ENGLAND coach Peter Moores has backed newly-installed skipper Eoin Morgan to reinvent his beleaguered one-day outfit as an exciting and attacking force capable of winning the World Cup.
Moores also attempted to draw a line under the sacking of former captain Alastair Cook as his side yesterday jetted off Down Under for a tri-series against hosts Australia and India ahead of the World Cup itself, a tournament England have not won.
The need to adopt a more inventive approach early in their innings was evident as England slumped to an underwhelming 5-2 one-day international (ODI) series defeat to Sri Lanka last month.
Cook was axed in the aftermath of a sixth ODI series defeat in seven and Moores is convinced Morgan possesses the expansive instincts needed to develop a bolder English strategy and revive flagging fortunes.
“We will play in a way that will make the public excited about watching England play,” said Moores. “That change in mindset has already happened.
“England can win the World Cup because we have good enough players, we just have to play better. Eoin will drive that really hard and that’s a good thing – he plays cricket like that, he wants to be aggressive and look for positive opportunities.
“Eoin plays a style of cricket that is exciting to watch. He will bring to the team a good, simple approach of how to play the game. Tactically he’s savvy and he fronts up as a player.”
Cook’s batting in the shorter form of the game nosedived since notching three ODI tons in a year as England surged to the top of the world rankings in 2012, mustering just one half-century in 22 matches.
Power-hitting may not be the Essex opener’s forte but the level of imagination in his captaincy – England won 36 of 69 matches under his stewardship, losing 30 – also came under the spotlight, and Moores is adamant the correct decision was made for the team’s long-term prospects.
“We got to a position where it felt it was the right thing to do,” added Moores. “It was a brave decision but it felt right to move on and I’m comfortable with that. We came to the conclusion that it was best to give ourselves more aggressive options at the top of the order and Alastair didn’t quite make it.”
The World Cup acts a prelude for a packed 2015 schedule which includes Test series against West Indies and New Zealand before an Ashes showdown, and Moores insists under-performing players with go the same way as Cook. He said: “It’s really important that if at any stage somebody feels they can’t play good, hard cricket it’s time to move them on because that’s what playing for your country is all about.”
■ 12 Jan v ACT XI, Canberra
■ 14 Jan v PM’s XI, Canberra
■ 16 Jan v Australia, Sydney
■ 20 Jan v India, Brisbane
■ 23 Jan v Australia, Hobart
■ 30 Jan v India, Perth
■ 1 Feb, Final, Perth
World Cup warm-ups
■ 9 Feb v West Indies, Sydney
■ 11 Feb v Pakistan, Sydney
World Cup fixtures
■ 14 Feb v Australia, Melbourne
■ 20 Feb v New Zealand, Wellington
■ 23 Feb v Scotland, Christchurch
■ 1 March v Sri Lanka, Wellington
■ 9 March v Bangladesh, Adelaide
■ 13 March v Afghanistan, Sydney