Entirely true, though the obvious questions the statement provokes are ‘Why not?’ and ‘Who did all the chopping and changing?’.
“We haven’t got a settled team.”
The decision to ditch Alastair Cook was surely the right one, though the reintroduction of Gary Ballance at No3 was a strange and unnecessary selection. Chris Woakes took the new ball in the warmup games but was back to first change in the tournament, while Ravi Bopara went from mainstay to onlooker.
We’ve lost two key players at the top of our order [Cook and] Jonathan Trott was the No3
Cook was axed rather than lost and they have had plenty of time to find a solution to the absence of Trott – he hasn’t played an ODI since September 2013.
“There was no obvious team to pick because they’re young players, they haven’t played a lot of cricket.”
Up to a point. For example the most impressive side in the tournament, New Zealand, have the edge over England here with their 15-man squad boasting 1,496 ODI caps between them to England’s 984. Bangladesh, though, have a more inexperienced squad than England, with 871 caps between them.
“If we had a lot of experienced one-day players who weren’t selected that would be a different issue but we haven’t.”
They do have a few. The most glaring name on the list would obviously be Kevin Pietersen (93 ODI caps), but there’s also Alastair Cook (92 caps), Tim Bresnan (84 caps) and Luke Wright (51 caps). Admittedly, other than the notable exception of Pietersen, no one has been clamouring for the inclusion of those players. Since the last World Cup 18 players have been given their ODI debuts for England – seven of them made the squad.
“The reality is we’re not overloaded with a lot of high-class one-day players.”
Not overloaded, no, but other batting options are available. Sam Billings, Jason Roy, James Vince should all get a chance soon, while Ben Stokes should come back. The bowling cupboard is worryingly bare, though, and the much sought after left-arm option disappeared with Harry Gurney’s disappointing displays in Sri Lanka.
This article was written by John Ashdown, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th March 2015 18.01 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010