England look to the future

Published: Wednesday 3rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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England must fast-track a new generation of one-day cricketers – but insist they have not called time on the careers of any stalwarts left out of their Royal London Series squad.

Pace linchpins Stuart Broad and James Anderson, and batsmen Ian Bell and Gary Ballance, are the most notable of several omissions from a 14-man squad chosen to face World Cup finalists New Zealand in five one-day internationals this month.

In their place is a new battalion of aggressive options, particularly with the bat – including the uncapped Sam Billings and emerging players such as Jason Roy and David Willey.

Caretaker coach Paul Farbrace makes no secret of England’s realisation, after their World Cup embarrassment last winter, that they must move with the times.

He is at pains to stress, though, that the door remains open to a return for anyone who has lost his place following the early exit down under three months ago.

“We need to look at other players for one-day cricket,” he said.

“We need powerful strikers right the way through the side, and we definitely need a left-arm seamer.”

All-rounder Willey fits that category, while England have brought Adil Rashid in as their spin option.

Farbrace has made it clear, however, Moeen’s absence is merely so that he has best prepared for this summer’s Ashes – having taken part in two Tests already this summer, the last of which ended in defeat at Headingley on Tuesday and therefore only a drawn Investec series against New Zealand.

He added: “We do need to move our one-day game forward.

“You’ve only got to look at the last few months we had in one-day cricket (to know) it’s time to have a look at others.

“There are some exciting players out there, and people who need a really good go in this series.

“Against one of the best sides in the world, there’s no better place to test yourself.”

Players such as Broad and Bell should nonetheless not jump to pessimistic conclusions about their own 50-over careers.

Farbrace said: “There is no one, who has not been selected, who we are saying will never play again.

“Everybody has been assured [of that].”

As for England’s 2015 Ashes aspirations, Farbrace concedes there have been warning signs as well as encouragement in their five Tests to date this year.

Reflecting on the 199-run defeat in Leeds, he said: “The basics of the game, we haven’t done well in this match.

“We haven’t held our lines and lengths particularly well; we haven’t caught very well … and you can’t afford to have to create 13 or 14 chances an innings to bowl a team out.

“When your middle order don’t score too many runs, you’re always going to be battling.

“The basics have to be right, if you’re going to win Test matches, and we haven’t got our basics right in this game.”

Bell and Ballance are out of form but, Farbrace is convinced, well capable of major contributions against Australia.

“When players don’t score runs, you’re always looking to find out why … but they’re both two highly-talented, experienced cricketers,” he said.

“If England are going to do well in the Ashes series, we need both of them to be at the top of their game.”

Set to be assistant to new coach Trevor Bayliss by the start of the Ashes, Farbrace knows a better output from numbers three and four is non-negotiable.

He continued: “I think there’s some very good signs but we’ve missed opportunities in this game.

“To have to rely on a couple of lower-order batters to get us a score, that’s an area we need to be better at – and in the first innings, we felt they probably scored at least 100 runs more than they should have done.

“We were battling to stay in the game from that position on really.”

Published: Wednesday 3rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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