Peter Moores is set to be sacked as England coach within the next week, according to a number of sources that have surfaced today.
If this is a response to England’s dismal world cup performance, then fine. England’s loss to Bangladesh in Australia typified the poor standard of 50-over cricket that the country’s followers have been subjected to over the last couple of years. Their batting line-up has been packed with test cricketers who, with respect, are not going to tear up any trees on the one-day scene. A change in England’s mindset when approaching the 50-over game has to change, and it has to change quickly. If the best way of encouraging that change is to sack Moores, then perhaps that is the best course of action.
If, however, this alleged move is a response to the West Indies test series, then it is quite simply ridiculous. Do not sack Peter Moores as England’s coach in test cricket. The reason for England’s failure in the third test was a batting collapse. England had a batting collapse, and now everyone has a solution: sack the head coach. Pundits and fans alike are entitled to their opinions, but simply ousting one figure at the top of the coaching hierarchy is not going to help. The only people who can help are the batsmen in England’s top seven, and until they find a solution themselves, we will experience the same thing again, and again, and again.
Prior to the second innings in Barbados, Joe Root had been in incredible form, Ben Stokes had shown a lot of promise, Alastair Cook had finally made a hundred and Gary Ballance had looked as solid as he has done in his short international career. Jimmy Anderson had bowled superbly, and had been well supported by the rest of the attack. In fact, the main topic being discussed by pundits was England’s bowling attack, as many feared it might prove to be a bit one-dimensional. England’s top seven (with the exception of Trott) had all played well at some stage in the series, and our batting unit had barely got a mention. Lo behold, one batting collapse triggers outraged cries regarding Moores’ incompetence, just as the side had been building up to putting in some more consistent performances.
There is absolutely no way that England will become more consistent if the man at the top of the tree is different at the start of each series, and that is what we might be looking at here. England will have batting collapses, and England’s batsmen have to be the ones to do something about it. Funny that, isn’t it?
I don’t pretend to be a huge admirer of Peter Moores, and I wasn’t hugely inspired by his appointment this time round. However, if you’re listening England cricket, please find a better excuse for his departure than one batting collapse.