England look set to suffer an embarrassing one-day series defeat to India. They were comprehensively outplayed in the opening two games and the planning for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has suffered a blow.
But how do England address these problems with the competition edging ever closer? Well, perhaps the ought to offer the in-form county players an opportunity on the international stage, while providing a period of rest for the over-worked stars with central contracts.
So, with this in mind, here are 15 players that should fly to the World Cup in February, and others who could be kept in mind.
The Nottinghamshire man has been a T20 regular for England, and his outstanding season in the Royal London Cup has seen him called up to open the batting for England. Hales must be allowed to bat through an innings and set the aggressive tone for the whole batting unit.
Roy has been phenomenal this season for Surrey in the Natwest T20 Blast. The opener smashed 677 runs, the most in the tournament, at a frightening strike rate of 157.07.
While it must be acknowledged that 50-over cricket is a very different game, T20 players have made the step up for other nations, such as David Warner and Rohit Sharma – with great effect. Roy is the kind of aggressive ball striker England must pick if they are to move their one-day game forward.
The Hampshire batsman has been on the fringes of the England side for some time. A consistent performer at county level, Vince has the scoring power and defensive game to play a variety of roles for England. He has also captained Hampshire this season and would bring an aspect of leadership that is sorely lacking in the England team.
One of the stars of the summer in the Test match series against India, Ballance also deserves to be given a serious run in the one-day side. The left-hander has the game to be trusted to marshall an innings while still finding the boundary with great regularity. He could be a valuable member of England’s batting unit.
Eoin Morgan (capt)
The Irish-born batsman has been one of the few genuine world-class players for England in one-day cricket over recent years. His form of late has been patchy and England need him to rediscover his game ahead of the World Cup. When firing, Morgan is critical to the side and should also be given the captaincy duties in the limited overs formats.
There seem to be a number of weaknesses to James Taylor that you feel opposition bowlers will exploit. His diminutive stature is probably the main one. That is perhaps why he has played so little for England.
However, the sheer weight of runs, and the way he has scored them, for Nottinghamshire this season means he can be ignored no longer. Taylor must be put into the one-day set up and given a go ahead of the World Cup.
Patel has been in and out of the England team in recent years and always looked a player short of the quality needed to succeed at international level. This season though he appears to have found the kind of player he is.
Patel is a good player of spin, something England badly need, and is capable of clearing the ropes in the latter stages of the innings. His left arm spin is a useful asset too and he deserves another crack at the international scene.
Jos Buttler (w)
There are no doubts over who England’s wicket-keeper should be. Buttler needs to become more consistent but he is dynamic and could be a difference-maker.
Quite why he has been left out of the one-day squad against India is a mystery. Bopara hasn’t always had it easy with England but over the last couple of years appeared to be finding his role.
He strikes the ball exceptionally well and can play the role of finisher. His medium pacers are also extremely effective and should make him one of England’s key men in 50-over cricket.
Broad is one of England’s most experienced one-day bowlers but very rarely contributes anything much to the side. However, given the lack of options around he should be the leader of the attack come the World Cup and would be playing against India if not for injury.
England could use a left-arm seamer for the variety in the attack and Harry Gurney could be the man to fill that role. He has been used in T20 cricket by England and is an effective death bowler.
The fast nature of the pitches in Australia and New Zealand will mean that a genuinely quick bowler will be a valuable asset. Finn, who has had a difficult year with problems over his run up and action, is the best placed to provide that pace for England and should be given another go.
Woakes scrapes into the squad because of his ability to bat and bowl. He has to produce more at the international level however and show some of the form that makes him a standout performer in county cricket.
While not first choice for his own county, Tredwell has surely secured his place at the World Cup with a series of strong performances for England. The Kent man never lets his side down and is the best spin option England have.
Perhaps a questionable choice, but the Yorkshire man provides pace and bounce and is a useful batsman too. While there may be more consistent performers, Plunkett has something extra that others don’t offer and should be given an opportunity in one-day cricket.
Who deserves a mention?
There are a few names who have performed well this season who should be in the frame for an England call-up.
Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher has shown a consistent ability to bowl the yorker at the death – a skill England badly need. Joe Root has plenty to offer with the bat but he continues to disappoint for England in the one-day game.
Tim Bresnan has played well for Yorkshire this season and England know exactly what he can do. Another Yorkshire player Adil Rashid has had a strong Royal London Cup campaign and could be someone to rival Tredwell for the spinners role.
Ben Stokes appears to have everything needed to thrive in one-day cricket but every time he is given the chance, delivers little for England.
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