England v India, 2nd ODI, Cardiff August 26, 2014

Root rebuffs England criticism

  shares 31

Play 01:16
Cook's our leader - Root

It does not seem two minutes since Joe Root was making his first steps in the England side and reading so many descriptions of how childlike he still looked that he might have been preparing for the Primary School prom. Yet he is already England's only batsman in the top 10 of the Test rankings and with Alastair Cook's position as Test captain assured again, he is widely perceived as the captain in waiting.

In the two years or so that it has taken for England's more fashionable areas to decide that their precious 11-year-olds heading to big school must have an expensive party to send them on their way (give it another decade and infants will be wearing dinner jackets in push chairs after leaving Nursery), Root has represented England 62 times. That is already more times than most of these Primary School prommers will have handed in homework. Life rushes on apace.

So it was in Cardiff that Root, at only 23, was entrusted with England's most pressing role: not runs against India in the second Royal London ODI - that task will come tomorrow - but a spot of stout defending against the outcry by Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan, two former England cricketers of repute, concerning England's one-day policy.

To précis: according to Swann and Vaughan, Cook should have followed up his Test triumph against India by recognising his limitations as a one-day batsman and voluntarily stood down as ODI captain, and England have no chance of winning the World Cup because their approach is old fashioned and world weary, Cook being just one of many examples.

It would have been more educational if Peter Moores, the coach, or even the national selector James Whitaker, had answered the charges, but England do not like to dance to the media's tune so Young Joe was charged with a thankless job where he was professionally bound to remain optimistic, protect spirits and defuse criticism.

To be fair to England, at least they make somebody available; India's players are allowed minimal interaction except through officially-approved channels and even then they are best advised not to show a spark of individuality for fear of offending the Thought Police above them.

Root warmed to his task by saying "momentum" three times in as many sentences and, for once, this most overused sporting cliché had a point to it. England's unwillingness to shake up their one-day squad arose partly from the momentum gained in their 3-1 success in the Test series. Swann and Vaughan argued that they should see the Test side as two different entities. What the selectors saw was the big Mo, players happy and successful again and clung to it with gratitude.

Or, as Root loyally put it: "We know as a side where we are. We are comfortable and ready to go and ready to compete in this series. At the minute we have got certain things in place. We feel if we get things right and express ourselves how we want to, things will care of themselves. We just want to go out there with freedom to play and show what we can do: judge it when you are out there. We want to prove we can do that. This series is a great opportunity for us to show that.

"There is not much wrong with the batting order at moment. Guys have been picked because they are very capable of making big scores in a one-day series. Morgan and Buttler down the order - you have seen for a number of series that they can win matches on their own. Mixed with the rest, I think we have a good balance in our side. This series will be a good judge of that."

A plea to play with freedom was interesting. Swann railed against England's data-driven approach to one-day cricket where segments of the game were broken down into preconceived targets based on historical data. As one of England's most instinctive cricketers, Root would rather trust his own calculations, made out in the middle, responsive not to history but the challenges in front of him. Perhaps Peter Moores, in his second term as coach, will allow greater freedom than - judging by Swann's comments - were sometimes seen under Andy Flower.

Then the young man who will surely captain England one day was asked about Swann's belief that Cook should stand down. Did he agree? The question swung from the hand and he planted it to the cover boundary.

"No. He is a leader, our leader, in one-dayers and Tests, and has done well for a number of years. He is a fantastic player and he has got all of our support. He compliments well with a player like Alex Hales. As a team we are very excited and want to show we are a good ODI side. Starting tomorrow. "

Sometimes, the interest is not in the words said, but the person asked to say them. Root is shrewd enough to want to captain England one day, and even shrewder to know that he has quite enough to contend with at the moment in developing his own game in all three formats.

He was doubtless sent out to do a man's job, not just because he is perceived as a future captain, or because he is sharp-witted and affable enough to cope, but because Vaughan, who played at the same Sheffield Collegiate Club, is his mentor, and indeed connected to the same ISM agency.

The questions about England's top order will dog them throughout the series. Cook, having answered the questions about his captaincy, now has to sit another examination. Will Hales' presence as opener really be enough to offset the presence of Cook and Ian Bell in the top three, career strike rates of 76 and 78 respectively? Root's own strike rate, incidentally, is 79. In days of ever-increasing expectations, he must know that he still has some developing to do himself.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • neil99 on August 27, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Davidlister

    Pity you didn't hold that until after the game. England's ODI side is a disaster, lead by Cook whose tactics and approach would've been laughed out of the 1980s. It's poor and one dimensional; the batting being the main problem. It's one pace, there's little aggression and acceleration and they still believe 300 is a good score. Cook, bell & Ballance must make way for the young, exciting powerful hitters of the modern game.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    @James C Birbeck Dar on (August 27, 2014, 8:59 GMT) How do you work out that white ball cricket is a natural format for Stokes and Woakes exactly? Even at domestic level neither have brilliant stats. Stokes has a good SR (at domestic level) as a batsman but that's it

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    @RStow1987 on (August 27, 2014, 9:08 GMT) He did say ODI record and not ODs. That's still 7 more opportunities than Taylor and 9 more than Vince and Roy and (before today) than Hales. Lumb got 3 games and averaged 55 at a SR of 82 and seems to have been discarded so what is Ballance showing for England (in ODIs) that Lumb did not. His 40+ at a SR of just over 60 when Eng were chasing a 300+ total showed me all I needed to see. It looked to me that he was putting his stats before what the team needed on that occasion. Yes Root was as guilty on that day but Root has shown willingness to put the teams needs 1st in the past. Selfishness can be a good thing in test cricket but not in SFs. I already think we have at least 1 too many of similar type in the ODI side and Bell (esp in his current mood) is definitely a better pick and I'd probably pick Cook over Ballance right now although I'm not convinced by him either.

  • davidlister on August 27, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    With Hales, Butler and Morgan in the ODI team there is the right amount of explosiveness, balanced by the sureness of Cook, Bell, Ballance. English ODI is in a good place going forward. (PS Looking good in front of the camera and having excellent manners are not to be sneezed at btw.)

  • RStow1987 on August 27, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @JG2704 I think Jonathan Buck is referring to Ballance's one day stats, an average of 52 and strike rate of 90, to show he can play this format and 9 innings isn't enough to judge him on at this level yet.

  • on August 27, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    In ODI's you look for hitters at the start, finishers, and plenty of players who can bat and bowl, to give you options. England are well equipped in this area at the moment (all rounders include Bopara, an excellent ODI bowler, Ali, Stokes and Woakes, as well as Buttler). Hales is an excellent opener, Taylor, Roy and vince all hit hard and often. So why persist with Cook Ballance and Bell in what is not their natural format?

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    @landl47 on (August 27, 2014, 3:23 GMT) I would say no. If we have Cook,Bell and Root in the same side there would be no room for Ballance. His average is poor which I wouldn't mind if his tempo was good but it is not. Why should guys like Buttler and Morgan etc be expected to bat desperately every time to compensate for the upper middle order's failings? I don't think you need to change it drastically but I've never liked Bell,Cook and Trott up top. Also in recent series' Cook and Bell still cop the flack for slow starts etc but a bigger problem area has been at 3 and 4 in terms of tempo - guys like Root,Ballance and Stokes. Root has had enough games where he has done well at a good tempo and to be fair to Stokes I think it's down to lack or quality as opposed to lack of urgency. I'd definitely stick with Bell - the way he's going about his job right now but like Swann/Vaughan I don't see us winning a WC with the balance of the side the way it is

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    @Jonathan Buck on (August 27, 2014, 6:51 GMT) Re Ballance having an excellent ODI record

    With an ave of 28.22 and SR of 71.95 - What part of those stats is excellent?

  • Harlequin. on August 27, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @lodd - agreed, they are a complete waste of time. Though it is not surprising that the players don't like to say anything interesting; look at the analysis given here in an article where Root basically said nothing, and imagine what would have happened had he spoken his mind!

  • Nutcutlet on August 27, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    These press conferences do little for the standing of the game. There'll be copy in them, but why are players on an ad hoc basis called to handle them? This is, if ever anything is, a management concern. Root is inner sanctum, captain-in-waiting, indeed. Was there a ghost of a chance that he'd say anything critical of Cook, or the current setup? Do press conferences serve a purpose then? Perhaps. I think they provide opportunities for some of our cricketers to become politicians in due course. Speak lots of words and say nothing. Dhoni has been doing this for years for his paymasters - and he does it very well. Deference is all when it comes to Indian cricket - and it's catching...

  • neil99 on August 27, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Davidlister

    Pity you didn't hold that until after the game. England's ODI side is a disaster, lead by Cook whose tactics and approach would've been laughed out of the 1980s. It's poor and one dimensional; the batting being the main problem. It's one pace, there's little aggression and acceleration and they still believe 300 is a good score. Cook, bell & Ballance must make way for the young, exciting powerful hitters of the modern game.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    @James C Birbeck Dar on (August 27, 2014, 8:59 GMT) How do you work out that white ball cricket is a natural format for Stokes and Woakes exactly? Even at domestic level neither have brilliant stats. Stokes has a good SR (at domestic level) as a batsman but that's it

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    @RStow1987 on (August 27, 2014, 9:08 GMT) He did say ODI record and not ODs. That's still 7 more opportunities than Taylor and 9 more than Vince and Roy and (before today) than Hales. Lumb got 3 games and averaged 55 at a SR of 82 and seems to have been discarded so what is Ballance showing for England (in ODIs) that Lumb did not. His 40+ at a SR of just over 60 when Eng were chasing a 300+ total showed me all I needed to see. It looked to me that he was putting his stats before what the team needed on that occasion. Yes Root was as guilty on that day but Root has shown willingness to put the teams needs 1st in the past. Selfishness can be a good thing in test cricket but not in SFs. I already think we have at least 1 too many of similar type in the ODI side and Bell (esp in his current mood) is definitely a better pick and I'd probably pick Cook over Ballance right now although I'm not convinced by him either.

  • davidlister on August 27, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    With Hales, Butler and Morgan in the ODI team there is the right amount of explosiveness, balanced by the sureness of Cook, Bell, Ballance. English ODI is in a good place going forward. (PS Looking good in front of the camera and having excellent manners are not to be sneezed at btw.)

  • RStow1987 on August 27, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    @JG2704 I think Jonathan Buck is referring to Ballance's one day stats, an average of 52 and strike rate of 90, to show he can play this format and 9 innings isn't enough to judge him on at this level yet.

  • on August 27, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    In ODI's you look for hitters at the start, finishers, and plenty of players who can bat and bowl, to give you options. England are well equipped in this area at the moment (all rounders include Bopara, an excellent ODI bowler, Ali, Stokes and Woakes, as well as Buttler). Hales is an excellent opener, Taylor, Roy and vince all hit hard and often. So why persist with Cook Ballance and Bell in what is not their natural format?

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    @landl47 on (August 27, 2014, 3:23 GMT) I would say no. If we have Cook,Bell and Root in the same side there would be no room for Ballance. His average is poor which I wouldn't mind if his tempo was good but it is not. Why should guys like Buttler and Morgan etc be expected to bat desperately every time to compensate for the upper middle order's failings? I don't think you need to change it drastically but I've never liked Bell,Cook and Trott up top. Also in recent series' Cook and Bell still cop the flack for slow starts etc but a bigger problem area has been at 3 and 4 in terms of tempo - guys like Root,Ballance and Stokes. Root has had enough games where he has done well at a good tempo and to be fair to Stokes I think it's down to lack or quality as opposed to lack of urgency. I'd definitely stick with Bell - the way he's going about his job right now but like Swann/Vaughan I don't see us winning a WC with the balance of the side the way it is

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    @Jonathan Buck on (August 27, 2014, 6:51 GMT) Re Ballance having an excellent ODI record

    With an ave of 28.22 and SR of 71.95 - What part of those stats is excellent?

  • Harlequin. on August 27, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @lodd - agreed, they are a complete waste of time. Though it is not surprising that the players don't like to say anything interesting; look at the analysis given here in an article where Root basically said nothing, and imagine what would have happened had he spoken his mind!

  • Nutcutlet on August 27, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    These press conferences do little for the standing of the game. There'll be copy in them, but why are players on an ad hoc basis called to handle them? This is, if ever anything is, a management concern. Root is inner sanctum, captain-in-waiting, indeed. Was there a ghost of a chance that he'd say anything critical of Cook, or the current setup? Do press conferences serve a purpose then? Perhaps. I think they provide opportunities for some of our cricketers to become politicians in due course. Speak lots of words and say nothing. Dhoni has been doing this for years for his paymasters - and he does it very well. Deference is all when it comes to Indian cricket - and it's catching...

  • on August 27, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    Have to agree that Cook is not the man, and it's time to shake the top order up and include aggressive hitters like Hales and Roy. I wouldn't dispense with Ballance and Root, both I've seen play for Yorkshire and putting the obvious county bias aside then Ballance has an excellent ODI record, has a steely temperament under pressure and puts the ball over the boundary rope - often. Check the stats. Having seen Taylor, I agree the Notts lad deserves a go, and you can mix the top 6 from Hales, Roy, Ballance, Root, Taylor, Bell, Buttler. It's the bowling that is the issue. Dispensing with Pup is an easy answer, he's 'so nearly' got us over the line, but never quite managed it, but his straight up-and-down trundlers are effective and entering the ODI arena with pacemen a la Woakes, Stokes, Jordan will be tantamount to easy boundaries. In short take the top 6 from those listed, Broad to captain, but an effective 'trundler' and an effective spinner both of whom can bat are needed.

  • shane-oh on August 27, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    This obsession with strike rates is indicative of the T20 mentality slipping into peoples thinking. Fine, but not really relevant to ODI thinking.

    Cook and Bell averaging close to 40 at the strike rates they have? I'd take that any day. An ODI is 50 overs long; you still need someone to score consistent runs at a reasonable pace to anchor.. As already pointed out, England have players down the order who strike close to or over 100 to make up for that.

    As an example looks at their opponents, India. Their batsmen have generally have strike rates in the high 80s, but has that translated to massive success on it's own? No, it hasn't, despite winning a couple of tournaments in the last few years. They've been getting beaten by so called mediocre teams that they were meant to be beating easily. Strike rate is one facet of the game, and one which has less relevance in ODIs than T20s by the very nature of the formats.

  • landl47 on August 27, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    @JG2704: aren't you being a bit hard on Ballance? He's only had 9 innings in ODIs (not counting his 1* off 1 ball against Scotland). He's hardly had time to get a feel for the game at international level. His List A form suggests that he can play 50-over cricket as well as almost anyone in the country. I'd want to see more of him before writing him off.

    I see James Taylor made 146* for Notts. today. He's done very well this season and he and Hales seem to bat exceptionally well together, both for Notts. and the Lions. He'd certainly be on my list of players who excel at the 50-over game- average of 52 with 11 hundreds and a strike rate of 83 over his career and he's still only 24.

  • on August 27, 2014, 1:21 GMT

    Hales,Lumb,Pieterson/Bell,Morgan,Bopara,Butler,Stokes,Rashid,Jordan,Broad,Anderson 12th Man : Root. and why is the 12th man talking

  • ruester on August 27, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    cook is the only captain Root has played under, is he now taking the " yes boss, anything you say boss" role so well held by Prior. Chum up to the captain at all times. still staggered that Cook is in the ODI side and they leave Bopara and Taylor out of the mix. Shocking selection. What does Cook bring to the team? lots of runs scored at high strike rate?........No Tactical genius........NO Looks good in front of camera and went to the right school? YES. England will always struggle in ODI until we change our old fashioned ways.

  • landl47 on August 26, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    The limitations in ODIs (the best bowlers can only bowl 10 overs, powerplays, fielding positions, two new balls, etc.) seem to me to be arbitrary, which is why I don't enjoy the format as much as tests.

    However, since the game must be played under existing conditions, look for specialists in playing that way. If they can develop into test players as David Warner has, fine. If not, Michael Bevan had a great career as a limited over specialist- he just didn't succeed in tests.

    England has some ODI specialists (Morgan, Tredwell, Gurney and now Hales) so the idea isn't repugnant to them. Some seem to be developing into test players (Buttler, Stokes). Why not just take it to the next level and bring in guys like Roy? The best ODI side should all be ODI specialists. If they can play tests as well, fine, but don't pick players based on their test achievements and call them ODI specialists.

    I think it's pretty easy to spot the difference.

  • Charlie101 on August 26, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    If you consider that Jordon , Stokes and Woakes are all extremely capable with the bat we can then afford to pick a more aggressive batting line up because if the batting line up fails there is a fall back. Therefore assuming Cook plays because he is the captain I do not see a role for Bell and would rather play a Roy or a Bairstow who can clear the boundary at will when they get going . They are not as reliable as Bell but are more lightly to win games for you .

  • bobmartin on August 26, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    @ VillageBlacksmith... Tell me how on earth you expect Bopara to score tons batting where he does in the ODI line-up.. He is good.. but hardly superman...

  • lodd on August 26, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    What a total, absolute and utter waste of time these press conferences are ...

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2014, 20:12 GMT

    @Daniel Powell on (August 26, 2014, 17:32 GMT) Thing is Ballance hasn't looked like transferring what he's done in the domestic OD game to the international arena. If he was averaging in the 40s for England even at a poorish SR or averaging in the early 30s at a decent SR I'd say there are arguments for him keeping his place but averaging under 30 at a SR in the low 70s and on decent batting tracks is not good

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2014, 20:06 GMT

    Root talks about not being worried about stats , but one of Swann's criticisms was that England were pretty much stats obsessed

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (August 26, 2014, 19:05 GMT) If you're going to have a go at Bell for stagnating the RR then please at least suggest someone who is likely to do better than Bell. I have agreed with you in the past when Bell has looked terrible and obviously lacking confidence that he should have been dropped and I was not a fan of him coming back into the ODI set up but the guy has done well since his recall and in the last couple of series his SR has been decent and his SR and ave is way better than Ballance in ODIs for England As for Bopara - I'd much rather have him coming in at 7 than Stokes or Woakes and his bowling is pretty effective in this format

  • Westmorlandia on August 26, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    I also think they have made a mistake with Bopara, who has done some really top batting down the order in the recent past - not an easy job. Since the start of 2012, he has averaged 35, at a strike rate of 86. I understand the point about him bowling on Aussie pitches, but at the same time it's where Shane Watson bowls, who is a very similar bowler, and he does fine.

    My team would be:

    Cook, Hales, Bell, Root, Morgan, Bopara, Buttler, Woakes, Jordan, Tredwell, Anderson

    You want players like Cook and Bell in the mix for ODIs. All teams have them. Some people are talking like this is T20, but we need a bit more solidity than that. If an opener is going at 78 - as Cook has in his ODI career - that is similar to someone like Michael Clarke, and I don't hear too much said against his batting pace in ODIs.

  • eggyroe on August 26, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    @Alnot Dunphy,In England everybody is entitled to an opinion whether you like it or not,that is what free speech is all about.

  • on August 26, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Get off Cooks back, I have faith in him always have and always will. His strike rate is better than some who play in ODIs . Although I do have to admit, would be nice to see Samit Patel back in ODI and Kieswetter when he has recovered if not as a wicket keeper, his strike rate is over 80. Either way at the sam time we do need one or two players who have a strike rate just under 80 like Cook, Bell and at the moment Root have to keep the balance I mean we don't want to end up 150 all out or lower because batters have been too aggressive too early on like we have seen some of our players being, just change the batting order slightly to accommodate this.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 26, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    Ballance for Bell, and Cook can only be carried @ a SR of 90+ if he bats long and all the others are allowed to ''express themselves'' around him… Not so slow that Cook & bell put pressure on all the other bats which has been happening for years leaving them too much to do EVERY game, as Nasser & Knight have been saying, every game, for years…. How Bairstow has not been a permanent fixture (as a bat) since his superb heroics last time vs India shows Eng selelctors are clueless about moving forward… As swann & vaughan say… Hales should have been in years ago, and most of Vince Taylor & Roy should be in by now… bell and bopara (4 tons between them in nearly 260 odis!!!) should have been chucked years ago, and as for morgan, he is in hopeless form and deserves to be replaced by one of the new guys above until he is worthy of selection bacause at the moment he is not… That's if the Eng selectors are serious about winning a competition, any competition… Time to move on…

  • on August 26, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Joe Root needs to learn to keep his mouth closed. Stick to making runs - leave the comments to the management: that's what they are paid to do.

  • Vaughanographic on August 26, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Tough to get the Ballance right for England. Sounds like the best lineup would have a makeshift opener in it?

    Hales Ballance Bopara Morgan (capt) Root Stokes (dont rate him but not sure who else) Butler Jordan Tredwell (any other ideas?) Broad/Woakes Anderson

    Jeez that team would have enough stroke players in it! But not sure who else to have open, think Root needs time to bed in in the lower middle order

  • 200ondebut on August 26, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    What a surprise that Root tows the party line. After all talent and runs count for nothing if you don't suck up to the captain. We cant expect players to come out and say that they are getting it wrong, but some of the intransigence that Swann talks about is apparent in the replies.

  • on August 26, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Agreed with Swann and Vaughan about Ravi, but they're hopelessly clueless where the rest are concerned. You try telling Gary Ballance - a man who averaged 52.36 at a strike rate of 90.10 in one day cricket - that Swann and Vaughan reckon he's too slow for one day cricket. What an absolute joke.

  • on August 26, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    England win 2nd odi match

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 26, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    England win 2nd odi match

  • on August 26, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Agreed with Swann and Vaughan about Ravi, but they're hopelessly clueless where the rest are concerned. You try telling Gary Ballance - a man who averaged 52.36 at a strike rate of 90.10 in one day cricket - that Swann and Vaughan reckon he's too slow for one day cricket. What an absolute joke.

  • 200ondebut on August 26, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    What a surprise that Root tows the party line. After all talent and runs count for nothing if you don't suck up to the captain. We cant expect players to come out and say that they are getting it wrong, but some of the intransigence that Swann talks about is apparent in the replies.

  • Vaughanographic on August 26, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Tough to get the Ballance right for England. Sounds like the best lineup would have a makeshift opener in it?

    Hales Ballance Bopara Morgan (capt) Root Stokes (dont rate him but not sure who else) Butler Jordan Tredwell (any other ideas?) Broad/Woakes Anderson

    Jeez that team would have enough stroke players in it! But not sure who else to have open, think Root needs time to bed in in the lower middle order

  • on August 26, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Joe Root needs to learn to keep his mouth closed. Stick to making runs - leave the comments to the management: that's what they are paid to do.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 26, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    Ballance for Bell, and Cook can only be carried @ a SR of 90+ if he bats long and all the others are allowed to ''express themselves'' around him… Not so slow that Cook & bell put pressure on all the other bats which has been happening for years leaving them too much to do EVERY game, as Nasser & Knight have been saying, every game, for years…. How Bairstow has not been a permanent fixture (as a bat) since his superb heroics last time vs India shows Eng selelctors are clueless about moving forward… As swann & vaughan say… Hales should have been in years ago, and most of Vince Taylor & Roy should be in by now… bell and bopara (4 tons between them in nearly 260 odis!!!) should have been chucked years ago, and as for morgan, he is in hopeless form and deserves to be replaced by one of the new guys above until he is worthy of selection bacause at the moment he is not… That's if the Eng selectors are serious about winning a competition, any competition… Time to move on…

  • on August 26, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Get off Cooks back, I have faith in him always have and always will. His strike rate is better than some who play in ODIs . Although I do have to admit, would be nice to see Samit Patel back in ODI and Kieswetter when he has recovered if not as a wicket keeper, his strike rate is over 80. Either way at the sam time we do need one or two players who have a strike rate just under 80 like Cook, Bell and at the moment Root have to keep the balance I mean we don't want to end up 150 all out or lower because batters have been too aggressive too early on like we have seen some of our players being, just change the batting order slightly to accommodate this.

  • eggyroe on August 26, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    @Alnot Dunphy,In England everybody is entitled to an opinion whether you like it or not,that is what free speech is all about.

  • Westmorlandia on August 26, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    I also think they have made a mistake with Bopara, who has done some really top batting down the order in the recent past - not an easy job. Since the start of 2012, he has averaged 35, at a strike rate of 86. I understand the point about him bowling on Aussie pitches, but at the same time it's where Shane Watson bowls, who is a very similar bowler, and he does fine.

    My team would be:

    Cook, Hales, Bell, Root, Morgan, Bopara, Buttler, Woakes, Jordan, Tredwell, Anderson

    You want players like Cook and Bell in the mix for ODIs. All teams have them. Some people are talking like this is T20, but we need a bit more solidity than that. If an opener is going at 78 - as Cook has in his ODI career - that is similar to someone like Michael Clarke, and I don't hear too much said against his batting pace in ODIs.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (August 26, 2014, 19:05 GMT) If you're going to have a go at Bell for stagnating the RR then please at least suggest someone who is likely to do better than Bell. I have agreed with you in the past when Bell has looked terrible and obviously lacking confidence that he should have been dropped and I was not a fan of him coming back into the ODI set up but the guy has done well since his recall and in the last couple of series his SR has been decent and his SR and ave is way better than Ballance in ODIs for England As for Bopara - I'd much rather have him coming in at 7 than Stokes or Woakes and his bowling is pretty effective in this format