England’s first squad under the latest Peter Moores’ era was named on Thursday, and unsurprisingly, there wasn’t wholesale changes.
As one who is hoping for a bit of freshening up within the England team, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I understand the need for playing safe, but on the other hand, was now not the time to experiment?
With all the changes across the board, new coach, new selector, KP’s sacking, the removal of Graham Gooch and probable removal of David Saker, I can understand the need for not making wholesale changes to the England team as well – without wishing to contradict myself, it does make sense.
I just hope that over the course of the English summer though, that some players may be eased aside, and some fresh blood brought in.
My only real negative and concern with this squad, is that with it being more of the same, is this what we will continue to get? Only time will tell if my concerns are correct.
As well as the need for freshening up the England team with some younger blood, I hope that communication between management and players is also improved upon.
Reading between the lines (which is all I can do), I got the impression that communication seemed to be a big problem in Australia, so I hope that is something that will be resolved under Perter Moores.
For example I hope that someone has put a call into Steven Finn and said that he is still well in England’s plans, and that he has only been left out of this squad so he can concentrate on playing for Middlesex and getting ‘Overs bowled’ under his belt, and rebuilding his rhythm and confidence (assuming this is the reason for his omission).
The reason why I say this, is I get the impression he was just left to his own devices and ignored in Australia. It seemed like Finn’s problems were only finally noticed when Ashley Giles turned up after the Ashes and sent him home as there was no point in him remaining in Australia.
What was going on prior to that? It seems like no one was communicating or paying any attention to Finn. This is another reason why David Saker’s removal may be inevitable.
There is certainly plenty of room for improvement within the England set up, and they don’t want to get the Moores’ era off to a disastrous start by losing against Scotland, so as I already said, I get the safety first approach.
The safety first approach is reflected in the betting, as the bookies don’t appear to be envisioning any such problems for England as they make Alastair Cook’s team heavy favourites at a best price of 1/12 with Boylesports to win the one off match in Aberdeen on Friday (9th May).
As already pointed out by various cricket journalists, at this time of the year frost may even come into play at such a northern venue as Aberdeen in May, but even the Scotland players probably won’t be that familiar with playing on grounds that may have been covered in frost the previous night.
Given that the conditions will probably play no part in the Scotland team’s chances, it is probably no massive surprise to see them come in at a best price of 15/2 with Paddy Power to cause a major upset.