WEDNESDAY was a sad day. In probably the most one-sided one-day international between top teams that I’ve ever seen, England were not just beaten but annihilated by India by nine wickets. It was embarrassing.
A fresh low point in an already dreadful series has led to more pressure on Alastair Cook who, once again, faces calls to quit as captain.
He should step down, not least for the good of the Test team. If he continues to flounder as one-day skipper it could scar him at a time when England need him to get into some form for next summer’s Ashes.
Cook, however, is an easy target. We all know he’s not a natural oneday player, and removing him won’t solve problems that are affecting the whole team. Even James Anderson, a top Test bowler, has looked like cannon fodder.
I’d appoint Eoin Morgan captain. In the batting, we have to look at Surrey’s Jason Roy and James Taylor at Nottinghamshire, and we need to use more slow bowling. I don’t know who the answer is, but Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid, who has been discarded, is perhaps worth another look.
We just don’t play the same dominating game as India, who are so accustomed to a diet of short-form cricket, and there’s no way we can get up to their level in time for next year’s World Cup.
England chiefs won’t do anything drastic before then; it’s too shortterm for them. But when the team come home with tails between their legs there must be a major review of the one-day set-up.
I thought it was progress when England named separate Test and one-day coaches, and I thought Ashley Giles was doing a reasonable job in the latter role. The mindsets are so different that perhaps it makes sense if we return to that.
The fact is that one-day cricket is not going to go away. It’s the game’s lifeblood, and even back in the ‘60s, with the Gillette Cup and John Player League, people liked it. It’s the same with Twenty20. England chiefs have to embrace that fact urgently, otherwise the team is in danger of being left behind.
Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who has also served as captain and chairman of Warwickshire.