Moores: Batsmen must do better

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Coach Peter Moores has told his batsmen they must deliver if England are to revive their World Cup campaign.

England face a crunch clash with Scotland in Christchurch on Monday with the weight of pressure firmly on their shoulders after they were brushed aside by Australia and New Zealand in their opening two games.

In both matches England have been bowled out to continue a worrying trend that has seen them fail to last the 50 overs in 13 of their past 19 one-day internationals.

In their opener against Australia in Melbourne they slumped to 92 for six – James Taylor’s unbeaten 98 then papered over the cracks – before their Wellington humiliation on Friday.

England were bowled out for 123 by New Zealand, their lowest World Cup score on foreign soil, as Tim Southee ran riot with figures of seven for 33.

“We have to accept that yesterday and the MCG weren’t good enough,” Moores said.

“You can spin it how you like but that wasn’t an acceptable batting performance. As coaches we have to work with them and to find a way of being able to produce a good enough performance to get some momentum.

“We have to get some momentum into our team.”

England are unlikely to come up against many better attacks than those Australia and New Zealand boast during the World Cup, but their failure to handle the pressure underlined fears they may not be equipped to even reach the quarter-finals.

When Southee returned for his second spell in Wellington, after Eoin Morgan’s exit, it prompted a remarkable collapse of seven for 19 as England were cruelly exposed against the moving ball.

“We have played against two good teams who are very confident and put us under pressure,” Moores said.

“In the first game there was the challenge of chasing 340 for the batters, that was tough.

“We have had tough periods as batters and we haven’t been able to get through them.

“As soon as Eoin got out, suddenly four down, Brendon McCullum brought back his main strike bowlers – that was a tough period and we didn’t get through it.

“We lost four wickets in five overs against the swinging ball.”

England have taken an inexperienced top-order into the tournament, with five of the top seven playing at a World Cup for the first time while three of them – Taylor, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali – have less than 20 ODI caps.

Moores concedes that his young batsmen are underdeveloped in relation to their World Cup rivals, with only Ravi Bopara – who was dropped before the first game – offering an experienced head on the sidelines with over 100 ODIs to his name.

“We have to accept that some of our players are emerging through,” Moores said.

“There are still some gaps between them and New Zealand and Australia, who are very good sides. It’s how often you repeat skills – we know we have to catch up on that, it’s an on-goer.”

Moores has concerns about the strength of his tail too, with Stuart Broad’s tame dismissal in Wellington underlining his lack of assurance with the bat in recent times.

Broad famously hit a Test century against Pakistan at Lord’s five years ago but has now failed to get past 30 in an ODI since August 2007.

The tall left-hander was hit in the face by a bouncer from India quick Varun Aaron last summer, after being tormented by Mitchell Johnson during the Ashes whitewash, but Moores denied that was the root of his problems after he backed away to Southee at the height of his destruction on Friday.

“No not at all,” he said.

“Stuart’s batting – he will be disappointed. He is trying to strike the ball and he will be disappointed, as would I.”

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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