Swann's struggling to stop England sinking to new low - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Swann's struggling to stop England sinking to new low

There are 13 one-day internationals in England next summer. It is understood that queues will not be forming around the block to attend, though it might get interesting if England lose the first 12.

The reason for the probable reluctance – though it should be remembered that a year is a lifetime in sport – is that England are increasingly hopeless at one-day cricket. Their performances against a crisply efficient Australian side in the unnecessarily long NatWest Series started ineptly and have become worse.

England should have won the first two matches but, after failing to chase attainable targets, may as well not have bothered turning up since then. Their batting especially has been miserable in the face of disciplined bowling and when they did manage to score 299, Australia knocked them off as though they had promised not to be late for dinner.

Today, the series finally ends and England face the unenviable prospect of becoming the first side to lose a one-day series 7-0 – or indeed 0-7, to put it in its correct, still more grotesque form.

There have been only 16 previous seven-match series between two countries. Four of them ended in 6-1 margins but the winning side did not win the first six matches.

Graeme Swann, who was recalled to the side on Thursday night, when it became 0-6, said yesterday that the team had not talked of the prospective whitewash. "It is not a fault in the way we approach one-day cricket," he said from the nets where Luke Wright was passed fit to play. "It is pretty obvious to anyone who is watching that we are not making enough runs. Having said that, we made 300 on Tuesday and they chased it down. We are not playing good one-day cricket and we haven't done that for a few years."

The reasons are deep-rooted. England do not take one-day cricket seriously enough and they have not played enough of it, which seems odd considering that this bash has gone on and on. They are beginning to catch up. Since the start of their series against South Africa late last summer, they have played 24 matches, six fewer than Australia in that period but only one fewer than India and many more than South Africa, who have been resting for the Champions Trophy at home after a hectic schedule, and Pakistan.

More for the moment is necessary but this series has been poorly timed and England have been forced to rest players weary at the end of a long summer. They have desperately missed Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, which is entirely understandable, but it is hugely disappointing and a reflection on the standards of the English professional that they have not come close to replacing them. Nobody has stood up to be counted.

All players are culpable but the batting has been clueless. In six matches they have managed no hundreds and only four fifties compared to Australia's three hundreds and eight fifties. In that sequence since last August England have scored fewer centuries than all but South Africa and Zimbabwe who managed far more fifties.

That England freeze, there is no doubt. That they also cannot find a strategy appropriate to the occasion also seems pretty clear, that they keep messing around with their batting order is there in the scorecards. That they may simply over a period of time not be up to it is also becoming difficult to argue with.

England have played insipidly this past fortnight. For them to avoid making the wrong kind of history today somebody may have to score a hundred and plenty more. It really is time.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week