Another English Cricketing Disaster

Out of the cricket world cup with one group game still to go, out of the world cup before associate side Ireland (no disrespect meant), and out of the world cup looking absolutely clueless and out of our depth – this is how life looks the day after England’s humiliating world cup exit at the hands of Bangladesh.

The worst thing about it all was that as soon as the wicket of Alex Hales went down, you could see the defeat coming from a mile away.

Not sure where England go from here to be honest. They’ve chopped and changed without much success, so is it worth making more wholesale sackings? On the evidence of results, sackings could be justified, but will it improve the situation? Like Moores and Morgan in their respective interviews yesterday, I don’t know.

I know there is a clamour for change, but in a way I did feel a bit sorry for both Peter Moores and Eoin Morgan yesterday. Morgan clearly had issues he couldn’t say in his post match interview. He has clearly been let down by his senior players, and I include himself in that, he has been let down by the system over of neglecting 50 Over cricket over the years, and he may have been playing with one hand tied behind his back with his coach, who knows?

Moores has also been let down by the English system of neglect, and he himself highlighted a shortage of top quality players offering England variety from the county game. That said, England still have enough quality to get out of this group.

Let me be clear about another thing. Despite all the moaning about moving an Ashes series to prepare for this, and playing ODI cricket for 6 months, etc, in my opinion (for what it’s worth), that’s a load of garbage and gives the – wrong – opinion that England actually took this world cup seriously.

Anybody who has followed English cricket remotely closely for years knows full well ODI cricket has been the poor relations of English cricket for donkey’s years know. We have used it as a method of using it for blooding Test cricketers, resting players so they are fresh for Test cricket, we have only learnt to play in English conditions, and we have neglected to let our players play abroad in top T20 competitions. And then we wonder why we are so crap at it.

In my opinion this neglect of ODI cricket started before Andy Flower’s tenure, but the problem escalated under his regime. Another thing that set in under Flower and Strauss was the insistence for England’s seamers to bowl line and length all the time, another flaw that cost them at this world cup.

The bowlers seem that unable to think on their feet that it is staggering. This view about Stuart Broad – in particular – is reinforced when you think back to the World T20, when England – captained by Broad – seemed to already know their bowling plan before they went out on the pitch. Moeen Ali would bowl the first over for hardly any runs, then disappear out of the attack.

It was embarrassing, everyone knows England’s limitations, they are there for all to see. England seem to be taught to bowl and play to pre determined plans, we seem to train our players to be robots. Yes, line and length may work in England, but not in most international conditions. Kevin Pietersen highlighted the problem with England’s seamers when he said that the brilliance of Graeme Swann papered over the cracks, and I believe he was right.

How often did Swann make the breakthrough, that allowed the seamers to capitalize on the opening? And as a result now, when we bowl on flat pitches without Swann, we are clueless.

Peter Moores may say that more is made of the stats than is actually the case, and that may be true, but it is clear to see for any half brained dimwit watching that – stats or no stats – England’s cricketers seem unable to think on their feet.

Moores and Morgan still are culpable. They brought in Gary Ballance, they’ve ignored James Tredwell as a front line spinner. Instead opting to use Moeen Ali, it smacked of a lack of guts to me. Ali could be a great cricketer for England, but only as a second spinner batting all rounder.

England’s senior players have badly failed them. Bell fell short yet again, Broad and Anderson were absolute garbage again, and Morgan himself has fallen so far back it’s barely believable. I wouldn’t argue against sackings, but the whole culture of English cricket needs to change, or otherwise it probably won’t matter who we put in charge.

At least there is other sport to keep us occupied this week as the Cheltenham Festival gets under way today. Twenty-eight top class horse races kick-off at 1.30pm today in the Cotswolds, and there are plenty of Cheltenham Free Bets for us to grab throughout the week, and hopefully make ourselves some nice risk free cash.

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