Is this how England's One-Day International team should look after their disastrous loss against Sri Lanka?
Opening batsmen – Alex Hales and Moeen Ali
The way that modern cricket is going it is crucial to have players capable of getting quick runs particularly at the start of an innings and that’s exactly what England would get with Hales and Ali. Both batsman are capable of getting England off to a flyer especially during the batting powerplay and that is something England have been missing having Cook and Bell
opening the batting.
It’s fair to say that in the handful of ODI’s Hales has played for England, he hasn't exactly been in great form but he has shown in domestic games what he is capable of doing in this format. He has the experience of playing in a major Twenty20 league to develop his skills
against the best players in the world.
As for Ali he has had some very fine performances opening the batting and offers England another option to their bowling attack with his spin bowling; he has picked up wickets and runs in an England shirt.
Number 3 – James Taylor
At the end of England’s tour of Sri Lanka and during the tri-series with Australia and India, Taylor had appeared to cement his place in the side as England’s number three after a string of fine innings.
However the England coaching staff sprung a huge surprise in England’s first game of the World Cup by playing Gary Balance at three and dropping Taylor to number six. It’s fair to say
that this experiment hasn’t paid off with Balance struggling for runs and with the exception of that Australia game Taylor hasn’t looked as good as he did before the World Cup started. The sooner he is put back to number three the better it will be for both England and Taylor.
Number 4 – Kevin Pietersen
Its simple KP needs to be playing for England, he is England’s best batsman in all formats of the game and it’s as simple as that.
KP’s experience of playing in both the IPL and Big Bash would be crucial for an England team who lack of experience in these competitions has been cited as a reason for their struggles in the World Cup.
As well as this, the experience he could pass on to England’s younger players would help with their development. Finally having a player like KP in the side is likely to scare bowlers like the sight of De Villiers does to bowlers facing South Africa. However due to the stubbornness
of the ECB a return for KP is unlikely, but you have to ask the question why not if he is England’s best player and would another nation treat their best player the same way?
Number 5 – Eoin Morgan
Morgan has inherited a broken England side from former captain Alistair Cook and has quite a job on his hands to fix it. Nevertheless Morgan would be in any one day side for England as he is one of England’s best players in this format of the game.
With no KP in the team Morgan is the most experienced IPL player England have and that experience has helped Morgan become a better player. Despite not being in great form Morgan has the ability to get back into the form and he is capable being the team’s most aggressive
players in the middle of an innings.
Number 6 – Joe Root
Joe Root is the future of England cricket and could go on to be one of England’s all-time greats. Root’s century against Sri Lanka was England’s only positive in their crushing defeat in Wellington and showed just what a good player he is. Although he is batting a position lower than he would probably like he is good enough to bat here and make it his own. As well as his
batting he also offers England another option with the ball too.
Wicket Keeper – Jos Buttler
With a severe injury to Craig Keiswetter and Matt Prior not playing one day cricket for a long time Buttler is pretty much unchallenged in the wicket keeping department. Even if he was it's unlikely anyone else would get in ahead of him. Buttler is still developing his skills as a keeper but it’s his big hitting at the end of an innings that is giving Buttler his place in the side.
Having an aggressive player in your side to finish an innings is crucial these days and Buttler provides that for England. However he is more than just a slogger at the end of a match, he is also capable of putting together big performance and match winning performances as he did with a marvellous century against Sri Lanka at Lord's last summer.
Number 8 – Ben Stokes
Since his emergence in England’s doomed Ashes tour in 2013/14 Stokes has been in and out of the side and has been moved up and down the order too many times to firmly establish himself in the side. A number eight role might be too low down the order for some people’s liking, but there are too many players ahead of him in other positions. Batting at number eight would allow him to work more on his bowling and give England’s line up more batting depth
and big hitting at the death of an innings.
Bowling attack – James Anderson, Stuart Broad and James Tredwell
Anderson and Broad have been heavily criticised so far during the World Cup for not standing up and playing like senior members of the side, and have struggled to take wickets. However it is important to remember both players came into the tournament having being suffering from injuries and not playing enough cricket beforehand.
They haven’t turned into bad players overnight, they just lack match practice and the World Cup has probably come around too early on in their recovery from injury for them to be at their devastating best.
There has also been plenty of calls for England to get James Tredwell back into the side. Tredwell, who is ranked inside the top twenty five in the ICC Bowling rankings would offer the England attack something different than four seam bowlers, and give England another option in the spin department rather than just Moeen Ali.