Joe Root rejects Graeme Swann barbs and backs captain Alastair Cook

England take on India in the second ODI on Wednesday

Cardiff

Joe Root launched a stout defence of England captain Alastair Cook yesterday after the team’s one-day cricket was rubbished by former players Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan on Monday.

Swann, who retired last winter, is a close friend of Cook but did not spare him. He advised the skipper to quit the 50-over game and suggested England did not have “a cat in hell’s chance” of winning next year’s World Cup.

Vaughan was no less forgiving. Both men attacked England for playing a conservative style of one-day cricket they believe is no longer effective today, yet Root insisted the team were on the right track as they prepared to face India in today’s second one-day international at Sophia Gardens.

“Graeme Swann is paid to give his opinions and he is entitled to give them,” said Root. “We know as a side where we are at. We are comfortable and ready to go. Alastair Cook is our leader in one-day cricket as well as Tests. He’s done well over a number of years and we all back him.

“He’s a fantastic player and has got all of our support. His style complements that of players like Alex Hales and hopefully that can be shown in this series.

“I think there is enough firepower in the team. We’ve got guys like Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler down the order who, as you’ve seen, can win games on their own. Mixed in with everyone else we’re in a good place and this series will be a good judge of that.”

Former England bowler Graeme Swann Former England bowler Graeme Swann  

Hales’ inclusion is eagerly anticipated as England have lacked explosiveness at the top of the order for some time. The opening pair of Cook and Ian Bell were rarely capable of dominating bowlers from the word go, whereas Hales has shown in Twenty20 cricket for England that he can do exactly that.

The Nottinghamshire batsman ought to make his 50-over debut in this game, opening the innings with Cook as Bell drops down to No 3. Both Vaughan and Swann had called for more players in the mould of Hales to be included, such as Jason Roy of Surrey and Hampshire’s James Vince.

Swann revealed that, during his time in the England one-day side, the coaches became obsessed with statistics. Such plans were often rendered ineffective against particularly attacking sides, such as the Sri Lanka team that required just 39.3 of the 50 overs available to blow away England in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup.

Root bristled at the suggestion that Hales’ arrival would make England a more dangerous batting side – “I don’t think there’s much of a problem with the batting, to be honest” – and he denied that the side were guilty of paralysis by analysis.

“I would not say that is the case,” he argued. “We have obviously got certain things in place, but we feel that if we get things right and express ourselves the way we want to out in the middle, everything else will take care of itself.

“There are certain stats you look at but we want to be able to go out there with freedom to play and show people what we can do. We have to judge it while we are out there, weigh things up and do what we think is right for the team.

“We want to prove we can do that, we know we are capable of doing it and this is a great opportunity for us.”

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own