Amit Acharya airs his grievances at England's new kit and constant squad changes after New Zealand romp to opening ODI victory.
Watching England lose at home to New Zealand at Lords today was a rather strange experience. There were two reasons for me feeling this way, these would be the new red kit and the squad selection.
England’s new kit is only a minor issue that has no bearing on their performance but I feel that their kit should always be navy blue. I couldn’t see any of the other international teams changing their colours like this, for example would Pakistan ever deviate from their green or India move to a yellow kit? What is worse about the new colours is that the kit is bright red with blue hats. This odd combination does not suit any of the players. These colours make England look like Zimbabwe as the kits are almost identical.
My real concern for England in ODI cricket is the chopping and changing of strategies and players. This is almost like the failed tactic that the English selection committee had during the 1990’s. England’s success in test cricket over the last eight or nine years has been based on sticking with a group of players, the total opposite to limited overs cricket. They have a talented group of players but seem to be very inconsistent due to constant team changes.
The most changes have taken place in the top three, the two current openers have only played together in ODI cricket for just over a year. Before them England had used Prior, Bopara, Kieswetter, Lumb and Hales in these positions. I feel that none of these players got a fair chance to prove their worth in these positions. On the contrary I think Bell, Cook and Trott are getting extra chances to prove themselves in limited overs cricket because of their good form in test cricket. Bell and Cook seemed to have gelled well but Trott is just not needed in ODI cricket. Johnny Bairstow is a player of great potential and has now been dropped to the bench. I feel that Joe Root can cover the number three spot and opening spot meaning that Bairstow should be in. When Pietersen returns one day Bairstow may find himself outside the squad all together.
Chris Woakes is currently in the side but he did not feature against South Africa or India in the last year. James Harris another promising bowler had been on the tour to New Zealand last year but he has now been dropped without playing a game for Boyd Rankin the former Ireland player. Another player who impressed in the winter tours, Jade Dernbach, found himself out of the original squad but was later recalled due to injuries.
Players who could feel hard done by are Luke Wright, Matt Prior, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel and even Eoin Morgan; who had been dropped last year. It does not make any sense to constantly change players, history shows that teams who have a consistent side do better. The great Australian side did not drop players after a few bad games. These players normally repaid the faith by performing. It would also make players work harder in county cricket to prove themselves, this would improve the standard of cricket played.
image: © chrisjrn