Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has announced that current skipper Alastair Cook has to regain his touch with the bat during the national team’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
Cook has managed to cling on to the ODI captaincy even though the national team were beaten 3-2 by Sri Lanka and 3-1 by India during the summer.
“The pressure is on the captain to really deliver and get his batting back to what it has been over the last few years,” Vaughan told Sky Sports. “In the last year and a half he has struggled and been found out a little bit on the front foot.
“But in this period of not playing, I’m sure that Cook has been working with Moores in the nets over last six or seven weeks to make sure he has better options down the ground.
“He has to get his form right, he has to get some runs and get himself into that confident frame of mind. The only way you do that is by going out in the middle and getting some scores.
“The wins will be important in terms of getting his confidence as a captain – I think the break will have done him the world of good but he’s got to hit the ground running in Sri Lanka and make sure that he leads from the front.
“If he does that everything will be rosy but if he doesn’t, the team struggles and loses, then by the time they get to Australia in January the pressure will really be on.”
Vaughan also believes that it is the “right time to start judging” head coach Peter Moores since he has held the position for a couple of months now.
“This is the right time to start judging Moores,” he said. “In the summer it was a little bit of a mismatch in terms of him getting the job and going straight into games.
“I look at the tour to Sri Lanka and the World Cup and he will have had a lot of preparation. They will have had a training camp at Loughborough.
“Yes, they’ve lost games in the summer but I think that this is the moment where Moores will get the players and try to put over his approach, his methods.
“I’m sure Peter will be working with the players on a few new little areas where they can work in one-day cricket, try to get them a little bit more positive, a bit more aggressive at the top of the order and we’ll judge him over the next few months.”
However, if England were to lose the seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, Vaughan stated that the national team cannot blame the different conditions as the reason for their failure.
“The expectations generally are low when you got to a place like Sri Lanka,” he said. “I think England have got to try and turn it around in terms of getting a few wins.
“I guess the easy thing to say is that conditions are completely different to what you’ll get in the World Cup so it doesn’t matter, but when you’ve lost five of the last six one-day series it does matter. So it’s important that England find a method, find a way in those conditions, but also try to get a few victories just to get the confidence of the team right.
“Individuals need to try and get form leading into Australia, so it’s a very, very important tour. When you get so close to World Cup selection, players know that one bad tour means you could miss out, but, on the other hand, one good tour, two or three good performances, you’re going to get yourself on the plane to Australia.
“There are three or four guys who will know that they’ll need good tours to make sure that they get their place on that plane. James Taylor has been knocking on the door for a good few years now. He played a Test match against South Africa a couple of years ago and didn’t really kick on from then, so it’s a big tour for him. He’s had a tremendous year for Notts in the one-day department, so I think he’ll be looking at this as a great opportunity. You could also say that Harry Gurney, Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes will be fighting for one place.”