One day games! Come on and give us a HELL YE..No! Stop! Come back!
51allout has been meaning to talk about England and one day cricket for a while; since the World Cup, in fact, but couldn’t really be arsed. Now, with some actual ODI’s about to be played and Editor Steve starting to get a bit suspicious about our claims that the dog ate one day cricket so there was no need to talk about it anymore, it’s time for some hard-hitting analysis.
Our original, post-World Cup debrief article was a cutting, sarcastic masterclass of critical evaluation. We ruthlessly exposed England’s failings and came up with some revolutionary ideas about how they can improve in the future. Unfortunately we forgot to press save and then couldn’t remember any of the points we made. And now England seem to have done some vaguely competent things like sacking the old, rubbish coach (again), finding a new coach who might be alright and picking a squad for the upcoming games which might qualify as exciting. Or at least only narrowly miss out on qualifying. So our thoughts are less angry and even less coherent this time.
Firstly, on the face of it appointing Trevor Bayliss as coach, a man who might care about one day cricket, is A Good Thing. The fact he hasn’t bothered to turn up for work yet is a slight issue, but that sort of serene, half-hearted approach to his job is something we can relate to. Word on the street is he had a significant say in dumping all of the old, boring players for the upcoming series and has a bit of a thing for good fielding. Since the old, boring players and being monumentally rubbish at fielding have been two albatrosses around England’s neck for a while now, this also feels like a positive.
But we’re still not entirely convinced everything’s going in the right direction. Should Eoin Morgan be captain? Is Eoin Morgan even any good? Leaving Moeen Ali out of the squad entirely as preparation for the Ashes isn’t ideal either; playing around with a top order that includes him for a couple of games then packing him off to learn how to bowl again would surely have been a better plan. Putting the ODI side on the same footing as the Test team should be a priority, something which would have the added benefit of annoying all the purists.
Morgan, though, is the most pressing concern. England have been carrying a captain in
all forms the ODI side for years, a plan they probably need to rethink at some stage. Now, at the dawn of the 73rd New Era of the last 18 months, would seem like a good time to try something else. For a long time Morgan has been a top class, destructive batsman only in theory; in 55 games since the start of 2013 he averages 28. Since the start of 2014 that’s down to 24. More importantly, he’s played virtually no destructive, match-altering innings. He’s basically scoring no runs, slowly. And this is the rule now, rather than an exception. Despite being a pre-requisite for England one day captains since time immemorial, that record should put him on the Bayliss chopping block.
The Morgan issue has a knock-on effect on the rest of the batting order too; one of their many, many failings recently has been wasting Jos Buttler’s ability to smash everyone everywhere. Take Morgan out, and a middle order containing James Taylor, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Buttler looks really promising, with plenty of hitting. With Morgan guaranteed to play as captain they’ll be back to leaving Buttler (or Stokes) too low down, deprived of any time to play the sort of devastating innings they’re capable of.
That’s basically it. If we were to produce the sort of bullshit buzzword memo for getting better that we imagine the ECB deal in, it’d comprise of dropping anyone dull, learning to field, not using the ODI side as a piss about before Test matches and catapulting Eoin Morgan back to Ireland. A couple of months ago we had loads more. It turns out that a new coach, some exciting new batsmen and picking a really handsome bowling attack is the quickest way to 51allout’s heart.