Champions Trophy 2013 June 6, 2013

England blueprint about to be tested

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Overview


It has been a long time since England have gone into a global ODI event with realistic hopes of challenging. Apart from the 2004 Champions Trophy, when they were thwarted by a remarkable fightback from West Indies in the final, you have to go back to the 1992 World Cup for the last time they have entered an event with such genuine expectations of success.

They may never have a better chance, either. The changes to ODI regulations - particularly the use of two new balls - and home advantage are substantial positives for an England side boasting more players with traditional cricket skills than the explosive match turners sometimes associated with modern limited-overs cricket. England's top-order of Ian Bell, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott may not hit as many sixes as other sides, but they may also bat a lot longer, seeing off the new balls at their most potent and providing a solid platform for those who follow.

The absence of Kevin Pietersen with a knee injury is a substantial loss. Without him, there is a large onus on Eoin Morgan and, to a lesser extent, the two 22-year-olds, Joe Root and Jos Buttler, to provide impetus to innings that are expected to enjoy solid starts but may well require acceleration. The lack of experience of Root and Buttler - they have played 11 and nine ODIs respectively - is one area of concern but, bearing in mind that this event is seen more as a marker on the road to the World Cup than a destination in itself, their early elevation may prove to be the making of them. Neither will be overawed.

The bowling attack is likely to prove almost identical to the Test side. Certainly the four senior bowlers - James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann - form an impressive unit, with the seam of Tim Bresnan and the spin of James Tredwell the most likely to make up the final place depending on conditions. The option of selecting Ravi Bopara, an underrated bowler but seemingly a fading force as a batsman, and Chris Woakes, who can change games with the bat but who still looks more potent with the red ball, should probably be considered Plan B.

The appointment of Ashley Giles as England's limited-overs coach may prove to be the final piece in the jigsaw. Giles' elevation means England have a coach with the time to plan and prepare in detail without the distraction of Test series. No longer is limited-overs cricket seen as the lesser game in England and no longer are players selected for the ODI side as a halfway house on the road to Test cricket. Continuity of selection, a policy for so long applied only to Test cricket, has allowed this England side to develop greater role awareness and confidence and their form in England over recent years justifies their position as one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Despite the sobering affects of defeat to New Zealand, anything less than a semi-final appearance would be considered a bitter disappointment.

Key player


Since the start of 2012, Jonathan Trott has been involved in 20 of the 26 ODIs that England have played. England have lost only four of those 20 games and, though they have been bowled out three times, they have never been bowled out for under 200. In the six games without him, England have been beaten four times and bowled out for under 200 on three occasions. Trott's ODI batting average (52.28) is 20% higher than anyone to have represented England in more than 20 ODIs. He will never win over those critics who feel he bats too slowly for the modern limited-overs game but the records show that his will be the wicket the opposition most desires.

Surprise package


It may sound odd to suggest that a man with a batting average of 16.83 can be considered a potential match-winner with the bat. But Jos Buttler, despite his youth, his inexperience and his relatively modest first-class record, is an extravagantly talented batsman with the power and range of strokes to damage any bowling attack. There may be moments, against the very best bowling, when his improvisation gets him into trouble but, so capable of unorthodoxy is he, that even the best could be discombobulated. Only Morgan, of his England team-mates, possesses the same ability to change a game with the bat in so few deliveries.

His keeping remains a work in progress - he is second choice in Somerset's County Championship side - and there may be times, in helpful bowling conditions, when he struggles with the gloves. But England believe he has much scope in that department and he appears to have the temperament to cope with the inevitable setbacks he will encounter.

Weakness


After years of persisting with 'bits and pieces' allrounders, England have embraced a policy of specialism. They will generally field a team which differs only in two or three positions - that of the keeper, Buttler, an extra bowler in Tim Bresnan and a limited-overs specialist batsman in Eoin Morgan - from their Test side. It is a policy which, in English conditions in particular, makes a great deal of sense.

But their greatest strength may also be their greatest weakness. There is little margin for error in England's strategy. While the likes of Root and Trott could be pressed into service as support bowlers, England will generally expect their five main bowlers to deliver 10 over spells. If one of them experiences an off-day or is injured, England will be over-reliant on part-timers. Similarly, if the top-order batting is knocked over quickly, an inexperienced middle-order may be exposed before they are ready.

Champions Trophy history


Reached the final on home soil in 2004 only to be robbed by a ninth-wicket partnership of 71 by Courtney Brown and Ian Bradshaw that gave West Indies the titles. Beyond that, and a semi-final appearance at the last tournament when they lost by nine wickets to Australia, there has not been much for England to write home about.

Recent form


Good, despite the 2-1 defeat to New Zealand, which dropped them to fourth in the ODI rankings. England were No. 1 - albeit fairly briefly - in 2012 and enjoyed the longest run of successive victories (10) in their history between February and July. New Zealand ended England's sequence of eight ODI series unbeaten at home - before that, you had to go back to 2009, against Australia, to find a loss, though South Africa drew in 2012 - but, since the start of 2010, England have won 23 and lost only 11 of the 37 ODIs they have played at home.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on June 6, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    England could do all right, but everything has to work properly in every game. More than any other side, they have no margin for error. The top 4 must lay down a solid platform. Morgan and Buttler must score runs quickly at the end of the innings. The bowlers must take wickets- economy isn't England's strong point. The fielding must be excellent; in view of the need to take wickets there must be no dropped catches or fumbled run-outs. There can be no injuries.

    It's a daunting list. It's hard to see England keeping it together for enough games for them to win it all. If they had Pietersen and a top all-rounder, they'd be much more flexible and a formidable team. As it is, the semis is probably going to be as good as it gets (though as an England supporter, of course I hope I'm wrong!).

  • JG2704 on June 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT) JMC had already shown up your lack of knowledge (if that's what it is) If you look at our likely ODI side it's pretty similar to our test side. The only differences are that in ODIs we play 5 specialist bowlers (which I have always said we should play in tests) and batting wise Compton out , Morgan in. Jos instead of Prior as WK but if you look at Prior's ODI record for Eng - rather than presume by his aggressive nature in tests that he'll do well in ODIs you'll see why. So out of all our ODI players only Jos has been nowhere near the test side

  • kdevil3 on June 8, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Australia will win today..... thwy will bat first will take 270 ... england 205 allout

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (June 8, 2013, 6:21 GMT), Oops! I meant "you seem NOT to have actually looked at Prior's stats".

  • kdcricket on June 8, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    I am all for technically correct batsmen at the top in view of new rules to have 2 new balls and fickle English weather. However I believe Cook, Bell and Trott are a bit of an overkill and at least one of them needs to be replaced by a power hitter(we have seen 300 plus scores being posted). From the existing squad I can only see Bairstow pick up the mantle, however he hasn't done much yet in ODIs. I would still get him in for Bell and see how it works

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @sidganesh on (June 8, 2013, 5:08 GMT), like many, you seem to have actually looked at Prior's stats. He has an average of 24 at a strike rate of 77 and that's after 62 games. Would he really walk into most teams based on that? Like many, you see Prior play Test cricket and assume that he would do well in ODIs but he has been given many chances and, inexplicably, has never really been able to. He's in the form of his like in Test cricket though, so maybe he would succeed if given one more chance. It's far from guaranteed though.

  • sidganesh on June 8, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    As an outsider, it is impossible for me to believe that Matt Prior is not in this team. He would walk into most ODI XIs just for his batting. Play Buttler if you must, but surely Prior is a far better ODI batsman than some of the current lot?

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT), once again you embarrass yourself. The term "specialist" is not used to refer to players who specialise in limited-overs cricket but rather players who specialise in their position, i.e. specialist batsmen and specialist bowlers rather than "bits-and-pieces". Basically, it means that England are playing Test-style players rather than limited-overs "all-rounders". The story is, in fact, saying the exact opposite of what you think it is saying and in fact England are doing exactly what you say they should. If you're going to insist on posting negativity all the time then you should at least learn to read properly.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    If England play their test XI most of the time in limited overs cricket, especially in ODIs, then they could win a lot more games. This whole crappy mentality of having 'specialists' has not worked for them in the past and it ain't gonna work for them in the future either. Most teams will put out more or less same teams for their test and ODI line ups. Not England, cause they want 'specialists' who end up not being so special in their assigned roles. For the sake of English fans, hopefully this group can do something different on home soil.

  • GrumpiusMaximus on June 8, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    As an England fan, I hope this selection strategy works.

    There is a perception - at least amongst my peers - that England very much see the ODI team as a development step for the Test team. I have always viewed Test cricket as the ultimate challenge so in this light, I certainly applaud if that is the case. There are exceptions to this - Buttler particularly - who I very much doubt will ever keep in tests.

    Trott, Cook and Root are relatively slow batsmen for ODIs but valuing their wickets as they do makes them potent forces, particularly if the conditions are favourable for bowlers. The specialism is certainly a risk but I'm glad that the mediocrity of - say - Samit Patel has not pervaded the thoughts of the selectors. Bopara is an interesting selection but I'm convinced that his issue is psychological rather than technical and that is a hard issue to solve. I was impressed with his bowling against NZ.

    Pietersen is a loss but I think the selectors have been prudent.

  • landl47 on June 6, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    England could do all right, but everything has to work properly in every game. More than any other side, they have no margin for error. The top 4 must lay down a solid platform. Morgan and Buttler must score runs quickly at the end of the innings. The bowlers must take wickets- economy isn't England's strong point. The fielding must be excellent; in view of the need to take wickets there must be no dropped catches or fumbled run-outs. There can be no injuries.

    It's a daunting list. It's hard to see England keeping it together for enough games for them to win it all. If they had Pietersen and a top all-rounder, they'd be much more flexible and a formidable team. As it is, the semis is probably going to be as good as it gets (though as an England supporter, of course I hope I'm wrong!).

  • JG2704 on June 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT) JMC had already shown up your lack of knowledge (if that's what it is) If you look at our likely ODI side it's pretty similar to our test side. The only differences are that in ODIs we play 5 specialist bowlers (which I have always said we should play in tests) and batting wise Compton out , Morgan in. Jos instead of Prior as WK but if you look at Prior's ODI record for Eng - rather than presume by his aggressive nature in tests that he'll do well in ODIs you'll see why. So out of all our ODI players only Jos has been nowhere near the test side

  • kdevil3 on June 8, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Australia will win today..... thwy will bat first will take 270 ... england 205 allout

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (June 8, 2013, 6:21 GMT), Oops! I meant "you seem NOT to have actually looked at Prior's stats".

  • kdcricket on June 8, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    I am all for technically correct batsmen at the top in view of new rules to have 2 new balls and fickle English weather. However I believe Cook, Bell and Trott are a bit of an overkill and at least one of them needs to be replaced by a power hitter(we have seen 300 plus scores being posted). From the existing squad I can only see Bairstow pick up the mantle, however he hasn't done much yet in ODIs. I would still get him in for Bell and see how it works

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @sidganesh on (June 8, 2013, 5:08 GMT), like many, you seem to have actually looked at Prior's stats. He has an average of 24 at a strike rate of 77 and that's after 62 games. Would he really walk into most teams based on that? Like many, you see Prior play Test cricket and assume that he would do well in ODIs but he has been given many chances and, inexplicably, has never really been able to. He's in the form of his like in Test cricket though, so maybe he would succeed if given one more chance. It's far from guaranteed though.

  • sidganesh on June 8, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    As an outsider, it is impossible for me to believe that Matt Prior is not in this team. He would walk into most ODI XIs just for his batting. Play Buttler if you must, but surely Prior is a far better ODI batsman than some of the current lot?

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT), once again you embarrass yourself. The term "specialist" is not used to refer to players who specialise in limited-overs cricket but rather players who specialise in their position, i.e. specialist batsmen and specialist bowlers rather than "bits-and-pieces". Basically, it means that England are playing Test-style players rather than limited-overs "all-rounders". The story is, in fact, saying the exact opposite of what you think it is saying and in fact England are doing exactly what you say they should. If you're going to insist on posting negativity all the time then you should at least learn to read properly.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 8, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    If England play their test XI most of the time in limited overs cricket, especially in ODIs, then they could win a lot more games. This whole crappy mentality of having 'specialists' has not worked for them in the past and it ain't gonna work for them in the future either. Most teams will put out more or less same teams for their test and ODI line ups. Not England, cause they want 'specialists' who end up not being so special in their assigned roles. For the sake of English fans, hopefully this group can do something different on home soil.

  • GrumpiusMaximus on June 8, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    As an England fan, I hope this selection strategy works.

    There is a perception - at least amongst my peers - that England very much see the ODI team as a development step for the Test team. I have always viewed Test cricket as the ultimate challenge so in this light, I certainly applaud if that is the case. There are exceptions to this - Buttler particularly - who I very much doubt will ever keep in tests.

    Trott, Cook and Root are relatively slow batsmen for ODIs but valuing their wickets as they do makes them potent forces, particularly if the conditions are favourable for bowlers. The specialism is certainly a risk but I'm glad that the mediocrity of - say - Samit Patel has not pervaded the thoughts of the selectors. Bopara is an interesting selection but I'm convinced that his issue is psychological rather than technical and that is a hard issue to solve. I was impressed with his bowling against NZ.

    Pietersen is a loss but I think the selectors have been prudent.

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    @TallHawk on (June 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

    I have a feeling you're right for 2 reasons

    1- They won't drop/rotate any of the techically adept trio - iow plodders

    2- And I'll repeat this again at some point , but I have a feeling that we won't be seeing much more of Morgan for England. The reason being that when his central contract is up I can't see it being renewed and I'm not sure how lucrative his shorter formats contract would be compared to what he'd make in IPL and all the T20 formats. He's not shown much action in return for the CC so I have an inclin he might decline the shorter format contract.

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    @Herbet - I think you have reiterated a problem I and a couple of others have already mentioned. Although I'd prefer another hitter in the top 4 , I'm not 100% against building an inns like that but they have to be going at more than 3RPO in the 1st 10 (I'd say they should be aiming for 4 - 4.5 minimum) and be going at (at least) 4.5-5 RPO at 15-20 overs and 5 RPO or thereabouts at the halfway mark. I didn't see the England inns live but was livid to find that Cook had put Bopara ahead of Buttler with 15 overs to go and the run rate still lame. The more I think about our chances the more I feel pessimistic. I genuinely think Cook is an over cautious captain in tests (which isn't too bad when the whole team is on top form) but in ODI's (despite our record in the last 15 months) I think we're too formulated. Also , isn't this supposed to be a format where batsmen express themselves?

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    @daybreak02 on (June 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT) If you read my comms I used the word pedestalled in response to a comment from someone who used that word , which I presume means put on a pedestal , ie hyped. My side would be designed to(hopefully) be much tighter bowling wise and to get off to quicker starts with the bat. As for Broad , I'm a huge fan but I think Bres is in better nick. As for the lower order , well I'm guessing from 7-11 they'll go Bres,Broad,Swann, Jimmy,Finn so would my teams lower order be any worse? BTW , Re sixes the lower order hit - I'd say the SR of the top 4 is more of a concern - no?

  • MothMan on June 7, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    The comments about Bell and Trott seem confusing, since the introduction of a second new ball and anticipating international tournaments in England and Aus/NZ they wanted a rigorous top 3 that could deal with this, and given at that point Pietersen had retired there was little other option. Since then Cook, Bell and Trott have averaged 35, 52, 66 respectively and with Morgan averaging 39 and then a number of players have been tried at 5/6 suggests the bedrock the side has been built on has been Bell and Trott. Given this level of preparation there will be no chance of anything changing on the eve of a major tournament - and rightly so. They will assess how successful this was after the tournament and will then review where that leaves us. On the basis they tended to select genuine bowlers rather all rounders having more reliable batsmen they are confident in delivering 270-300 scores seems the best route to success given the assurances an Anderson/Finn/Broad/Bresnan/Swann attack brings

  • RandyOZ on June 7, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Love the press beat up of Butler. They did the same with Dernbach, Kieswetter, Meaker, Lumb and the rest of the so-called new wave of South Africans.

  • CricketMaan on June 7, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    I pick Eng and NZ to make the cut, but i dont mind SL, NZ!!

  • chapathishot on June 7, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    England are still with old fashion methods when all others have progress with players like Cook and Trott even if they score centuries opposition will win the match .Without Petiersen they are going to find it tough unless they really get lucky.

  • TallHawk on June 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Pietersen is a huge loss. I doubt now we will ever get to see Pietersen, Morgan and Buttler all in the same team. Pity, because all three are almost embarrassingly talented. They would be the perfect foil to the technically correct Test batsmen at the top of the order. No worries about the bowling, but the batting, while consistent, may be a bit too one-paced to set the large totals needed to win this tournament.

  • Herbet on June 7, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    I think England are going to fail due to the sluggish nature of our batting up top. These pitches are perfect, no doubt as ordered by the ICC/BCCI, everyone is going to be scoring 300+. I can see teams scoring 300-320 and losing. England are going to leave far too much to Morgan and Buttler and are effectively expecting mirracles. You can't just stick to a formula if the variables change. This team, on a seaming green top under cloud would probably win every time. But its sunny, its warm, the pitches are flat, the outfields are quick and the scores are high. From the squad they have chosen I would gamble om opening with Bairstow, and drop Bell. Sorry Ian.

  • daybreak02 on June 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @ JG2704 - What do you mean 'pedastalled'? I'm guessing you mean 'fast-tracked'? I can see some sense in your team selection but to drop Broad is extreme. I also agree that your lower order lacks runs. England do have a disadvantage over the other sides due to the absence of lower order hitters in the Tim Southee mould who can clear the ropes a couple of times get you some vital late runs going into the change over. You say your England 7-9 can hold a bat but the problem is that in ODIs they barely can and average 19, 11 and 13 respectively with a combined total of 6 sixes between them in 165 ODIs.

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    @kearon47 - Would probably have been a toss up between Bell and Trott. Have no firm arguments for either but I had a non related debate re Bell and don't want to come across as anti the player

    @iceaxe - Not sure Root is pedastalled in this format - think that was more the test format and I guess you've not seen Buttler play for Somerset.He's probably pedastalled because he is (maybe with Morgan) the only player who is capable of salvaging an innings with his SR and range of shots

    @landl47 - Yes it's a bold side , maybe reckless but I feel that 2 areas of concern are the slow RR in the 1st period of the game and the bowling economy and I feel 7 realistic bowling options all of different variety covers that more and Jos and Morgan coming in earlier means we get the RR up earlier. Yes it's slightly lighter on batting but 7-9 can all hold a bat

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK - Trouble is Eng don't think outside the box like that as you said. Could open with Root/Cook?

  • landl47 on June 7, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    @JG2704: I see where you're coming from, but your suggested side, in terms of reliability, is way too light on batting. You have two 22-year olds in the top 5, one of whom has never made a 50 in an ODI and has a batting average, even after his recent 47*, of 16. Morgan is great on his day, but against NZ he only had one good day in three games. Bopara is a useful but not reliable bat. The tail starts with Bresnan at #7, who has made one 50 in 72 ODIs (and that was 4 years ago) and averages under 20.

    Trott might be a snail, but he is England's most reliable bat. At least a top 3 of Cook, Bell and Trott usually gives the bowlers something to work with. The balance of the side in the last NZ game was right: my side would be Cook, Bell, Trott, Root, Morgan, Bopara, Buttler, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn. Bopara and Root can manage 10 overs (maybe more if it's a slow pitch) between them and the other 4 bowlers are England's best, as the NZ test series showed.

  • jmcilhinney on June 7, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    I have to agree with landl47 & JG2704 but not so much with yorkshirematt. England obviously feel that they're playing to their strengths but, as I've said before, they really give themselves just one bite at the cherry. If their aim is to keep wickets in hand and they fail to do that then they're stuffed. Look at India against SA. India didn't accelerate towards the end of their innings as they would have liked so, if it hadn't been for Dhawan attacking early, they might not have won that game. There's no way that England are going to play Swann, Tredwell and Bopara and they won't play Tredwell if Swann's available. I think that Bopara will get played as the fifth bowler with Root and Trott as cover so it's important for England that Bopara find some form with the bat.

  • kearon47 on June 7, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Future? maybe World Cup 11 even? A.Cook, K.Pieterson, J.Trott, J.Root, E.Morgan, B.Stokes, J.Buttler, S.Broad, G.Swann, S.Finn, J.Anderson.

  • Jayzuz on June 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    landl47 is right. Things need to go right, and there's a lot that might go wrong. But then again the same could be said for most teams. I'm still surprised the media hasn't commented on the lack of grass on the pitches, which is a real disadvantage for England. Maybe they are scared of the BBBI or something. I think JG2704 is right about two spinners. Once the shine is off the ball these are absolutely plumb wickets, and the quick bowlers will have to bowl really well to avoid getting slogged for 60+. Finn and Broad might have their work cut out in this respect. Also, the wickets should slow up as the tournament progresses. All this is an absolute gift to the sub-continent teams, which is really, really annoying. Far too many of these international tournaments have been played in the sub-continent. Now they are bringing the sub-continent to England!

  • kearon47 on June 7, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    @JG2704, How Can you have I.Bell for J.Trott in your team. Look at the overall stats man ;-)

  • on June 7, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    I have previously mentioned my reservations with the current strategy of painstakingly building a solid base then accelerating towards the end. They have been successful with it so far but it really lacks the flexibility to win consistently. Too much responsibility falls on the middle order and if they have a bad day at the office, it's all over. England used the same strategy during the Test series versus New Zealand and could easily have come unstuck. The strategy of going slow versus quality bowlers certainly won't wash during the Ashes. England desperately needs to find more aggressive options up the top of the order.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 7, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    If George is worried about 1 of 5 bowlers breaking down then what would be the position if they play a bits and pieces 5th bowler and then one of the main bowlers breaks down? The side virtually picks itself. Trott may be a point of contention,but It worries me more when he goes on strike in a Test. In ODI's an average of 50 is whar most players would die for,and it means one less wicket goes down quickly which is really the key to it all. Others just have to bat around him. In 2nd ODI he scored 103;what would have the total been without him? If England play to potential then we can do well but in all honesty Bresnan,Swann and Broad need to bat better otherwise we may have to resort to Bopara again. Maybe 11 in a team is 1 too few.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 6, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    As I said on another thread, I also wish England would use Tredwell and Swann together, and even Briggs deserved a run in the squad instead of a few wasteful seamers. I do like your team JG2704, and I know you hate having Cook, Bell and Trott in the same team, but I think England still need Trott and Morgan would be the one to make way for my team. If Bell and Cook get in and make a good platform, I'd relegate Trott down the order and bring Root or Buttler up at 3 instead. Only if Bell or Cook got out early(ish), I'd stick with Trott at 3. England too stubborn to do any of these, and therefore no chance of winning tournaments like this.

  • iceaxe on June 6, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    England are far over-rated by these Cricinfo editors. I would tend to agree more if some senior players (KP in particular) were not injured.

    Not sure why Buttler and Root are being pedestaled at this early stage in the competition. I'm expecting England to be sorely tested over the next fortnight.

  • JG2704 on June 6, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    I think England are too rigid to win a tournament these days.

    I think if we had a more open captain who is better at thinking on his feet we may stand a chance but everything seems so regimented.

    I'm really not sure what my side would be but I'd be tempted to go in with 2 spinners. Pre tournament I'd have had Broad nailed on but in the 3 matches Bres played vs NZ I think he was the best of our seamers. I'd also be tempted to keep Bopara in there as I think he brings something else to the table re his style of bowling. I'm sure I'll change my mind about this ( this team would raise eyebrows with the omission of Trott) but my side (depending on conditions) would be

    Cook,Bell,Root,Morgan,Buttler,Bopara,Bresnan,Tredwell,Swann,Jimmy,Finn

    It's a pure toss up between Jimmy and Broad. For me the side gives us a solid start although it should be quicker and it has 5 specialist bowlers plus Bopar and Root.I'd have Jos coming in any time after the halfway mark

  • yorkshirematt on June 6, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I maintain that this is as poor an ODI team as there has ever been, English or otherwise. Buttler or Morgan would need to do what they did the other night, or even more, in every game to get them to a defendable score. And as good as Anderson, Broad and Finn are, they're not one day bowlers. Even a relatively successful England one day team, with Pietersen included, would be unlikely to win a one day series 5-0, which effectively is what they need to do to win this

  • yorkshirematt on June 6, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I maintain that this is as poor an ODI team as there has ever been, English or otherwise. Buttler or Morgan would need to do what they did the other night, or even more, in every game to get them to a defendable score. And as good as Anderson, Broad and Finn are, they're not one day bowlers. Even a relatively successful England one day team, with Pietersen included, would be unlikely to win a one day series 5-0, which effectively is what they need to do to win this

  • JG2704 on June 6, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    I think England are too rigid to win a tournament these days.

    I think if we had a more open captain who is better at thinking on his feet we may stand a chance but everything seems so regimented.

    I'm really not sure what my side would be but I'd be tempted to go in with 2 spinners. Pre tournament I'd have had Broad nailed on but in the 3 matches Bres played vs NZ I think he was the best of our seamers. I'd also be tempted to keep Bopara in there as I think he brings something else to the table re his style of bowling. I'm sure I'll change my mind about this ( this team would raise eyebrows with the omission of Trott) but my side (depending on conditions) would be

    Cook,Bell,Root,Morgan,Buttler,Bopara,Bresnan,Tredwell,Swann,Jimmy,Finn

    It's a pure toss up between Jimmy and Broad. For me the side gives us a solid start although it should be quicker and it has 5 specialist bowlers plus Bopar and Root.I'd have Jos coming in any time after the halfway mark

  • iceaxe on June 6, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    England are far over-rated by these Cricinfo editors. I would tend to agree more if some senior players (KP in particular) were not injured.

    Not sure why Buttler and Root are being pedestaled at this early stage in the competition. I'm expecting England to be sorely tested over the next fortnight.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 6, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    As I said on another thread, I also wish England would use Tredwell and Swann together, and even Briggs deserved a run in the squad instead of a few wasteful seamers. I do like your team JG2704, and I know you hate having Cook, Bell and Trott in the same team, but I think England still need Trott and Morgan would be the one to make way for my team. If Bell and Cook get in and make a good platform, I'd relegate Trott down the order and bring Root or Buttler up at 3 instead. Only if Bell or Cook got out early(ish), I'd stick with Trott at 3. England too stubborn to do any of these, and therefore no chance of winning tournaments like this.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 7, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    If George is worried about 1 of 5 bowlers breaking down then what would be the position if they play a bits and pieces 5th bowler and then one of the main bowlers breaks down? The side virtually picks itself. Trott may be a point of contention,but It worries me more when he goes on strike in a Test. In ODI's an average of 50 is whar most players would die for,and it means one less wicket goes down quickly which is really the key to it all. Others just have to bat around him. In 2nd ODI he scored 103;what would have the total been without him? If England play to potential then we can do well but in all honesty Bresnan,Swann and Broad need to bat better otherwise we may have to resort to Bopara again. Maybe 11 in a team is 1 too few.

  • on June 7, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    I have previously mentioned my reservations with the current strategy of painstakingly building a solid base then accelerating towards the end. They have been successful with it so far but it really lacks the flexibility to win consistently. Too much responsibility falls on the middle order and if they have a bad day at the office, it's all over. England used the same strategy during the Test series versus New Zealand and could easily have come unstuck. The strategy of going slow versus quality bowlers certainly won't wash during the Ashes. England desperately needs to find more aggressive options up the top of the order.

  • kearon47 on June 7, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    @JG2704, How Can you have I.Bell for J.Trott in your team. Look at the overall stats man ;-)

  • Jayzuz on June 7, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    landl47 is right. Things need to go right, and there's a lot that might go wrong. But then again the same could be said for most teams. I'm still surprised the media hasn't commented on the lack of grass on the pitches, which is a real disadvantage for England. Maybe they are scared of the BBBI or something. I think JG2704 is right about two spinners. Once the shine is off the ball these are absolutely plumb wickets, and the quick bowlers will have to bowl really well to avoid getting slogged for 60+. Finn and Broad might have their work cut out in this respect. Also, the wickets should slow up as the tournament progresses. All this is an absolute gift to the sub-continent teams, which is really, really annoying. Far too many of these international tournaments have been played in the sub-continent. Now they are bringing the sub-continent to England!

  • kearon47 on June 7, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Future? maybe World Cup 11 even? A.Cook, K.Pieterson, J.Trott, J.Root, E.Morgan, B.Stokes, J.Buttler, S.Broad, G.Swann, S.Finn, J.Anderson.

  • jmcilhinney on June 7, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    I have to agree with landl47 & JG2704 but not so much with yorkshirematt. England obviously feel that they're playing to their strengths but, as I've said before, they really give themselves just one bite at the cherry. If their aim is to keep wickets in hand and they fail to do that then they're stuffed. Look at India against SA. India didn't accelerate towards the end of their innings as they would have liked so, if it hadn't been for Dhawan attacking early, they might not have won that game. There's no way that England are going to play Swann, Tredwell and Bopara and they won't play Tredwell if Swann's available. I think that Bopara will get played as the fifth bowler with Root and Trott as cover so it's important for England that Bopara find some form with the bat.