Changes needed to save series

November 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment


swann-sidebottom

England again suffered defeat in the 7 match ODI series with India to go 2-0 down. The England team was outplayed in both matches and now surely there needs to be changes to the ODI team. England are reluctant to make drastic changes, instead opting to keep a similar team to that, which beat South Africa 4-0, however, England have got to understand that this India team is a different proposition. The changes which England need to look at are, bringing in Swann, changing the batting order and making room for Sidebottom.

Spin position

England now need to seriusly look at the make up of their bowling attack,
but most importantly the spin position. England missed a trick by not playing Swann in the second ODI at Indore, the ball was definetly turning, enough for Yuvraj to claim 4 wickets. Patel is a good batter and a useful spinner but after the South Africa ODI series, people got the expression that Patel is a front line spinner, which he definetly is not. He has never bolwed as Nottinghamshire’s front line spinner and it is a surprise that he is being selected ahead of county team mate Swann, who is a front line spinner. In India the ball is likley to turn, so if you are going to play just a single spinner, then you have to play your best spinner. Swann adds more variation than Patel and has the experience to make best use of the conditions. In the two matches so far, Patel has claimed just 2 wickets at an average of 57.5, with an economy rate of 8.21 per over, compare that to the Indian spinners and it doesn’t look good. If England select Swann he is likely to come in to replace Ravi Bopara at number 8 and bowl along side Samit Patel. Swann is alsa a capable batsman, he opens the batting for Notts’ in twenty20 and Pro 40 games, which indicates that he is a good lower order power – hitter (or slogger)

Sidebottom

The England seamers, apart from Broad, have not had the best start to the
series. The conditions of the Indian wickets is not suited to the stlye of
bowling but that is no excuse to go for 6-7 an over. I thought that Anderson has bowled quite well without much reward but needs to work on restricting the openers more if wickets do not come his way. His lack of wickets is likley to cost him if England decide to bring in Sidebottom into their attack. However, I thought that he bowled better than Harmison who has struggled as the conditions are not in his favour, there is a lack of bounce and pace on the pitches and the short balls are being easily put away. Sidebottom adds something different to the current seam attack, in that he can swing the ball both ways, he can provide something different for Yuvraj than what is already on offer.

Batting line-up

The batting line-up has recieved criticism particularly the openers and Bopara batting down at number eight. It is uncommon for a side to play a specialist batsman down at number 8, in an ODI game it begs the question do you really need to bat down to number 8 in an ODI match? Ravi Bopara must be disappointed to bat down at 8, especially after showing what he can do if he bats higher up like he does at Essex. He has the talent and the ability to bat in his natural position at the top of the order. There were calls for Bopara to be used a opener and I am in favour of this move.

The openers need to set the tone for the innings and provide a platform for the big hitters as well as themselves taking advantage of the 15 overs of powerplay. This is something that both Prior and Bell have failed to do so far. Prior looks uncomfortable, his 38 off 64 deliveries, was slow and never at one point did he look like he was on top of the bowler. His position as opener needs to be looked at, his place in the side should be secure but needs to bat lower down. His cram also brings back the arguement if Prior is able to keep wicket and then open the batting for England. I would keep Bell as opener but he needs to up his strike rate and keep rotating the strike. Owais Shah played a good innings to score 58 off 78 but he looks more effective for England at the bottom of the order. He looks like a player that needs the scene set for him raather than he himself setting the scene and so will be more suited to a position lower down. England are likely to bring in Swann and/or Sidebottom, so Bopara looks likely to be sacrifised. I think that there is likley to be a role for him at number 6 if Collingwood continues to struggle, he hasn’t played a good ODI innings since relinquishing his captaincy and he needs to up his performance to be merited that position.

Likely team for third ODI: Bell, Prior, Shah, Pietersen, Flintoff, Collingwood, Patel, Swann, Broad, Sidebottom, Harmison

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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