Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moore of the same for England or a new start?

After all the speculation and hearsay in the cricket world, the announcement that Peter Moores was the new England coach ended up being a little flat. The Lancashire native threw his name into the hat and a short while later was chosen ahead of Ashley Giles, seemingly the only other man who genuinely wanted the job.

The 51-year-old appears to be relishing taking charge of England for a second time, with 'unfinished business' the phrase on many pundits' lips. Moores' previous spell as England coach lasted less than two years, a fall out with Kevin Pietersen ending his reign in dramatic fashion. With Pietersen's name finally starting to collect dust in the Lord's history books after his enforced international exiling, Moores has been given a second chance.

It is obvious England need some new ideas and to have the slate wiped clean after one of the worst winters in English cricketing history. No one, even the bookmakers, predicted the dramatic fall from grace Alastair Cook and co were forced to endure but it has cleared the way for a new beginning in the national set-up.

There was a time under Andy Flower when the England team used to pick itself. Those days are gone and with the exception of Cook, nobody's place in the squad is guaranteed anymore. It might be some time until England settle on a first choice XI and the experimentation has already begun with the selection of Nottinghamshire paceman Harry Gurney for the ODI clash with Scotland.

Moores has plenty of decisions to make regarding his team selection, with spots open in the batting and bowling department. Sam Robson could be a name we hear a lot of this summer if he is given the chance to impress in the Test arena, the 24-year-old Australian-born batsman having shone on the Performance Programme in the winter.

Fans will have to be patient as Moores is likely to make a few mistakes along the way with his selections but as the overall goal is to find a winning combination he might be forgiven the odd error in judgement if progress is shown.

Moores will also be tasked with changing England's style of play, Cook having been criticised for taking an overly cautious approach to the Ashes series this winter. Cook is still building up his captaincy skills and Moores will need to give him a bit more confidence to set attacking fields and be more aggressive when batting.

The five Test series with India this summer should be fascinating as a result of what Moores has to work with. India are also a team in transition and it will be a good test for Moores' new-look side. Come through that with their heads held high and people might start to believe in English cricket again.

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