Menís ODI WC: England do not need a complete ODI reset after tournament exit, says Michael Atherton

by IANS |

Kolkata, Nov 12 (IANS) Former captain Michael Atherton believes England do not need a complete reset of the ODI set-up, despite being knocked out of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup and sees the introduction of young blood as a necessity in preparing for future tournaments.

England won the 2019 World Cup at home on the back of a change in their approach, marked by attacking play with bat and ball. Much was expected of them in their title defence in India, especially with Ben Stokes coming out of retirement.

But six defeats in their first seven matches confirmed their early exit from the tournament. They were also at risk of losing a place at the 2025 Champions Trophy, but victories over Netherlands and Pakistan helped them be amongst the top eight teams for the competition, although they finished in a disappointing seventh place in the points table.

"There definitely needs to be some fresh blood in there. You have to have half an eye on the Champions Trophy in 2025 and the next World Cup in 2027. But I don't believe in just ripping everything up. It's not much of a template that I've seen be successful in the past in terms of regeneration."

"I think you do regenerate but you do it smartly and wisely and there are still some very good cricketers in that dressing room by any estimation, and they would deserve their place in any England 50-over side. So it's not a complete reset, but it's just a gradual regeneration and introduction of fresh blood."

"And let's not forget some of the quality in England's domestic cricket in terms of white-ball cricketers that are out there is amazing. You think of the people who are not here, people like Ben Duckett, people like Will Jacks, those kinds of guys, so there's plenty to come in," Atherton told Sky Sports.

England’s first ODI assignment post the World Cup comes on the tour of West Indies, where captain Jos Buttler, Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone have been named in the squad, as well as for the T20I leg too. After the tour of the West Indies, England will not play another ODI till September 2024.

Apart from injecting young players into the ODI set-up, Atheron also feels England should aim to play more of 50-over cricket in the build-up to the 2025 Champions Trophy and 2027 ODI World Cup.

"I don't think this team is suddenly over the hill. What I do think is that over the last couple of years, the focus has been so much on T20, for obvious reasons, with two T20 World Cups, the team had just slightly forgotten how long a 50-over game is."

"I think it's closer to Test cricket than T20. I think the rhythm of it is different to T20. I just feel they need to kind of reacquaint themselves with that format, but that's partly the problem of trying to stretch your resources over three different forms. England's performance here is a reminder going forward that you do need to play a bit of 50-over cricket."

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