Cricket Comment: Belief is now so important for a fragile England

Andy Lloyd
THAT narrow T20 win against India at Edgbaston on Sunday will have given England players, management and supporters just a little bit more confidence, which was something that was sadly lacking previously.

India are particularly strong in limited overs cricket and I do think England salvaged some respect and credibility from what looked like being a disastrous summer in the one-day forms of the game.

The international season is over now and England’s next engagement is a seven-match one-day series in Sri Lanka, which starts in November

In the preparation for that it’s important that people like head coach Peter Moores and selector James Whitaker really try and ingrain a bit of belief in the side because you just get the feeling it is a fragile squad confidence-wise. That really is something which has to be worked on between now and the World Cup.

Stand-in skipper Eoin Morgan smacked 71 and he has been long overdue that kind of score and innings as he has been really quiet in the one-day stuff lately.

I’m strongly in the camp that thinks Alastair Cook should not be playing in the one-day side these days and should be concentrating on Test matches. I’m equally a fan of Morgan captaining the one-day team and his innings and man of the match award cannot do that cause any harm.

But putting that to one side, what the selectors need to have at the forefront of their mind now is the squad they select for the one-day series in Sri Lanka pretty much has to be the group of players that is going to go to the World Cup in February.

One issue, however, is the conditions in Sri Lanka are going to be nothing like the conditions the England players will face in the World Cup. Players who may be suited to Sri Lankan conditions may not operate as well in places like Australia and New Zealand and vice versa.

Nevertheless, I reiterate my view those selectors really need to have a closer look at James Taylor. I watched him play an innings on Saturday for Nottinghamshire against Durham in the semi-final of the One-Day Cup where he made a superb century in a losing cause.

This lad has got brains, he skippered that Nottinghamshire side and if you’re thinking about captains of the future this guy is a possibility.

I would argue England have made a big error in not involving him more in all types of cricket and I believe he is one that must go to Sri Lanka and be given the opportunity he deserves.

Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who has also served as captain and chairman of Warwickshire.