Nich Hoult writes harshly bur fairly about England's disarray against Australia today:
At the moment it fells like they are making it up on the hoof, as teams do when they dither over sacking a captain and leave it until a few weeks before a tournament.
Here they dropped Ravi Bopara after 11 consecutive games to replace him with Gary Ballance, who had not played a one-day international for nearly six months. He batted at three too, a position Taylor had occupied with occasional distinction since November. He in turn was demoted to bat at no 6 for the first time in his England one-day career and made a mockery of that move.
England tinkered with the bowling as well. Chris Woakes had taken the new ball in 15 of his last 16 one-day internationals. This time it went to Stuart Broad for the first time for nearly a year.Let us remember that in order to give England the best possible chance at the World Cup, the England and Wales Cricket Board asked for two Ashes series to be rearranged.
The result was that England played home and away series against Australia back to back. Among other things, this led to a poisonous atmosphere between the teams as slights and hatreds festered through the two series rather than being given time to die down.
It also finished the careers of at least two of England's best players: Matthew Prior and Graeme Swann. As the latter was the best spinner we had found in 50 years, this was no small matter.
More and more, I am convinced the problem is not the England players (who are doing their best) but the people who run the game in this country.