Monday, February 05, 2007

Ever Fallen in Love with Someone (You Shouldn't Have Fallen in Love With?)

As things stand, this is probably the strongest eleven England could field in the World Cup;

1. Joyce
2. Loye
3. Bell
4. KP
5. Collingwood
6. Fred
7. Bopara/Dalrymple
8. Nixon
9. Plunkett
10. Showpony
11. Monty

No Vaughan? With the best will in the world, he's not a one-day player - never really has been, and certainly isn't now. You can, just, understand the England selectors desire to get him back in harness after the debacle of the Test Series, but in reality it was a totally misguided decision based on loyalty rather than any cricketing analysis.

If you want an 'out of the box' solution, why not make him coach of the ODI side starting with the World Cup? Fletcher doesn't seem to have any enthusiasm for the job, Vaughan obviously has the respect of the side, so why not give it a try?

No Strauss? Well, as things stand, there's no room in the side. The top six listed above has a nice balance of accumulators and big hitters - presumably you'd have to leave Loye out for Strauss, which leaves the balance totally wrong. Sure, Strauss should be in the squad - but really only as cover for Bell or Joyce if either of them goes down injured.

The selectors need to set aside the 'loyalty factor' and start selecting one-day sides on the premise that we're actually looking for a side that can win games.

To think that the two of them were opening the innings at the start of the current one-day series beggars belief.

Loye? The media treatment of Loye has been, to say the least, rather kneejerk . After his 36 on debut he was cast as the saviour of the England battingl ine-up - a few innings later he's ready for the scrapheap. You need some sort of spark-plug at the top of the order - someone who can upset bowlers' rhythms, muck up field placings and generally give an innings the initial impetus that can mean 60 off 10 overs. With the Vaughan/Strauss combo, you'd be lucky to get to 60 by the half way stage - especially with Bell slated to come in at three.

That sort of early impetus can help take the pressure of KP and allow him to pace the innings on his terms, rather than having to keep looking over his shoulder and continually worrying about the rate.

Of course, the ideal scenario would be for Trescothick to decide that a fortnight or so in the West Indies might help his mental rehabiliation no end, but that's about as likely as an England Chairman of Selectors choosing his godson to captain the national side as a favour to the godson's father...


harrowdrive said...

I love the Vaughan as coach idea. I have been saying (as a bit of a joke) that we should consider Vaughan as a non-playing captain like the Ryder Cup team. Maybe we could pick him in the 15 but not in the 11 and just have him come on as a sub fielder to rally the troops.

Tim said...

Agree about Loye: he's worth his place if he scores 30 every innings (which admittedly he's not quite doing now...)

Anonymous said...

ha ha that's brilliant, name Vaughan as 12th man and have him come on the field as a permanent sub who directs the field.

Takes the pressure off Flintoff and doesn't effect the balance of the batting line up.

Shame it'll never happen.