England in Australia 2013-14 January 27, 2014

Cook to stay with bad cop Broad

Vithushan Ehantharajah
Vithushan Ehantharajah picks the bones out of England's ODI series defeat to Australia and suggests how they can move forward towards the 2015 World Cup
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Persist with Bell and Cook
Despite a lethargic start at the MCG, compounded by their opposite numbers David Warner and Aaron Finch putting on 163 for the first Australian wicket, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell bucked up. Their next three partnerships were 57, 50 and 87 before 23 on an arduous Adelaide pitch.

It's worth noting that in batting first for the first four ODIs, England's openers were exposed to the toughest conditions for batting in each of them. Collectively, they were at their best at Perth; closing shop till the threat of swing had passed, four overs in, with the score at 15 for 0, before scoring at nine an over for the next eight overs. Both ended the series with a decent strike rate of just over 82 but they will know this will need to be closer to the 90s if they are to consistently register scores of 300.

They will also be frustrated they didn't capitalise on the starts they made, as only once did one of them - Bell in Brisbane - make it past the 25-over mark. Cook finished without even a fifty to his name, but the increase in the variety of strokes he played spoke promisingly of an established player, feted for his frugal shot selection, learning and executing new tricks.

One boundary in particular, off James Faulkner in the 3rd ODI at the SCG, was audacious. To a ball outside off stump, Cook stepped across and whipped it sweetly through midwicket. His follow-through, the "bus wheel" - a flamboyant quirk, fetishised in Australia, where a southpaw's hands cross over entirely, as perfected by Marcus North - was very un-Cook but pretty damn cool.

Stuart Broad will make a good vice-captain
Throughout the ODI series, the pot shots at Stuart Broad continued. A rest from the first two ODIs led to photos in the Australian papers of the England seamer paddle-boarding and the second "Man takes to beach during time-off" story in less than a month.

While he was rusty on his recall at the SCG, he was back up to scratch at Perth before opening up the 5th ODI with one of the quickest spells of the series. But what was most impressive about Broad was his demeanour on the field. It might have been easy for him to grow weary because of a number of reasons, from the length of this tour to the inane barracking of the local crowds. But he has managed to continue till now with great vigour, fitness and a sense of responsibility that hasn't wavered. He took time to talk to bowlers before important spells as well as having what looked to be some candid discussions with Cook.

When speculation was abound about Cook's future as captain, thanks to his own emotional words at the SCG, Broad came up as a potential replacement, but with forewarning of hot-headedness and a list of cons of having a bowler lead the side. If Cook is to continue, then Broad might be the perfect "bad cop" to rejuvenate England in the field.

How best to use Chris Jordan
Ashley Giles recognised Chris Jordan as one of the successes of this series. He bowled at a sprightly pace and was able to maintain that speed throughout. An economy rate of 5.38 is commendable given he bowled the majority of his overs in the first and second Powerplays.

It was only in Adelaide that Jordan was entrusted with a spell at the death, as James Tredwell, Tim Bresnan, Broad and Stokes shared the load from 30 overs on, meaning Jordan had two overs left for the death.

With four out on the leg side boundary - the shorter side - he varied his approach to Faulkner with great results. Initially he followed him, digging one in at his toes. The following over, he caught him out with a bouncer before Faulkner could only find Eoin Morgan in the deep (in truth, it was the only ball he got wrong).

Of course, this was in the first innings; it's worth noting that when Faulkner completed his smash and grab in the 2nd ODI, Cook had chosen not to bowl out Jordan, whose nine overs had returned 0 for 53. Defending a total brings an altogether different pressure, but the indication from those close to Jordan is that he is perfectly equipped for the challenge.

His ability to bowl in different situations of a 50-over game allows England to be more flexible with their bowling plans.

Does English cricket have a "Big Show"?
It's hard to know what to make of Glenn Maxwell. Behind the WWE moniker and David Brent beard stands an exceptional cricketer whose career path projects a best case scenario as a scorer of great runs rather than a great runscorer. His only score of note in the series came at the Gabba with a 54 that featured four reverse sweeps - three of them in a row - to set up a phenomenal chase.

His bowling was useful and his fielding is top notch. His work in the ring through the series has been second to none, with every pick up on the floor and every throw, whether balanced or not, clean as a whistle. His direct-hit run out of Bresnan in Adelaide, as England lost their nerve, was a formality by his standards.

While Darren Lehmann has warned him about shirking his responsibility with the bat, it's hard not to plump for a maverick.

England's approach to eccentrics is exampled no better than the current state of limbo Kevin Pietersen finds himself in. But it does make you wonder about English cricket's rogues and what chance they might have of making a late dash for the 2015 World Cup.

A brilliant 2013, with eye-catching performance in four-day and limited-overs cricket, sees Samit Patel as the most worthy of the outliers. His ability to manipulate the field and find gaps in front of him would add something to England's middle order. His spin bowling has also come on leaps and bounds, particularly his accuracy.

Moving onto the uncapped muscle, Peter Trego and Steven Crook are unhindered heavy-hitting, seam bowling allrounders that are more than worthy of mentions. Crook would be a smart acquisition for an IPL franchise and good performances in high quality competition will turn heads.

Trego's worth is clear for all to see and he underlined his quality with excellence in last year's Yorkshire Bank 40, which he finished as the competition's leading runscorer. But Trego himself admits that the international bridges he burned as a hotter-headed youngster may be beyond repair.

Perhaps more likely for selection are the younger livewires, such as Leicestershire's Josh Cobb and, if he enjoys a record-breaking 2014 for Surrey, the enigmatic Jason Roy. It's all hypothetical whimsy, but as Ben Stokes showed during the Test series, sometimes the punts come good.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PrasPunter on January 29, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Upon reading the head-line, i was thinking that Cook was staying back to help Broad through-out the T20Is. Am I the only one to think so ?

  • PrasPunter on January 29, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    @Lawton Ratnam, what else are your predictions for the rest of the year mate ? How would Wall-Street fair ? Will this be the hottest ever year ? Can you enlighten us ?

  • RYSE on January 29, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @JG2704 - sure mate. I've seen him play a couple of the (extremely rare) t20 games that are televised in Aus.

    Aside from that I read a LOT of the reports from county, one-day and t20 cricket in England.

    I play International Cricket Captain and often use Trego's side, but naturally as that is a video game I can't use his form in that to shape my decisions (lol), but that is where I first saw his name crop up.

    England have a lot more depth than they are credited for, Foakes, Bell-Drummond, Roland-Jones, Ballance, Buttler, Stokes, Borthwick, Vince - some corking youth there.

    Even Northeast and Cowdrey (both of whom have been slaying it at the Sunshine Coast in QLD, where I live by).

    So yeah, re: Trego, I wonder what he did wrong?!

  • Motobu on January 28, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Was enjoying reading this...

    Then an endorsement for Samit Patel!

    Had to stop reading at that point.... couldn't stop the laughter.

    Samit has no place in any England team. I was willing to countenance Bopara in the limited overs format but have now drawn the conclusion that he too should be put out to pasture.

    Too inconsistent, buckles under pressure and not quite good enough at batting or bowling. That goes for both of them equally.

  • on January 28, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    No mention of Davd Willey?

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    @RYSE on (January 28, 2014, 5:53 GMT) Just wondering where you have seen Trego play - being an Aussie? I'm not sure about him burning bridges either as a youth. I know he did play some non league football as a goalkeeper but was he ever touted to be anything bigger than a county player as a youth. Hell , a family friend played cricket with him for Callington and from those days he reckoned that he wouldn't go much further let alone to being a star for Somerset. He played for Somerset , then joined Kent for a while and then only when he came back to Somerset has he kicked on so it's only the last 5 years or so

  • sillypointshortleg on January 28, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Forgot about Pieterson in my previous post. If he can come in and analyze the game situation and play accordingly to benefit the team, by all means include him at 4/5. Does he refuse to bowl any overs of off-spin or do the captains choose not to use him?

  • sillypointshortleg on January 28, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    I think England should have tried opening with Carberry and Bell and if if Cook HAD to play, he could have come in at 3 or 4, depending who was out, with Root or Morgan at 4/5 trying to keep the LH/RH combination going to make it more difficult for the Aussie bowlers. Not sure about next in, but definitely not Bopara ever! He cost us the last match. He seems to always play for himself. He came in when England needed 64 from 84 balls and he failed to knock the ball around for singles and two's, unlike Morgan, who did just that, while putting the bad balls away for boundaries and still had a strike rate of close to 100! In fact, I think that he should captain the ODI team. That opinion is based on how he played/adapted in all the matches.Maybe Stokes next or Buttler, who did well and deserves to keep his place. Broad,Bresna Jordan OK, but England need a fast and accurate bowler as well as a spinner, who can take wickets and keep the R/R down. Root and Stokes can cover some overs.

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    @Juiceoftheapple on (January 27, 2014, 22:34 GMT) You're spot on. Trego had a huge 2013 and now would be an ideal time to take a look at him. In tests , Woakes had a massive 2012 and we're struggling and we didn't have a decent number 6 back then and he was ignored. He had a lesser 2013 and gets picked when the team are actually doing ok with the 6/1/4 formation.

    "After the horse has bolted"

    for me - sums up much of England's reading of the game these days

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (January 28, 2014, 1:02 GMT) Why would you bat Stokes above Buttler? Stokes is below him both in averages and SR and struggles big against slower bowling. Realistically you may have to plan a side without KP and Trott

  • PrasPunter on January 29, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Upon reading the head-line, i was thinking that Cook was staying back to help Broad through-out the T20Is. Am I the only one to think so ?

  • PrasPunter on January 29, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    @Lawton Ratnam, what else are your predictions for the rest of the year mate ? How would Wall-Street fair ? Will this be the hottest ever year ? Can you enlighten us ?

  • RYSE on January 29, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    @JG2704 - sure mate. I've seen him play a couple of the (extremely rare) t20 games that are televised in Aus.

    Aside from that I read a LOT of the reports from county, one-day and t20 cricket in England.

    I play International Cricket Captain and often use Trego's side, but naturally as that is a video game I can't use his form in that to shape my decisions (lol), but that is where I first saw his name crop up.

    England have a lot more depth than they are credited for, Foakes, Bell-Drummond, Roland-Jones, Ballance, Buttler, Stokes, Borthwick, Vince - some corking youth there.

    Even Northeast and Cowdrey (both of whom have been slaying it at the Sunshine Coast in QLD, where I live by).

    So yeah, re: Trego, I wonder what he did wrong?!

  • Motobu on January 28, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    Was enjoying reading this...

    Then an endorsement for Samit Patel!

    Had to stop reading at that point.... couldn't stop the laughter.

    Samit has no place in any England team. I was willing to countenance Bopara in the limited overs format but have now drawn the conclusion that he too should be put out to pasture.

    Too inconsistent, buckles under pressure and not quite good enough at batting or bowling. That goes for both of them equally.

  • on January 28, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    No mention of Davd Willey?

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    @RYSE on (January 28, 2014, 5:53 GMT) Just wondering where you have seen Trego play - being an Aussie? I'm not sure about him burning bridges either as a youth. I know he did play some non league football as a goalkeeper but was he ever touted to be anything bigger than a county player as a youth. Hell , a family friend played cricket with him for Callington and from those days he reckoned that he wouldn't go much further let alone to being a star for Somerset. He played for Somerset , then joined Kent for a while and then only when he came back to Somerset has he kicked on so it's only the last 5 years or so

  • sillypointshortleg on January 28, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Forgot about Pieterson in my previous post. If he can come in and analyze the game situation and play accordingly to benefit the team, by all means include him at 4/5. Does he refuse to bowl any overs of off-spin or do the captains choose not to use him?

  • sillypointshortleg on January 28, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    I think England should have tried opening with Carberry and Bell and if if Cook HAD to play, he could have come in at 3 or 4, depending who was out, with Root or Morgan at 4/5 trying to keep the LH/RH combination going to make it more difficult for the Aussie bowlers. Not sure about next in, but definitely not Bopara ever! He cost us the last match. He seems to always play for himself. He came in when England needed 64 from 84 balls and he failed to knock the ball around for singles and two's, unlike Morgan, who did just that, while putting the bad balls away for boundaries and still had a strike rate of close to 100! In fact, I think that he should captain the ODI team. That opinion is based on how he played/adapted in all the matches.Maybe Stokes next or Buttler, who did well and deserves to keep his place. Broad,Bresna Jordan OK, but England need a fast and accurate bowler as well as a spinner, who can take wickets and keep the R/R down. Root and Stokes can cover some overs.

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    @Juiceoftheapple on (January 27, 2014, 22:34 GMT) You're spot on. Trego had a huge 2013 and now would be an ideal time to take a look at him. In tests , Woakes had a massive 2012 and we're struggling and we didn't have a decent number 6 back then and he was ignored. He had a lesser 2013 and gets picked when the team are actually doing ok with the 6/1/4 formation.

    "After the horse has bolted"

    for me - sums up much of England's reading of the game these days

  • JG2704 on January 28, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (January 28, 2014, 1:02 GMT) Why would you bat Stokes above Buttler? Stokes is below him both in averages and SR and struggles big against slower bowling. Realistically you may have to plan a side without KP and Trott

  • on January 28, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    As Swan as said England was very poor and no captain could have done any better with the team in Australia. An average Australian team was made to look great on "home soil". As usual Australia will struggle abroad.

  • RYSE on January 28, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Can anyone on here expand on how/why Trego has burned bridges as a youth? I'm not querying it, but I really like his brand of cricket and am a big fan of what he brings to any game.

    To indicate that the (increasingly ironic) flak that Broad cops is inane is only reasonable if we accept that the Barmy Army are guilty of the same but in much larger and unrelenting doses. That requires clarity else it's just sourgrapes.

    As an Aussie I am so pleased that we crushed England here, not so much in terms of annihilation, but the heartbreaking closeness with which quite a few of the games included.

    After a few years of turmoil we are back where we belong.

    That said - England have a great many positives to come from this series. Stokes is easily the most exciting prospect in international cricket at the moment, Jordan bowled his guts out (even through run-up difficulties in Perth), Buttler found that next level (after threatening to do so for quite some time), and Morgan was great.

    Hales?

  • on January 28, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    While Alastair Cook's batting in 2011 was the main forces in winning the Ashes for England he simply hasn't delivered in any way in the Ashes series just concluded. The disappointing part is that his captaincy was so passive. He could have studied how Michael Clarke mustered his troops and the strategies he employed, but Cook let it happen rather than making it happen. That's why England lost. Overall England were unprofessional, they badly underperformed and their captaincy let them down. No wonder they left Australia with, in effect, their tails between their legs.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 28, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Well the only way is up but they will never reach the heights of Australia for any reasonable length of time because the English do not have that hard-wired tough sport attitude that is present in much of Australia's sports people.

    Thus the English need to use imported players to make up for that lack of that attribute. And even when a country of less than half the population and where many of its elite sportsmen only play a sport that is not played anywhere else in the world, namely Aussie rules footy, the Aussie cricket teams still flogs the English. That says it all really

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Woops I think I forgot Morgan in my suggested XI (if my comment was posted) - Cook, Bell, Trott, KP, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, and the bowlers. Although, on second thoughts Eng would need someone else than Bresnan, who's nothing but average. Dernbach? ;)

  • sapnil2000 on January 28, 2014, 3:04 GMT

    india and england--two team, definitely over hyped and media created

  • sifter132 on January 28, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    Great observations in the article. Was a bit confused about the Jordan section though...why is he a key piece in the supposed flexibility of the attack? Cook seemed reluctant to save him for the end or to bowl a lot of him at the start either. He would bowl 4 overs max to start with. I think for balance, England would be better suited with a death bowler eg. Dernbach. Use Broad and Anderson with the new ball, attack as much as possible with your Test bowlers, then save majority of your death bowler's allotment for the last 15.

  • Kelum_w on January 28, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    Good to see Broad stepping up. However correct me if I am wrong but isn't Broad the only Eng player whose got a regular gig in all 3 formats. The only other player I can think of is Root but his selection isn't automatic anymore. This is the only concern I have as playing all 3 formats may cause Broad to become the next "Player Burnout" victim. Let's hope this isn't the case as he does bring a lot to the Eng game. I'd like to see him score a few more runs but to be honest for someone whose primary job in the team is to take up the new ball and for someone who does that quite well we can safely ignore the lack of runs at this stage.

    BTW Butler looked a better keeper than Bairstow, Work ob a solid defense and I think they should consider him a no 7. Who knows the world may see right handed Gilly.

  • Insult_2_Injury on January 28, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    The Aussies might have won the series but 2 things were very obvious. Chris Jordan is a prospect. Surely he can't be afflicted in another series by 'supporting' fielders dropping 2-3 catches a game off him. He did well to only lose his run up during another England inept fielding display which hurt Jordan the most. The second obvious thing is that Glenn Maxwell is a pretender. He isn't good enough to bowl in internationals and he certainly isn't good enough to bat. If you aren't prepared to defend a good ball, you won't be still there to take advantage of the bad ones. Maxwell was found wanting on the different types of surfaces found around Australia, so no chance in other countries. Of course he has a dingo ordinary first class record anyway, so it's hard to know why he was picked in front of Khawaja, who played consistently throughout the Ryobi Cup.

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    The most important thing is balance, and although England still get criticised for their slow scorin rates even when they win, Trott's ODI record is phenomenal and must come back (if he can). His average is over the 50s which is very very good and his strike rate is very similar to Clarke's... Who doesn't attract the same negativity. I believe George Dobell provided a stat that England win far many more matches with Trott in rather than without Trott. It's the same with Aus and Clarke. All ODI team's need a consistent nudger who balances the line up - India are lucky to have Kohli and Dhoni who are both great strikers and v consistent, we've had Huss and Clarke and SA have Amla and AbDv. Eng had one in Trott, and they benefitted.

    Anyway, from the outside, an ODI side of: Cook, Bell, Trott, KP, Stokes, a dasher - Wright/Hales? Then butler, Bres, Broad, Anderson and Tredwell looks to be very solid, and even intimidating! Who would've thought! Ballance/Root don't score quick enough.

  • bonobo on January 28, 2014, 0:44 GMT

    100% on Patel. He was a regular in the side that reached number 1' batting 7 and finishing the innings regularly. He had a poor test series and 2 bad games against India and was dropped for inconsistency. I was nerd enough to check the stats...he had averaged 40 at a strike rate of 97! Between the 2010 World Cup and the point he was dropped...and was statistically England's mist consistent batsmen! In that period, I.e mean score over innings...and he was dropped for 'inconsistency'...England broke up a winning team and gave gone backwards since...I am a Joe Root fan, but there us no way he can offer more than Patel in ODI cricket at this stage.....having a combination of Pietersen, Morgan, Patel, bopara, butler or stokes between 3-7 is a pretty agreesive line up...and also provides steady 5th bowler combinations....I really think balance, root, Taylor etc...can wait til after the World Cup...

  • on January 27, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    I think the selectors are missing a trick by not giving David Willey a go in the T20 or ODI formats. As a left armer he offers variety and his batting is brutal in a Flintoffesque way. Definitely worth a punt but being a Northants fan I am a little biased!

  • Patchmaster on January 27, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    The problem is, that when they are both batting well, they can maintain an 'ok' rate, but still behind most nations....however...when one of them is a little out of touch (i.e. most of this tour !) they just cannot dominate and score quickly enough, and is massively inhibits the teams ability to post a modern day big total. In Ashley Giles' mind, 250 is still a really commanding total.

  • JG2704 on January 27, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    @thebolivian on (January 27, 2014, 17:47 GMT) Ravi's OD bowling is better than Trego's but he can bowl a few overs and with the bat he had significantly better average/SR in the YB40 last year - which along with T20 where he had slightly better batting stats than Ravi. I'm sceptical about him doing a job down the order with the bat but what about at number 3 if they want to up the tempo? Purely as a batsman I'd rather have Trego at 3 than Stokes at 3. He may be technically limited but you wont find him falling asleep on a cricket pitch

  • on January 27, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Hales should get a go in the Windies now that Cook has ruled himself out of the ODIs. Buttler should come in at 6 at least and surely Bopara has had it. Woakes would have been a better bet in Adelaide or they could have dragged Luke Wright in from the BBL.

  • Juiceoftheapple on January 27, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    At least give them an opportunity to see if they've got the international big game mentality. Trego is a case in point. He's seen as too agricultural, even when he's at the opposite end to Strauss sending the Indian test spinners into the Tone. Had Warne gone to Somerset not Hampshire, Trego could be doing what Lumb is doing. Hildreth as well, I'd like to have seen him have a go when he was scoring hundreds at will. They might have stepped up but we'll never know.

  • on January 27, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    @Glen Poyner David Willey is recovering from surgery - not likely to be fit in time for the World Cup.

  • RandyOZ on January 27, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    I really like this new guy Vithusan. Actually bringing an unbiased and well judged perspective to English commentary (there is a first for everything). Keep up the good work mate!

  • jackiethepen on January 27, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Given that Cook and Bell were playing on the back of a catastrophic Ashes tour which had floored a few of their teammates, it is to their credit that they picked themselves up and batted as they did, especially the tempo for the big score of 316 at Perth, England's win. Bell SR 103 and Cook SR 102. However in the first Melbourne ODI they appear to be criticised for a lethargic start compared to Australia. Just as well to note then that Cook fell for 4 and Root for 3, so Bell was left to rebuild with Ballance. Bell got 41, one commentator said he appeared to be batting by will alone. Hard going maybe but for a reason. Bell and Cook are 'proper batsmen' and very experienced. In most situations that is a hell of an advantage and at least we hope one of them at least can survive to build a partnership with No 3/4. Also they can build a good platform for the specialists down the order such as Morgan and Buttler who take advantage of the Power play and the new regs in the later overs.

  • thebolivian on January 27, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    It's not like the selectors don't look for talent. Just that basically there isn't really any playerrs outside the squad or lions squad capable of playing at international level at present.

    Willey is injured but he showed some good ability with the bat as a lower order power hitter which would be nice. His bowling at present just lacks a little pace but isn't bad and offers good variation with him being left arm.

    Vince looks to have the talent to make it and may get a chance in the WI as a reserve but needs more time.

    A few random names that have qualities that could be useful to an ODI team but are a long way away(or haven'teven played yet at county level)

    Malan, Dawson, C Overton, Meschede, Ansari, Ravi Patel, Rafiq, Sam Wood,Tom Curran, Livingstone, Rossington, Billings

  • Westcountryman on January 27, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Glad to see Moeen Ali rates a mention in at least one of these sides. I've really rated him for some time as one-day opener/no.3 and good containing spinner (not much worse than Tredwell, certainly). Unlike several others mentioned (including Patel, I agree), Moeen has some class about him. Have to agree about the marvellous Pete Trego - these days at least I honestly don't think his bowling is up to it.

  • thebolivian on January 27, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    HahaTrego. Trego is a worse ODI bowler than Bopara by a good distance and his batting is limited and most of his success has come at the top of the order for Somerset so he won't have the skills to succeed in the middle order. And no way is he good enough in the top 3.

    Crook is a little better. Offers more incision as a bowler and is a powerful batsmen who is actually used to batting in the lower middle order for his county.

    Both are the wrong side of 30 as well so they would have limited time to improve in the England side before their body and eyes started to fade. Napier is probably a better bet than both but again he's 34.

    If selecting Stokes was taking a punt, Roy and Cobb for 50 over cricket would be a 100-1 longshot. It was clear for all to see with Stokes that he had the class and skill to be an international cricketer. Cobb and Roy have shown little glimpes of some potential but they are lightyears away from being international class.

  • on January 27, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    As a somerset fan i think seeing trego as a quickfire opener in 50/20 over cricket could work. His bowling has gone downhill and probably Luke Wright as a -proven performer would be ahead of him. A suggestion for T20 side... Hales, Lumb, Wright, Moeen, Morgan, Kieswetter, Buttler, Willey, Briggs, Broad & Jordan. Dissapointed Willey isnt in T20 squad. Genuine massive potential.

  • on January 27, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    I like this. Cast the net wider and identify fresh talent. I'm all for that

  • yorkshire-86 on January 27, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Very good article.. up until the mention of Samit Patel. He has had enough lives, and is a proven liability with bat and ball 4 games out of every 5.

  • SDHM on January 27, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Personally think, at least outside of home conditions, England have to look beyond Bell & Cook - one of them alongside a stroke-making opener would make a perfect partnership. Hales is wrongly being pigeonholed as a T20 bosher; worth pointing out he has six first class 100s to his name, and before his meltdown last season (which I'm convinced was mental - had had his head turned by the IPL and was unable to focus afterwards) was averaging 40 opening the batting at Trent Bridge, no mean feat. England need to act quickly to get the best out of him and avoid him becoming just a T20 player. Him, partnered with one of Cook or Bell, would make an excellent opening 50 over partnership, backed up by KP at 3 given free reign to dominate, and the likes of Morgan, Buttler and Stokes to supply the flourishes.

  • NRC1979 on January 27, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    It's refreshing to read an article about the future of England cricket without mention of Tymal Mills! I am all for T20 specialist but feel that ODIs require a core of the best players. Trego, Crook, Roy and Cobb could all do a job in T20s but they would likely be exposed in ODIs (Roy and Cobb are young enough improve though), Patel is the only one who is realistically good enough to play more ODIs at the moment, especially in the subcontinent but he has had chances already and failed to take them.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 27, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    Jordan, Stokes and Broad haven't bowled as badly as the scoreline leads you to believe, and remember Anderson is still out there somewhere and might get a new wave. But as much as I really like Bresnan (and wouldn't mind him being persisted with for certain tests) I think England realistically need to look at alternatives for him. Obviously Swann's exodus has left a gaping hole for a spinner, and I do like Tredwell but clearly there are other spinners like Briggs and maybe Rashid who deserve a look in. Can't see beyond Buttler at the moment for maintaining the gloves, and I agree with the author here that Cook and Bell should be maintained as the openers. I'm guessing KP is still out there somewhere and will be considered. There are lots of options available for England's middle order - all perfectly capable of performing. England just need to find that right balance (which may change game to game, pitch to pitch etc.) and be less rigid with their tactics such as batting orders.

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  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 27, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    Jordan, Stokes and Broad haven't bowled as badly as the scoreline leads you to believe, and remember Anderson is still out there somewhere and might get a new wave. But as much as I really like Bresnan (and wouldn't mind him being persisted with for certain tests) I think England realistically need to look at alternatives for him. Obviously Swann's exodus has left a gaping hole for a spinner, and I do like Tredwell but clearly there are other spinners like Briggs and maybe Rashid who deserve a look in. Can't see beyond Buttler at the moment for maintaining the gloves, and I agree with the author here that Cook and Bell should be maintained as the openers. I'm guessing KP is still out there somewhere and will be considered. There are lots of options available for England's middle order - all perfectly capable of performing. England just need to find that right balance (which may change game to game, pitch to pitch etc.) and be less rigid with their tactics such as batting orders.

  • NRC1979 on January 27, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    It's refreshing to read an article about the future of England cricket without mention of Tymal Mills! I am all for T20 specialist but feel that ODIs require a core of the best players. Trego, Crook, Roy and Cobb could all do a job in T20s but they would likely be exposed in ODIs (Roy and Cobb are young enough improve though), Patel is the only one who is realistically good enough to play more ODIs at the moment, especially in the subcontinent but he has had chances already and failed to take them.

  • SDHM on January 27, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Personally think, at least outside of home conditions, England have to look beyond Bell & Cook - one of them alongside a stroke-making opener would make a perfect partnership. Hales is wrongly being pigeonholed as a T20 bosher; worth pointing out he has six first class 100s to his name, and before his meltdown last season (which I'm convinced was mental - had had his head turned by the IPL and was unable to focus afterwards) was averaging 40 opening the batting at Trent Bridge, no mean feat. England need to act quickly to get the best out of him and avoid him becoming just a T20 player. Him, partnered with one of Cook or Bell, would make an excellent opening 50 over partnership, backed up by KP at 3 given free reign to dominate, and the likes of Morgan, Buttler and Stokes to supply the flourishes.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 27, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Very good article.. up until the mention of Samit Patel. He has had enough lives, and is a proven liability with bat and ball 4 games out of every 5.

  • on January 27, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    I like this. Cast the net wider and identify fresh talent. I'm all for that

  • on January 27, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    As a somerset fan i think seeing trego as a quickfire opener in 50/20 over cricket could work. His bowling has gone downhill and probably Luke Wright as a -proven performer would be ahead of him. A suggestion for T20 side... Hales, Lumb, Wright, Moeen, Morgan, Kieswetter, Buttler, Willey, Briggs, Broad & Jordan. Dissapointed Willey isnt in T20 squad. Genuine massive potential.

  • thebolivian on January 27, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    HahaTrego. Trego is a worse ODI bowler than Bopara by a good distance and his batting is limited and most of his success has come at the top of the order for Somerset so he won't have the skills to succeed in the middle order. And no way is he good enough in the top 3.

    Crook is a little better. Offers more incision as a bowler and is a powerful batsmen who is actually used to batting in the lower middle order for his county.

    Both are the wrong side of 30 as well so they would have limited time to improve in the England side before their body and eyes started to fade. Napier is probably a better bet than both but again he's 34.

    If selecting Stokes was taking a punt, Roy and Cobb for 50 over cricket would be a 100-1 longshot. It was clear for all to see with Stokes that he had the class and skill to be an international cricketer. Cobb and Roy have shown little glimpes of some potential but they are lightyears away from being international class.

  • Westcountryman on January 27, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Glad to see Moeen Ali rates a mention in at least one of these sides. I've really rated him for some time as one-day opener/no.3 and good containing spinner (not much worse than Tredwell, certainly). Unlike several others mentioned (including Patel, I agree), Moeen has some class about him. Have to agree about the marvellous Pete Trego - these days at least I honestly don't think his bowling is up to it.

  • thebolivian on January 27, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    It's not like the selectors don't look for talent. Just that basically there isn't really any playerrs outside the squad or lions squad capable of playing at international level at present.

    Willey is injured but he showed some good ability with the bat as a lower order power hitter which would be nice. His bowling at present just lacks a little pace but isn't bad and offers good variation with him being left arm.

    Vince looks to have the talent to make it and may get a chance in the WI as a reserve but needs more time.

    A few random names that have qualities that could be useful to an ODI team but are a long way away(or haven'teven played yet at county level)

    Malan, Dawson, C Overton, Meschede, Ansari, Ravi Patel, Rafiq, Sam Wood,Tom Curran, Livingstone, Rossington, Billings

  • jackiethepen on January 27, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Given that Cook and Bell were playing on the back of a catastrophic Ashes tour which had floored a few of their teammates, it is to their credit that they picked themselves up and batted as they did, especially the tempo for the big score of 316 at Perth, England's win. Bell SR 103 and Cook SR 102. However in the first Melbourne ODI they appear to be criticised for a lethargic start compared to Australia. Just as well to note then that Cook fell for 4 and Root for 3, so Bell was left to rebuild with Ballance. Bell got 41, one commentator said he appeared to be batting by will alone. Hard going maybe but for a reason. Bell and Cook are 'proper batsmen' and very experienced. In most situations that is a hell of an advantage and at least we hope one of them at least can survive to build a partnership with No 3/4. Also they can build a good platform for the specialists down the order such as Morgan and Buttler who take advantage of the Power play and the new regs in the later overs.