England v India, 4th ODI, Edgbaston September 2, 2014

Cook accepts World Cup chances 'a bit far fetched'

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Alastair Cook has admitted the idea England can win the World Cup is "a bit far fetched" but insisted he has no plans to step down as England's ODI captain. England were thrashed by nine-wickets by India at Edgbaston with almost 20-overs remaining, sealing a 3-0 series result with one match to come.

It meant England had lost their last five ODIs in succession and five series out of six. The single series victory, in the Caribbean, came when Cook was not in the team.

With a maximum of 13 matches to go ahead of the World Cup, England are running out of time to find a viable plan to render them competitive - a view now officially sanctioned by a captain who has virtually written them off.

But while Cook, who has now not reached 80 in an ODI in 38 innings and 26 months, admitted to some doubts about his own form, he remains convinced that England's strategy remains correct and that he can play a part in turning around the disappointing run of results.

"I've captained for three-and-a-half years with the goal to try to win the World Cup in Australia," Cook said. "I know that seems a bit far-fetched at the moment but there's a lot of really good players in that changing room and if we can improve at the rate we need to improve we've got a chance. That's what we have to believe.

Any team that improves at the rate it needs to would, by definition, automatically become champions.

Cook insisted that his doubts about his own performance were ever present. "You always have those doubts and I've had those doubts for 80 games and 100 Test matches. You always are trying to prove that you're good enough and trying to contribute runs for an England win. That's the ultimate aim as a batter and at international cricket you're tested every single day, There's always doubts, that doesn't change.

He insisted that he had no plans to quit. "At this precise moment in time, no. I don't have a say on selection, but if I'm allowed to be, yes, I'll be at the World Cup. If not, then I have to take that on the chin. I hope not, but if it is, it is.

"I believe at the top of the order that, if I bat for 40-odd overs, I will score enough runs at a good rate. That's what I have done when I've been batting well."

The reference to 40-odd overs suggested that Cook was putting his own emphasis on an ability virtually to bat through the innings, which sounded dangerously close to all or nothing.

While Cook admitted the poor run of results had done nothing for the confidence in the dressing room, he suggested it was more due to poor execution of skills than poor tactics.

"Maybe for a few of these guys, it is the first time that we've lost as badly as this," Cook said. "It is a true test of character for the whole team, really.

"We don't quite know our best 11 at the moment because the results are showing we're not performing. When that happens you always start to doubt. That's the position we're in at the moment. We've got six months of one-day cricket to try and put that right.

"I don't think our strategy does need to change. I just think we need to do it better. The first two games we got really good starts off the first 10 overs and the problem is none of us have gone on.

"It's been our lack of execution of fairly basic skills at the moment with our batting. As a one-day batter, you need to be able to score at a good rate, at certain times take low-risk shots for a while but have the option of putting the pressure back on the opposition but also staying in. Unfortunately, we're not doing that.

"But it's amazing how quickly you can turn around. We've got to stay true to our beliefs as a team and actually the belief you have as a player because when you lose games of cricket people chip away at you and you start doubting the reason why you probably got selected in the first place."

While some have claimed that England are suffering in the shorter formats partly because their priority has often appeared to be Test cricket - this season is the first in which domestic cricket has been played over 50 overs for many years and in the past key players have been rested from limited-overs sides with a view to keeping them fresh for the Test side - Cook dismissed the theory.

"You only have to look at the dressing-room now to see whether it matters or not," Cook said. "We're brought up in a country where Test cricket has huge importance. But just because you put huge importance on Test cricket doesn't mean one-day cricket doesn't count.

"We've got a World Cup in six months. That's our big focus now. There is no Test cricket for six months, so it is very important."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY sujeemuller on | September 4, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    I'm talking to Hales.. dear Hales take this game little series and show your fire power. . Change the attitude of all other players and fans. . Because you already a hero for fans who love exciting cricket. . Even you fail you can come hard at next game so just hit harder and stay longer to renew some records. . Good luck and wish team management will give him licence for that

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 4, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    @xtrafagarx: that's fine and I agree with it, providing first you are winning games now and second you are prepared to live through a down period while the young players you haven't introduced because the older ones were hanging on finally get to play.

    England weren't winning with the older players; Strauss and Swann retired, Trott and Prior weren't fit to play and KP was dysfunctional, so the change in the test side was necessary. That change is working, despite the side being very young.

    The present Aussie side won the Ashes, but has 6 players older than England's oldest player in the current test side. Aus has one player aged 25 or under to England's 6 (8 in the 13-man squad). What happens when the older players go? England's present becomes Australia's future.

    In ODIs I believe the problem is not so much the players as the strategy. England hasn't moved with the times. They need to face up to the fact that a new strategy is needed. Cook is still in the past, so he must go.

  • POSTED BY IrvingPhillipFreely on | September 4, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    Alastair Cook should stand down from captaincy immediately. He might not realize that his comment would disqualify him from leading a team in any profession, including professional sport. No team wants to hear this from their leader.

    There is no way out of his statement - either he believes that:

    (1) he cannot lead whatever team is playing to victory, or,

    (2) no team given to him will be able to offer healthy competition, regardless of his own input, or,

    (3) regardless of the team that plays, there is no one in the English system who can deliver better results as a captain than himself

    This is hubris on every level.

    With some help from India, Cook recently dodged a bullet as far as test captaincy is concerned. It seems as though he has not learned anything from that experience.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 3, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    OK, here's a side picked for the World Cup based on present form and capability, bearing in mind that the WC will be played in Australia not in England or Sri Lanka.

    Roy, Hales, Taylor, Root, Bopara, Buttler, Ali, Rashid, Woakes, Broad, Anderson.

    There are 6 bowlers- three seamers, a medium-pacer, two spinners- plus Root's occasional offspin. All the batsmen are capable of scoring very fast and the side bats down to #10. Taylor and Root can consolidate if the openers go quickly. It's an outstanding fielding side. Taylor would be captain.

    For those who don't know Rashid, he's a leggie who also bats. His stats in List-A this year are 25 wickets @18, with an economy rate pf 4.81. He's still only 26 and is having by far his best year as a bowler- just got 8-194 in the county championship win over Durham, plus 159*.

    That side would have a much better chance in Australia than the present side.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | September 3, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    @Satzcrazy1 , i am not a SriLankan , to begin with, far from it. My team is playing elsewhere and locked in a battle with SA. I root for the team that has won several test series for fun , won 4 WCs including 3 in a row and what not . Go figure who that is !! SL won a WC but they couldnt earn the respect as much as Aus, Eng or SA as they haven't done well outside the subcontinent in tests. And exactly the same applies to your nation as well !! It is not our style to remain in stone-age, something that your board and by extension your team has fondly done time and again !! We have moved on !! Time for you and the alike to do so !!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 3, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    The story of the summer epitomises both English and Indian cricket. India approach the test game with a one day cricket mentality and England approach the ODI's with a test mentality. Hence two ridiculously one sided series sandwiching a complete reversal in 'fortune'.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | September 3, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Memo to the ECB, Messrs Moores and Cook: Don't take any notice of any negative posts. I am about to close my eyes and wish really, really hard that England win the next WC, so there's no doubt that everything will turn out just fine. No need to thank me.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | September 3, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    If you see other teams & England players you can see what the priorities for the English are. Micheal Clarke played 105 tests & around 240 ODIs, Dhoni 85 tests & around 250 ODIs, Alistair Cook 100 odd tests + 80 odd ODIs. No other cricket team has a 100 tests veteran playing lesser number of ODIs. This shows England do not have interest in playing ODIs, Only when the world cup is nearing they focus on World Cup. This flawed policy will at the most bring England to make the numbers in Super six stage or semi finals only. England will miss KP & that is for sure.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | September 3, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    @Fiaschetto: Couldn't have said it better myself. England are so obsessed with this 'new era' talk, both in Tests and Limited overs forms that they have lost all sense of direction in the present, because all they are thinking about is the future. What about now? They are picking emerging talent rather than the guys who are good enough to win games at the moment.

    I've said this before and i will say it again, if you pick teams for the future you will only ever win in the future.

  • POSTED BY fiaschetto on | September 3, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    To my mind, England's problem has been muddled priorities - they can't make up their mind whether their first priority is to select a team with the best chance to win the match or to select a team for the assessment of emerging talent. The result, they fudge selection to try and get a bit of both and end up achieving neither. The way English wickets are playing this summer, it's madness to go in with less than two front line spinners, yet when they wanted to take a look at Moeen, it was Tredwell, the best player from the previous game, who got dropped because 'they knew what he brings to the table.' If that's so, then why on Earth is Anderson playing? And if the answer is that winning is more important than assessing new talent, then why wasn't our best player, Bopara, even in the squad!?

  • POSTED BY sujeemuller on | September 4, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    I'm talking to Hales.. dear Hales take this game little series and show your fire power. . Change the attitude of all other players and fans. . Because you already a hero for fans who love exciting cricket. . Even you fail you can come hard at next game so just hit harder and stay longer to renew some records. . Good luck and wish team management will give him licence for that

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 4, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    @xtrafagarx: that's fine and I agree with it, providing first you are winning games now and second you are prepared to live through a down period while the young players you haven't introduced because the older ones were hanging on finally get to play.

    England weren't winning with the older players; Strauss and Swann retired, Trott and Prior weren't fit to play and KP was dysfunctional, so the change in the test side was necessary. That change is working, despite the side being very young.

    The present Aussie side won the Ashes, but has 6 players older than England's oldest player in the current test side. Aus has one player aged 25 or under to England's 6 (8 in the 13-man squad). What happens when the older players go? England's present becomes Australia's future.

    In ODIs I believe the problem is not so much the players as the strategy. England hasn't moved with the times. They need to face up to the fact that a new strategy is needed. Cook is still in the past, so he must go.

  • POSTED BY IrvingPhillipFreely on | September 4, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    Alastair Cook should stand down from captaincy immediately. He might not realize that his comment would disqualify him from leading a team in any profession, including professional sport. No team wants to hear this from their leader.

    There is no way out of his statement - either he believes that:

    (1) he cannot lead whatever team is playing to victory, or,

    (2) no team given to him will be able to offer healthy competition, regardless of his own input, or,

    (3) regardless of the team that plays, there is no one in the English system who can deliver better results as a captain than himself

    This is hubris on every level.

    With some help from India, Cook recently dodged a bullet as far as test captaincy is concerned. It seems as though he has not learned anything from that experience.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 3, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    OK, here's a side picked for the World Cup based on present form and capability, bearing in mind that the WC will be played in Australia not in England or Sri Lanka.

    Roy, Hales, Taylor, Root, Bopara, Buttler, Ali, Rashid, Woakes, Broad, Anderson.

    There are 6 bowlers- three seamers, a medium-pacer, two spinners- plus Root's occasional offspin. All the batsmen are capable of scoring very fast and the side bats down to #10. Taylor and Root can consolidate if the openers go quickly. It's an outstanding fielding side. Taylor would be captain.

    For those who don't know Rashid, he's a leggie who also bats. His stats in List-A this year are 25 wickets @18, with an economy rate pf 4.81. He's still only 26 and is having by far his best year as a bowler- just got 8-194 in the county championship win over Durham, plus 159*.

    That side would have a much better chance in Australia than the present side.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | September 3, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    @Satzcrazy1 , i am not a SriLankan , to begin with, far from it. My team is playing elsewhere and locked in a battle with SA. I root for the team that has won several test series for fun , won 4 WCs including 3 in a row and what not . Go figure who that is !! SL won a WC but they couldnt earn the respect as much as Aus, Eng or SA as they haven't done well outside the subcontinent in tests. And exactly the same applies to your nation as well !! It is not our style to remain in stone-age, something that your board and by extension your team has fondly done time and again !! We have moved on !! Time for you and the alike to do so !!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 3, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    The story of the summer epitomises both English and Indian cricket. India approach the test game with a one day cricket mentality and England approach the ODI's with a test mentality. Hence two ridiculously one sided series sandwiching a complete reversal in 'fortune'.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | September 3, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Memo to the ECB, Messrs Moores and Cook: Don't take any notice of any negative posts. I am about to close my eyes and wish really, really hard that England win the next WC, so there's no doubt that everything will turn out just fine. No need to thank me.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | September 3, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    If you see other teams & England players you can see what the priorities for the English are. Micheal Clarke played 105 tests & around 240 ODIs, Dhoni 85 tests & around 250 ODIs, Alistair Cook 100 odd tests + 80 odd ODIs. No other cricket team has a 100 tests veteran playing lesser number of ODIs. This shows England do not have interest in playing ODIs, Only when the world cup is nearing they focus on World Cup. This flawed policy will at the most bring England to make the numbers in Super six stage or semi finals only. England will miss KP & that is for sure.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | September 3, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    @Fiaschetto: Couldn't have said it better myself. England are so obsessed with this 'new era' talk, both in Tests and Limited overs forms that they have lost all sense of direction in the present, because all they are thinking about is the future. What about now? They are picking emerging talent rather than the guys who are good enough to win games at the moment.

    I've said this before and i will say it again, if you pick teams for the future you will only ever win in the future.

  • POSTED BY fiaschetto on | September 3, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    To my mind, England's problem has been muddled priorities - they can't make up their mind whether their first priority is to select a team with the best chance to win the match or to select a team for the assessment of emerging talent. The result, they fudge selection to try and get a bit of both and end up achieving neither. The way English wickets are playing this summer, it's madness to go in with less than two front line spinners, yet when they wanted to take a look at Moeen, it was Tredwell, the best player from the previous game, who got dropped because 'they knew what he brings to the table.' If that's so, then why on Earth is Anderson playing? And if the answer is that winning is more important than assessing new talent, then why wasn't our best player, Bopara, even in the squad!?

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | September 3, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    dunger, have you tried telling Aaron Finch to calm it down a bit ever since he came into the side? He smashed england for 150 off hardly anything in a t20 and bang, straight in the ODI side where he has been a revelation. Warner, another that moved up to test cricket maintaining that attacking intent. Hales had to wait 3 years from t20 debut for the same opportunity in ODI's, and has undoubtedly been instructed to play within himself to ease the team to a position of recovery. I think a player can develop a bit of experience, and know how, and not just swing from the hip every single ball, but you have to show faith in their ability to go out there and take on the bowling

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | September 3, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    @ Yevghenny: Sometimes a little bludgeoning, if skilfully applied, can be a good thing. A certain Glenn Maxwell is currently trying our patience. The only reason someone hasn't bludgeoned him is because it's likely he could walk out at any time and reel off another of his 90 off 45 ball specials. It's always there but no-one knows when it will pop. So, for the time being where're letting him play his own way. I'm not sure for how much longer though.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | September 3, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    "We know as a side where we are. We are comfortable...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." Joe Root, as reported, 26 Aug. He continued: "He is a leader, our leader... and has done well for a number of years. He is a fantastic player and he has got all of our support... As a team we are very excited and want to show we are a good ODI side. Starting tomorrow." That, friends, is the extent of Cook's support. I have seen England captains come & go for 50 years. I have never known a team member wheeled out to support the skipper; it just didn't happen, because - get this - * it didn't need to*! Brave words, Joe! Once, when a captain failed, he fell on his sword. Kind things were said. England moved on. It is the ECB who prop AC up. AC as a test capt is average at best. As ODI capt, he's disastrous. But then so is the whole set up & ethos.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | September 3, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    we don't have results because of the unmovable strategy we apply. Bright prospects are brought in and bludgeoned with "team batting" to help England into a statistically acceptable position, rather than letting them play their own game - the game that got them selected in the first place. There is a chronic wave pessimism, doubt that has a firm grip on England, and it starts with Cook and his total denial about his credentials of being a one day batsman

  • POSTED BY satzcrazy1 on | September 3, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    @PrasPunter. I know you are a Srilankan. If only Test cricket is a respectable from of Cricket, why playing 50 overs and T20s. Stop all these and play only test cricket. English lost badly to India in ODIs as India did in Test. Accept and move ahead.

  • POSTED BY Shiri17 on | September 3, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    If the entire team fails, perhaps the problem is not in individual players so much as in the leadership? Not only the captain but also, and perhaps more importantly, the coach. I suggest that the whole mindset / approach is wrong, which is emphasized by Cook's comments. They are still not ready to admit that "playing yourself in" and "rebuilding" are not part of the modern ODI game. Hales, Buttler, etc. should be able to go in "with all guns blazing". It seems that as soon as a really good ODI player gets drafted in to the England side, they are 'moulded' into the same 'block, defend' format as the existing players. But look at other countries; do they start timidly blocking every ball and gradually, at a strike rate of 30, build up? No, they go in and take a few balls to assess the situation and then they start hitting the ball 'out of the park'.

  • POSTED BY Faz63 on | September 3, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    At the end of the day, there is a bigger issue which is at the heart of all of this.....Flower resigning, Pitersen saga, appointment of Ashley Giles, and now Moores. The last year or so has meant instability at the heart of administration which has resulted in differeing strategies whether forced or otherwise.....so is it really Cook's fault....ad will his removal change anything?

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 3, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Everything in this interview proves that Cook either just doesn't get it or is defending the manager and selectors. Either way, saying that there's nothing wrong with England's tactics when there obviously is a lot wrong with England's tactics shows how badly England has failed to prepare for the WC.

    Cook is essentially a defensive player and a cautious captain playing in a format where caution has to be thrown to the winds and defensive play loses games. Let's be clear, to win the WC in Australia, sides are going to have to have AVERAGE strike rates of over 100. This side, and Cook himself, are not playing in the manner needed to achieve this. That has to change and it's becoming increasingly clear Cook is not the man to do it.

  • POSTED BY MBIOF on | September 3, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    India up with 3-0 even without the firepower from India's two most consistent batsmen - Kohli and Dhoni !!! India's chances looks so bright for 2015 WC.

  • POSTED BY Realistic_cri_fan on | September 3, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Why England players try to play reverse sweep against spin when they are beaten again and again? You can play reverse sweep when you already dominate the bowlers but not when you are 4-5 down.The most attacking and safe shot to play against spin is inside-out.In the last three matches I never saw a single England player played that shot.Q decock did it in SA, K.Williamson did it in NZ, they never let the Indian spinners into the game.Ian Bell can do that but he is totally out-of-form.Unless you master the inside-out, you can't dominate the spinners.Spin is the great nemesis for England.I think the batting coach should sit with the young players and try to convince them to play orthodox inside-out rather than reverse-sweeps.

  • POSTED BY csr11 on | September 3, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    One of the big reasons why Dhoni is so adored in India is his equanimity. You can take potshots at his playing down pretty comprehensive test victories, but it doesn't look odd on him because he is just the same when it comes to big victories. He has won 3 big world events so far - take a look at his reaction after each. In a country with somewhat of a penchant for over the top reactions he is the iceman. Now - cut to Cook - he is the opposite - he can wear his heart on his sleeve, display his pain and angst - whine about Warne and the Swann and call it 'unacceptable' but how is all that going to help - it is not - it is only going to drive him down even more. The test series victory was a slight aberration on what is a sure path for Cooks exit first from the ODI side, and later from test captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | September 3, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Gem No1: After captaining for three and half years the Cook doesnt know his best XI. Gem No 2: Cook admits openly on a public forum that chances of winning the world cup which is just few months away seems to be bit far fetched. No point in pointing all the blame on the skipper. It is ECB and selectors who have kept all their eggs in Cook's basket. Now on such a short notice if they decide to replace Cook it will rubber stamp that they backed a wrong horse and have erred spectacularly in planning to win a world event.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 3, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    I see this Indian victory against England as Bangladesh winning against Zimbabwe. Both India and England will not make it to the second round. I can also see the Indian fans jumping too early without a bowl being bowled in the Australian tour. lets see how team India fares when the odi tri series will happen in Australia. Rahane is a find at the top, dhawan is a gamble. we need an aggressor with a no fear attitude like sehwag partnering rahane not a sleeping looking rohit or a doubtful dhawan.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | September 3, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    While it's completely true that it's hard to assess the effectiveness of any tactic when the players aren't giving it a chance to work, I believe that Englands' tactics are fundamentally flawed. Too passive and too reliant on the opposition folding up imo. In limited overs cricket it's always better to run from the front and force the opposition to catch up. .. England seems to break into a mild jog and wait for the opponent to trip over their own shoe-laces. It works occasionally but I don't think it's the right approach on the majority of days.

  • POSTED BY naudurivsm on | September 3, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    Mr. Cook is simply a power monger and want to grab and stick with his position in the team. He knows very well. if he is out of captaincy, then he very well have could been out of the team as well. This very stubborn nature is hurting England very much. unless the administration acts on this quickly this will continue for ever, now matter where the series is played (home or away).

  • POSTED BY Patchmaster on | September 3, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    Possibly the least inspirational captain in international cricket. So embaressing for ENG fans. Cook, Bell, Anderson, Broad all need to play TEST cricket, and nothing else. Also, Lyth (Yorkshire) must be brought in, as he is a Warner like batsman who looks to have an excellent cricketing brain who can play ODI & Tests. I think we also need new selectors - surely they've done enough to prove they are not up to the job. Please post this, many thanks

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | September 3, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    Cook talks a lot of crap if he doesn't what there strongest and best team is by now they are destined for failure big time no matter what they now won't work it's to late so they have nothing more to lose so you might as well put some younger and talent players in there so if that fails at least they have the excuse it's a young and inexperienced team if this team goes to the World Cup and fails you can't make any excuses for them except they are just crap and that's on there own pitches wait to they get on better faster n bouncier pitches in oz n nz they this current team will get humiliated so bring the younger guys in I say

  • POSTED BY sohanpandey578 on | September 3, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    Jos Buttler should be the new captain. Even he must bat at No. 3

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | September 3, 2014, 0:52 GMT

    I reckon Cook will probably ask his wife again whether or not she should continue as captain and player in the side... After all, it does seem to the case that he is good at taking orders from others, rather than dictating his terms..

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | September 3, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Root, Ballance, Bell & Cook. Not naturally aggressive players. They take a lot of time to get set then accelerate. The have to face on average 50 balls before they even start to think about bringing their strike rate close to 100. Waiting on all four to get set wastes precious deliveries Ali, Buttler, Bopara, Hales, etc would otherwise capitalize on. Just pick two - Root and Ballance as they're way better at accelerating once set. Let them be #3 and #4 respectively. Leave the "Ashes Heros" of Cook and Bell to Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | September 3, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    Strange as this may sound, WI and the subcontinental teams are frontrunners for winning the world cup. NZ is the only team outside of that group with a good chance of winning. AUS, SA and ENG are stacking their teams with bowling allrounders which will come back to bite them in crunch games. If your #6 is a bowling allrounder that simply means the tail gets exposed after just 5 wickets are down. Bowlers like Steyn, Morkel, Johnson, Malinga, Junaid Khan, Narine, Ajmal and Southee are quite equipped to remove the tail in no time.

    Cricket will always be about outscoring the opponent. Picking 7-8 bowling options is redundant especially considering the pitches will be roads (yes roads) where unimaginative bowling, whether they be pacers or spinners, will get smacked. When WI was going on with the rubbish of picking 5 allrounders or "bits-and-pieces" players in their XI, the commentators and fans gave us an earful of criticism. Ironically, these "favorites" are doing the same.

  • POSTED BY SoyQuearns on | September 2, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    Things go from bad to worse for England, after a brief period of sunlight after their Test series win over India.

    Cook must be sick of having to defend himself, but I firmly agree he shouldn't be there.

    I'm also pleased that not even the most biased English fans (@FFL, @RednWhiteArmy) are even bothering to post anymore, that's more proof of this huge decline than any article declaring such.

    England are using tactics that worked in the 90s. If you watch now, most if not all other teams aim to hit 6 an over for the first 10.

    This enables them to actually consolidate for 15-20 overs, so that after 30 overs they are only 2-3 wickets down for around 150.

    Then they warm into the PowerPlay by increasing the gas, meaning that by 40 overs they are 210-220 with wickets in the bank and with the 'tough' overs done and dusted for minimal loss.

    England have hitting power at the death (Buttler) but not enough of it. JJ Roy, JM Vince, whereuat?

    The world won't wait for you Eng.

  • POSTED BY VettiPayyan on | September 2, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    To be fair, Eng look as bad in ODIs than they look in Tests. Also in tests they are not that great. Its just that India was very bad and inexperienced that Eng won 3-1.

    If a country has not been able to master ODI which has been for ages, and think that winning Ashes is everything & that all other mistakes can be hidden under the carpet, then there is something seriously wrong with English management.

    How long can Bumble keep saying that ODIs are bad and only Tests are everything??

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | September 2, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    Dont think Eng fans should sulk. They won the thing that mattered the most - the test series. Who cares about these meaningless bilateral ODI series anyway !! One would hardly remember this an year from now !! They have thumped the indians in the test series and it ends there. Congrats Eng !! well-played !!

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | September 2, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Only in England can a captain claim that they have no chance in a tournament and survive! And in no professional organization can I imagine something similar happening either, which leads me to confirm my belief that English cricket, despite being bloated with backroom staff, is a thoroughly unprofessional place. I know well about how cricket in SL is managed. Despite all their troubles, they do not have this type of sheer incompetence. Quite the contrary in fact.

  • POSTED BY satchander on | September 2, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    ""We're brought up in a country where Test cricket has huge importance. But just because you put huge importance on Test cricket doesn't mean one-day cricket doesn't count. " I think there lies the problem. If you read between the lines, its clear that England as a nation value Test cricket more than ODI. With such attitude its very difficult for them to evolve as a Top ODI side. I think the same problem lies with India but its the other way around. India has always found ODIs to more popular and that is why India have been a good ODI side but a very poor Test side. For England it is going to be very difficult to fix this as they have hardly 6 months to transform themselves into a great ODI side.

  • POSTED BY crindo77 on | September 2, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    The amount of at least lip service importance England profess to pay Test cricket, judging by that, shouldnt they have done better over the years in Test cricket all around? What are they now, World No 3, after getting slaughtered in Oz, by an above average Oz team? I've always believed that good teams are good across ALL formats. Like WI and Aus of the 70s-90s. Currently only SA and SL come to mind; India are hopeless in Tests, something they apparently are happy to live with, and Eng are equally pathetic in limited overs. Methinks that this WC will be a very open one, with no clear favourites; should make for good viewing.

  • POSTED BY D.S.A on | September 2, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    As he has said this, he should then resign. England's best XI for odi's, based on potential: 1. Varun Chopra (captain), 2. Michael Carberry, 3. James Vince, 4. Ravinder Singh Bopara, 5. Eoin Morgan, 6. Jos Buttler, 7. Samit Patel, 8. Chris Jordan, 9. Steven Finn, 10. James Tredwell, 11. Graham Onions. In order of preference for replacements in certain positions: Hales as a reserve opener, Ali / Taylor / Ballance as number 3's, Taylor / Ali as number 5's, Ali as a reserve number 7, Woakes / Stokes as number 8's, Panesar as a reserve specialist spinner, not sure about legitimate reserve fast bowlers in odi's for england. There is potential, but the selectors will not tap into it without offsetting it with a mistake, e.g. a Hales-like figure in, to pacify the general public, and Bopara out, to maintain the number of 'solid', likeable batsmen in the team.

  • POSTED BY regofpicton on | September 2, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    Cook's acknowledgement does at least show that a sense of reality is starting to sink in. That is a good place to start, and contrasts favorably with New Zealand's perceptions of its standing after we flopped so dismally at the last T20 world cup. Seriously, chaps, why did it takes months after the event to change the basis of the advertising for NZ replica clothing from "our world beaters" to "punching above our weight". Good grief. And even that was a major exaggeration.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | September 2, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    Cook is a 5 day batsman. Other teams have openers with 90+ strike rates, using Cook is a prehistoric tactic. With all due respect to the man, who is good at blocking, it's a joke.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | September 2, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    So - lets take stock shall we -? The whole idea of bringing the Ashes forward so that we had back-to-back Ashes in 2013 - 2013/14 was so that we would not be coming off of an Australian Ashes tour straight into a World Cup. The idea - if you remember, was to allow us to be less tired and more competitive in the World Cup. Has this plan worked - ? Don't need to think too hard about that. Instead, this back-to-back Ashes strategy has resulted in getting a pasting in Australia, all formats - losing Swann, KP, Trott, Bresnan, Prior, Tremlett, Rankin, Flower and god knows who else, and has delivered us into a position where we are a shadow of the side we were just a year ago. So - smart work ECB, well done. You have achieved the absolute diametric opposite of what you intended.... Bravo.

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  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | September 2, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    So - lets take stock shall we -? The whole idea of bringing the Ashes forward so that we had back-to-back Ashes in 2013 - 2013/14 was so that we would not be coming off of an Australian Ashes tour straight into a World Cup. The idea - if you remember, was to allow us to be less tired and more competitive in the World Cup. Has this plan worked - ? Don't need to think too hard about that. Instead, this back-to-back Ashes strategy has resulted in getting a pasting in Australia, all formats - losing Swann, KP, Trott, Bresnan, Prior, Tremlett, Rankin, Flower and god knows who else, and has delivered us into a position where we are a shadow of the side we were just a year ago. So - smart work ECB, well done. You have achieved the absolute diametric opposite of what you intended.... Bravo.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | September 2, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    Cook is a 5 day batsman. Other teams have openers with 90+ strike rates, using Cook is a prehistoric tactic. With all due respect to the man, who is good at blocking, it's a joke.

  • POSTED BY regofpicton on | September 2, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    Cook's acknowledgement does at least show that a sense of reality is starting to sink in. That is a good place to start, and contrasts favorably with New Zealand's perceptions of its standing after we flopped so dismally at the last T20 world cup. Seriously, chaps, why did it takes months after the event to change the basis of the advertising for NZ replica clothing from "our world beaters" to "punching above our weight". Good grief. And even that was a major exaggeration.

  • POSTED BY D.S.A on | September 2, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    As he has said this, he should then resign. England's best XI for odi's, based on potential: 1. Varun Chopra (captain), 2. Michael Carberry, 3. James Vince, 4. Ravinder Singh Bopara, 5. Eoin Morgan, 6. Jos Buttler, 7. Samit Patel, 8. Chris Jordan, 9. Steven Finn, 10. James Tredwell, 11. Graham Onions. In order of preference for replacements in certain positions: Hales as a reserve opener, Ali / Taylor / Ballance as number 3's, Taylor / Ali as number 5's, Ali as a reserve number 7, Woakes / Stokes as number 8's, Panesar as a reserve specialist spinner, not sure about legitimate reserve fast bowlers in odi's for england. There is potential, but the selectors will not tap into it without offsetting it with a mistake, e.g. a Hales-like figure in, to pacify the general public, and Bopara out, to maintain the number of 'solid', likeable batsmen in the team.

  • POSTED BY crindo77 on | September 2, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    The amount of at least lip service importance England profess to pay Test cricket, judging by that, shouldnt they have done better over the years in Test cricket all around? What are they now, World No 3, after getting slaughtered in Oz, by an above average Oz team? I've always believed that good teams are good across ALL formats. Like WI and Aus of the 70s-90s. Currently only SA and SL come to mind; India are hopeless in Tests, something they apparently are happy to live with, and Eng are equally pathetic in limited overs. Methinks that this WC will be a very open one, with no clear favourites; should make for good viewing.

  • POSTED BY satchander on | September 2, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    ""We're brought up in a country where Test cricket has huge importance. But just because you put huge importance on Test cricket doesn't mean one-day cricket doesn't count. " I think there lies the problem. If you read between the lines, its clear that England as a nation value Test cricket more than ODI. With such attitude its very difficult for them to evolve as a Top ODI side. I think the same problem lies with India but its the other way around. India has always found ODIs to more popular and that is why India have been a good ODI side but a very poor Test side. For England it is going to be very difficult to fix this as they have hardly 6 months to transform themselves into a great ODI side.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | September 2, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Only in England can a captain claim that they have no chance in a tournament and survive! And in no professional organization can I imagine something similar happening either, which leads me to confirm my belief that English cricket, despite being bloated with backroom staff, is a thoroughly unprofessional place. I know well about how cricket in SL is managed. Despite all their troubles, they do not have this type of sheer incompetence. Quite the contrary in fact.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | September 2, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    Dont think Eng fans should sulk. They won the thing that mattered the most - the test series. Who cares about these meaningless bilateral ODI series anyway !! One would hardly remember this an year from now !! They have thumped the indians in the test series and it ends there. Congrats Eng !! well-played !!

  • POSTED BY VettiPayyan on | September 2, 2014, 23:18 GMT

    To be fair, Eng look as bad in ODIs than they look in Tests. Also in tests they are not that great. Its just that India was very bad and inexperienced that Eng won 3-1.

    If a country has not been able to master ODI which has been for ages, and think that winning Ashes is everything & that all other mistakes can be hidden under the carpet, then there is something seriously wrong with English management.

    How long can Bumble keep saying that ODIs are bad and only Tests are everything??

  • POSTED BY SoyQuearns on | September 2, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    Things go from bad to worse for England, after a brief period of sunlight after their Test series win over India.

    Cook must be sick of having to defend himself, but I firmly agree he shouldn't be there.

    I'm also pleased that not even the most biased English fans (@FFL, @RednWhiteArmy) are even bothering to post anymore, that's more proof of this huge decline than any article declaring such.

    England are using tactics that worked in the 90s. If you watch now, most if not all other teams aim to hit 6 an over for the first 10.

    This enables them to actually consolidate for 15-20 overs, so that after 30 overs they are only 2-3 wickets down for around 150.

    Then they warm into the PowerPlay by increasing the gas, meaning that by 40 overs they are 210-220 with wickets in the bank and with the 'tough' overs done and dusted for minimal loss.

    England have hitting power at the death (Buttler) but not enough of it. JJ Roy, JM Vince, whereuat?

    The world won't wait for you Eng.