Cricket Comment: Forget Cook, England need Hales

 
Andy Lloyd
INCONSISTENCY is rife in teams that A) lack confidence and B) aren’t top class and that’s what this England team is at the moment. They are an evolving side with a lot to prove.

Sri Lanka will start as favourites in the third game of the one-day international series today at Old Trafford, but that doesn’t mean England can’t win and I’d expect Peter Moores will have told them to forget Sunday’s dismal defeat.

EXPERIENCE

The tourists have got great experience in their team and play much more one-day international cricket than the England players do. Look at Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, they have played nearly 1,000 50-over matches between them.
Though I do think we can expect England to put up more of a fight than they did on Sunday, because Sri Lanka are not unbeatable.

In one-day cricket one or two top performers can swing the match from one side to the other and Alex Hales can potentially be that match-winner, so I would bring him into the team today.

He’s only on standby for Alastair Cook, but it would be costly to play the captain if there was any hint of his recent groin injury problem flaring up at all. Cook’s time will come in the Test matches, plus, there is plenty to learn about other players.

BODY LANGUAGE
It’s the first time Moores has worked with most of them at close quarters. He’ll be wanting to see players putting their hands up, staking their claim. Players like Gary Ballance, Harry Gurney, Chris Jordan – who is doing extremely well – he’ll be looking at how they react, their body language in victory and defeat.

The results have been up and down since Moores took charge, but he cannot be judged for 18 months, he needs a lot of time to get things right, but he is a perfectly good coach and the right man for the job.

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