Moores confident despite defeats

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Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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England may have failed to conquer Australia in three attempts before the World Cup, but head coach Peter Moores is full of confidence for the future of his side.

The tourists stumbled in Sunday’s Tri-Series title, defeated by the hosts by a comprehensive 112-run margin, but Moores does not see the first of three months in Australia and New Zealand as time wasted.

It is Australia, yet again, who await in the tournament curtain-raiser on February 14, but Moores is upbeat about his side’s prospects on the big stage.

Two wins over reigning champions India offer plenty of positives and, in both Hobart and Perth, England established dominant positions against Australia only to let them slide.

“This team’s got something about it,” concluded an upbeat Moores ahead of a four-day break for the side before training resumes in Sydney.

“We’re in a much stronger position now than we were when we came to Australia.

“It’s an exciting group of players to work with. I watch them play, train, hear them talking and there’s a lot of things in that group that feel right.

“The feeling I get is that we’re improving quickly which is really important because we’ve got to keep that improvement going through the World Cup.

“To win it we’ve got to keep getting better the whole way through. We’ve a group of players here who are very focused – as they should be – and they’re gaining some belief.”

A year or so ago, England’s first-choice one-day side would have featured a number of additional senior men such as Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott.

But Moores believes that what the current team lacks in international runs scored or wickets taken, it makes up for in enthusiasm and adaptability.

As a coach, it is clear he thrives among a group who have yet to become jaded by England’s occasionally crushing schedule.

“We’ll take something from the performances here because we’ll sit and talk openly and honestly about what happened. That’s the beauty of working with younger players, they’re very open to changing things,” he said.

“They’re not ‘nice’, they’re quiet. They’re not soft at all, they’re quiet, there’s a big difference.

“Steely quiet is different to being soft. Those who haven’t played internationals much have to find their way of being tough to play against. We’ve got those finding their style of how they’re going to be – much like Jimmy Anderson found his way through his career. Now people find him hard to face.

“We’ve got a few lads finding that but they’ll find it fast.”

Moores has encouraged his players to get away from cricket for the next few days.

There was precious little down time on last winter’s dreadful tour of Australia and, with a lengthy World Cup schedule just around the corner, a rare chance for rest and relaxation is a welcome one.

“A decent break was always planned. One of the things we said when we came here was we’re in Australia, let’s enjoy it,” he added.

“Let’s work really hard on the field, off it let’s go and see places, meet people, because I think that’s really important.

“This is our time to relax, recharge and when we get to Sydney be in the right place for the World Cup.

“It’s a long tournament and we want to enjoy it. The players are free to do whatever they like.”

When they reconvene England have two warm-up fixtures at the SCG, against West Indies on February 9 and Pakistan two days later.

Having played the same XI for the last four matches, they represent the only chance for the likes of Gary Balance, Alex Hales, James Tredwell and Chris Jordan to make their case.

“Sydney is an opportunity to look at people if we want to,” Moores said.

“Like any side in transition you try new things and give opportunities to people.

“We’ll take that into consideration but we’re trying to be settled coming into this tournament.”

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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