I must say, this has been brewing in the back of my mind since England lost the first one-dayer at Lord’s. But I avoided mentioning it in either of my verdicts as I felt it was not only premature, but too controversial. Enter Tim de Lisle who, handily, has done it for me, and rather more directly and eloquently too:
6. Replace the coach
Some players are just better suited to Test than one-day cricket. Some coaches are too. Duncan Fletcher was a handy one-day player himself for Zimbabwe, but his style as a coach – patient, methodical, painstaking – is better geared to Test cricket. With the help of central contracts, four-day cricket, Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan, he has changed the culture of the Test team. But he hasn’t done much for the one-day side. He should either have a rethink or step aside for someone with a real feel for the one-day game. It could be someone Fletcher would approve of, like Andy Flower, already a mentor to Chris Read and Alistair Cook. Or it could be someone Fletcher wouldn’t approve of at all, like Adam Hollioake. Desperate times, desperate measures.
Who to pick? Matthew Maynard, who some believe is the main in waiting for the top job? Tim’s right: Fletcher is too calm and methodical a coach to be sufficiently proactive (not reactive) in a one-day series. That’s the impression I get, anyway.