless someone like Stewart ever gets in there! We can look forward to more Ashley Giles, Peter Moore's figures I imagine, whilst anyone who may be difficult to manage is locked out

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by guildfordbat on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:12 pm

VTR - it really says a lot about the ECB if (as I suspect would be the case) they would regard Stewart as too outspoken. He's hardly Nigel Farage on acid! For me, he's just a straight talking guy who knows his subject and generally appreciates questions from those with the same interest as him.

I share your doubts as to Downton and his role.

Also interesting and to Stewart's credit that at Surrey he has been one of the best over the years in handling Pietersen and getting him to interact well with his team mates. I always felt the ECB missed a trick in not being pro-active and talking to Stewart in how that was accomplished.

In order to be thorough and fair, critics are entitled to point out that Surrey have not been an outstanding success under Stewart's executive directorship. I would just emphasise that Stewart's inheritance from Chris Adams was far from great and that there have been some definite signs of team and individual (Roy, Ansari, Dunn) improvement over the last year. The lack of trophy success doesn't also diminish Stewart's communication skills, indeed that's something else he's prepared to face up to and discuss openly.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:46 pm

You know the comment that made me think what a complete clown Downton is, wasn't any of his Cook drivel, it was when he called James Taylors performances "surprising"

He's either got his head in the sand or too far up his own arse to watch county cricket then. Utter clown
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:04 pm

How how how is this man in the selection meetings!!

He doesn't have a clue about cricket, he's some sort of city big wig!!
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Mike Selig on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:25 pm

Can we lay off the personal insults please? Paul Downton may not be everybody's cup of tea, you may disagree with a lot of what he does, but to call him a clown repeatedly or to say he doesn't have a clue about cricket is both exaggeration and completely unnecessary. The guy played international cricket for a while and was a major part of Middlesex's very successful 1980s outfit.

Beyond all of that, he is simply a human being. I just don't like to see people insulted gratuitously (and anonymously). By all means criticise his decisions, his behaviour, etc. but going over the top with hyperbole and attacking the man personally does nothing for your argument.

None of this retracts any of my previous thoughts on Cook etc. Just that I don't like to see the tone of debate lowered.

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:37 pm

guildfordbat wrote:VTR - as I've said, I like Stewart and you flag his ''straight talking and unsentimental'' characteristics that particularly appeal to me...................

He also combines the knack of being good humoured whilst also not suffering fools gladly. Having reassured members last night that our young seamer Tom Curran who missed the end of last season with injury was fully on the way back to recovery, the meeting was rather taken aback when someone asked in rather deathly tones, ''if Curran would now never be more than ninety per cent of the bowler that he was''. Stewart replied, ''I bet when you wake up on a lovely sunny morning, the first thing you think about is when it's going to rain! ''...........

Laugh Laugh

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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 am

I'm calling him a clown in regards to how he's performing in his job role really, probably didn't put that across very well
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Re: How can England start to take ODIs seriously?

Post by VTR on Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:47 am

Clown is hardly a personal insult is it? And to say it once has been deemed "repeatedly".

I think you have a point anyway, he is not coming across very well at the moment, that interview was downright awful and us England fans have every right to be angry about it.

I am sure Downton has done some good things and works hard but here's a few things he has overseen already:

Bringing back Peter Moores - a completely regressive step
The whole KP saga was badly handled
Saying he is surprised by the performance of one of England's best prospects
Backing a captain who is clearly failing in ODIs

And we also hear he sits in on selection meetings

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