Fletcher says England must stick to their guns
London: Former England cricket team coach Duncan Fletcher has said that though the loss of Stuart Broad has upset the balance of the four-man pace attack, England must not panic and stick to their guns for the remaining two Ashes Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.
“England must react calmly to defeat (at Perth). I do not think that they need to alter their XI, and they should be wary of doing so unless they are making changes that have been planned and prepared for a long time in advance. If there is any serious debate surrounding the decisions then they should err towards leaving the team be,” Fletcher writes in an article for The Guardian.
“In this situation a team needs to be very careful who they point fingers at, even indirectly, because they risk disrupting the team by knocking the confidence of players who have performed well on the tour so far,” he adds.
He says that the England team management should continue to repose confidence in Steve Finn, and dismiss thoughts of resting him, that too, after he has taken 14 wickets in the Test series so far.
Fletcher said that though he was not comfortable with Andy Flower and Andy Strauss throwing all their eggs into one basket by picking and sticking with a four-man attack for so long, England must not think of roping in an extra bowler.
“To play five bowlers, England would need a spinner who could bat. Graeme Swann has the capability to be a genuine all-rounder but he has not batted anything like as well as he would need to,” Fletcher says.
“Test match bowling is about working as a unit, each member has to have their own distinct role and know it inside-out,” he said.
He also says that Hussey is the key wicket that England must target, because of his current phenomenal form in the series.
“Australia have been batting around him. England have the right idea about how to get Hussey out but are not executing it well,” he says.
“They have to drag him forward and try to get him caught behind playing at the ball outside his off-stump. It is all about how you set the batsman up. Get the threat of the bouncer right and you can disrupt Hussey’s foot movement for his front-foot shots,” he adds.
Even with the switch of pitches the wicket at the MCG is unlikely to be nearly as fast as the one at Perth. If it is then the curator will deserve a lot of credit, he concludes.