Friday, 18 September 2009

England's Champions Trophy pre-mortem

England are facing the prospect of a 7-0 NatWest series whitewash. No team has ever lost every single encounter of a seven-match One Day International series, so to say England are in disarray is an understatement. Investigations into disappointing showings at major tournaments are usually done after the event, but such is England's plight, anything other than an early return from South Africa, where they face the hosts, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in their group, would be a major surprise. It is time for the pre-mortem.

England have to make some changes to the current squad. The joint absence of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff has been keenly felt, but the constant collective failure of the batting order cannot be ignored. Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah and Matt Prior might all benefit from a break. They are low on confidence and even lower on runs and it should be noted that their poor form is not a recent development - Bopara and Prior have six ODI half centuries between them from 90 appearances, whilst Shah has passed 50 once in his last 12 knocks.

Who to bring in to imporve their One Day International betting odds? Pietersen should bat at three, behind Andrew Strauss and Joe Denly. Eoin Morgan has done enough to earn more chances and Paul Collingwood's experience and all-round skills should not be dispensed with. Jonathan Trott cannot be ignored for the team's next limited overs assignments, but most of the other players demanding selection ply their trade at the top of the order.

Ed Joyce largely struggled in his first spell as an England opener, but he has been revitalised by his move to Sussex and is by some way the leading domestic limited overs runscorer this season. More explosive opening batsmen alternatives are Steve Davis, Phil Mustard and the soon-to-be-qualified Craig Kieswetter. All are good options to replace Prior behind the stumps. Marcus Trescothick power hitting in the early overs is irreplaceable, but the nearest thing on the county scene is Michael Lumb, who has the weight of stroke to clear the in-field.

The bowling situation is less desperate, although the attack is tidy rather than threatening. Ryan Sidebottom has really struggled for incisiveness and might need to be taken out of the firing line, but on the plus side Adil Rashid has done pretty well in tough circumstances. Flintoff's return to the bowling attack can't come soon enough, bungee-jumping or not. There are not many English seam bowlers who have set the county scene alight this season - old-stagers James Kirtley and Dominic Cork have been the most successful

4 comments:

hemanth said...

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Cricket Schedule. Finally, ah and I mean finally the postponed ICC Champions Trophy has been scheduled to take place in South Africa (once again the same great venue) between September 24 and October 5 2009 as per the official meeting held in Dubai.

http://www.clbuzz.com/icc-champions-trophy-2009-cricket-schedule/

Chrispy said...

Harsh criticism of Prior. How anyone is expected to find form and consistancy (within a demoralised, inconsistent and nonsensical set up) when they are asked to bat every position from 1-8, barring only No. 5 is beyond me. He should either open to exploit the powerplays, or come in in the last fifteen to take on the rope. He isn't a fiddler, so why is he being played at number four against spin/pace off?!

Strauss (c)
Trott
Pietersen
Shah
Collingwood
Flintoff / Wright
Prior (wk)
Mascarenhas / Rashid
Broad
Swann
Anderson

leg-man said...

Thanks for the info mate.

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