It’s amazing how quickly team’s performances can turn. Less than two months ago India were supposedly useless, couldn’t field, weren’t motivated, Duncan Fletcher was useless, etc, etc.
Now it’s England that all of a sudden fit that description. I’m not for a minute suggesting that England have become a bad side now in 6 weeks just because they have lost 3 ODI’s in a row. What I am saying though, is that England have been a bit of a shambles and just not good enough on this tour.
I don’t want to single anybody out here, but I think Craig Kieswetter could be the big loser in this series. His technical difficulties with the bat are nothing new, while his performance behind the stumps today won’t have helped his cause either.
In contrast Ian Bell is the big winner, without hitting a ball, Bell’s stock seems to have risen with calls increasing for his return to the 50 over team. I’ve heard various cricketing commentators and pundits saying that he is too good to not be able to get into this team.
At the start of this tour I did call for him to be left out of the middle order for Jonny Bairstow. Why? Because I don’t see Bell as a middle order player. I like a big hitter in the middle order.
At the top of the order is where I would gladly see Bell. No.3 looks the ideal position, but while Trott is scoring runs that seems a no goer.
Kieswetter is wicket keeper and Cook is captain, so that doesn’t leave much room for Bell to come in. But with Jonny Bairstow now in the side England have options behind the stumps, it could be a viable option to let Bell open with Cook and drop Kieswetter and let Bairstow keep wicket.
Despite scoring 98, I still heard plenty of criticism for Trott again today. I understand that his strike rate isn’t the most prolific, but where would the team be without his runs? When we are good enough to do without someone who scores plenty of runs too slowly, then drop him, but at the moment we aren’t.
Onto India and what a leader and finisher MS Dhoni is. I was listening to TMS today and I always knew that if MS was still there at the end then India would win, and so it proved. He truly is a master of the art of this form of cricket.
I also hear people say and read people writing that India are the world champions at this format of cricket, so it is no surprise that they are thrashing England – and yes that is true.
But look at this side and compare it to the one that won the world cup. The difference is astonishing, India must have a hell of a lot of decent ODI players coming through.
I highlighted one of their promising youngsters, Virat Kohli, on my facebook page only last Tuesday.
Only India stepping off the gas can prevent England getting a good series hammering now. Alastair Cook’s team are just not good enough in these conditions, simple as that.
Bell isn’t a very good one day player and god knows he’s had enough shots at it, but seems to become a mixture of Andrew Symonds and Herchelle Gibbs whenever he doesn’t play.
Listening to the English commentators reminds me of how they used to yearn for Steve Harmison unless he was actually in front of them bowling garbage.
Has Bopara really justified his place? I know he had a couple of good matches in the series in England, but he just doesn’t look international material to me….
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I agree that Bell has never completely cracked it as an ODI player, but since his form picked up at test level recently I don’t think he has ever really had a defined role in the England ODI team.
For that reason I would like to see him get a run at the top of the order – not the middle order – and judge him then. If he fails again, then move on.
I take your point about the commentators and their ‘Steve Harmison syndrome,’ it annoys me as well.
With regard to Bopara, I agree. He deserves a run after the India home series, but I think he needs to do something special if he is to keep his place when Eoin Morgan returns.
CBB, Bell has a silly amount of experience now. Surely he should have been able to nail a spot in the side regardless of where he bats by now? His average this year is 28. Flower is deadly serious about planning for the next World Cup so I see no reason to persist with a player of proven mediocrity in this format when he has had so many chances.
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I can’t argue with any of that, but I would still give him one more chance at the top of the order.
And after today’s (4th game) latest thrashing, I would imagine that Kieswetter and Bopara’s places must be under threat. I’m all for rebuilding, but you can’t turf half a side out in one go.
Morgan surely will come back for Bopara, but on top of that changes now have to be made because we are looking well out of our depth at the moment.
To sling out too many experienced players at once could be dangerous. I’d bring Bell and Morgan in for Kieswetter and Bopara.
If Bell and KP then haven’t improved by next summer, then perhaps look at changing one or both of them then.