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3 changes England must make to get World Cup plans on track

| 03.09.2014

According to Ladbrokes, only one Test playing nation has less hope of winning the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand than England.

At 12/1 to claim the trophy, West Indies can be as offended as the few people not to be nominated for an Ice Bucket Challenge at the bookies’ assumption that Alastair Cook’s mob will outperform them.

England’s recent series with India, which they lost in limp fashion, is the seventh they’ve failed to win in their last nine.

If there’s any hope of them realising their 10/1-rated dreams in the southern hemisphere, then major changes are needed in the side’s makeup and strategy, here’s the three most pressing:

Replace the captain

Alastair Cook isn’t the first English captain to oversee a safety-first policy in 50-over cricket. Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss all carried the same values onto the field.

The common theme between them? None are batsmen that immediately spring to mind as ODI-made. Current players that are include Eoin Morgan, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Chris Jordan.

All four can translate their cricketing style into the identity of the team, while complainants of the latter trio’s infancy need only look at the start of Graeme Smith’s captaincy story to change their minds.

Put stock in domestic competition

Having played nothing but 40-over cricket on the domestic circuit since 2010, the ECB introduced a 50-over competition to the schedule this season to better aid the transition from county to ODI honours.

However, vibrant young performers from the competition, like Adil Rashid, David Payne and Sam Billings, have been overlooked for selection thus far.

Don’t be chained to playing one spinner

England isn’t supposed to be a country where spinners profit in one-day cricket, yet India have won a series comprehensively with two tweakers leading their wicket tables.

In the recent fourth ODI, England dropped their best bowler – James Tredwell – so that they could “take a look” at the other spinner of the squad – Moeen Ali. Why not play both together and see how that goes?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.