Wake up call for England: will it rise to the challenge?

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

By Steve Charles

After losing the top spot in Test rankings, England have lost the spot in one-day rankings as well. Inconsistencies in players performance are one of the major reasons for this downfall. However, inconsistencies in performance also mean that top position can be reclaimed in both test and one day cricket rankings, in the near future. Nevertheless, this dream can be materialized only if some exceptional performances English players show in their up-coming matches.

But where inconsistencies are a major reason for this decline, the incorrect decision making in the selection of players has played an equally devastating role. Just take a look at Graeme Swann, who had to sit on benches in the dressing room for three continuous ODIs. The 33 year old Swann is one of the best off-spinners in England and he definitely could have stopped Hashim Amla from scoring too many runs on Tuesday. Even if England had restricted South Africa to around 250 runs, the decision of the match could be different. Furthermore, the 80 runs victory over England has brought the crown of ICC ODI Rankings on the head of South Africa.

But the challenges for England are not ending up here. They have to defend their title also in the upcoming T20 Cricket World Cup. And in a situation when the senior players like Kevin Pietersen are unhappy with the attitude of the English Cricket Board (ECB), the chances of defending T20 title are fainting away. The relief from the first positions in ICC ODI and Test Rankings is just a start; if the ECB members do not take the issue of players’ selection seriously then things can become even worse for England cricket.