England skipper Alastair Cook has said that he is mulling over the combination of his team after an unchanged side suffered their second defeat in a row against New Zealand on Sunday to go 0-2 down in the three-match ODI series. With England opening their Champions Trophy campaign against Australia on Saturday,they only have one more match left,the dead-rubber fixture against New Zealand at on Wednesday,to experiment with their lineup.
“At this point,I’m sure we’ll be looking at different combinations because those combinations we have used haven’t worked,” said Cook,speaking to The Independent.
“It would make sense to have a look at our options. We stuck with the same XI here and have been outplayed. We’ve got some quality players in our squad so maybe it’s time to see what they can do. We’ve certainly got options. If we had won these games using the five bowlers then we would have been less likely to change. You tend to look after a couple of defeats like this at the balance and make-up of your side.”
England had used five bowlers at Lord’s and at the Rose Bowl,but were without injured first-choice pacers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn in both matches. Neither seems likely to recover in time for the Trent Bridge ODI on Wednesday,but Cook was hopeful that they would be fit in time for the Champions Trophy.
“They are both a concern though five,six days is still quite a way away and hopefully they can pull through,” he said. “They’ve missed two games and they’ve been out for a while but we’ll see.”
Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes have struggled to fill the void. Woakes went at over seven runs an over in both ODIs,while Dernbach’s 10 overs at the Rose Bowl cost a whopping 87. Were England to drop either of them,Boyd Rankin,who was named in the squad as a replacement for Broad and Finn,could make his England debut,having represented Ireland 37 times.
Cook called it “frustrating” that England were so far from settling on their eleven,so close to the Champions Trophy. “You always want to build momentum and build confidence like New Zealand have going into the Champions Trophy but as you look into that tournament from now,you realise it’s two weeks of cricket and you’ve got to play your best cricket for two weeks and whichever side does that because there are eight quality sides will win that tournament,” he said.
“This will be of little relevance when we get there but in the absolute ideal world,if you want to get your preparation right,we’d have won these games but we didn’t deserve to win them. So we’re going to have to look at aspects. Sometimes when you lose good things can come of it.”