West Indies 272-4 England 276-7: Fletcher's flawed logic hinders one-day progress

England's last-gasp win in a Champions Trophy match of little consequence should be treated as precisely that: a last-gasp win of little consequence. A speck on the heaving global mass of one-day cricket. But, if you really insist, an indication that all is not lost for the World Cup and also an uplifting win before the real business of the winter, the Ashes, (Brisbane, 23 November, lest you forget).

Had the Barmy Army been present - the good folk of Jaipur and Ahmedabad have been spared their good-natured but tuneless presence - they would undoubtedly have broken into something along the lines of "There'll Always Be an England".

So there might, but not necessarily one containing the likes of Michael Yardy. Poor Yardy is but the latest in a long line of sound county cricketers who will probably be ditched by England. When the coach, Duncan Fletcher, talks of an inexperienced team, and on some days he talks of little else, he is partly right.

Selectors are paid to make tough decisions but it is pushing it to claim that players are inexperienced when judgements have previously been made on others before they have gained the experience. You could call it catch-22 but it takes a lot of one-dayers to take 22 catches.

Yardy, like some of those who preceded him, has made the absolute best of his ability in county cricket but that does not make him an international. It would have been positively heartening had he played a significant part in England's three-wicket victory against West Indies in a competition from which they had already been eliminated after losing their first two matches.

But the vital bit was done by Kevin Pietersen. Without his 90 not out from 86 balls following the dazzling but curtailed start by Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell, there would not have been a sniff of overtaking West Indies' total of 272, which was positively gargantuan for this tournament.

"We're going to be inconsistent until we get a side together that plays together for a long time and gets a lot of games under their belt," said Fletcher. "It's been the same for the last five years when you bring in good young guys and I've repeated it over and over again."

The inconsistency in that remark is on a par with England's performances. If you keep bringing in young guys, you reap what you sow. England have a strategy to start building a one-day side for the next World Cup immediately after the one preceding it. Yet with five months to go until the ninth competition, five of the team that played on Saturday have played fewer than 30 one-dayers, generally considered the benchmark in passing from novice. Only four have played more than 50 times, obviously enough to make a mother proud, but laughable compared with other countries.

"We feel these young guys can do a better job and they're proving it," said Fletcher. "Jamie Dalrymple's bowling was again very good and it was good to see Ian Bell opening the batting showing his class. It was also good to see KP finding form."

KP's innings (Kevin Pietersen, that is) was important for more than winning the match. There had been the suspicion that he was not quite the one-day player he had been, becoming impatient, desperate. "He played like he can," said Fletcher.

But if Pietersen's match-winning was welcome, Andrew Flintoff's five overs were manna from heaven. He reached 87.1 mph and could have bowled more. Fletcher tried his best to avoid purring. Having omitted Stephen Harmison - rightly, but a big call four weeks before the Ashes - he needed that.

"We can get the extra 10 per cent out of Flintoff in the two-week build-up in Australia. Harmison is fit and will need lots of overs in the two warm-up matches. I am confident they will be ready for the Test match." What Test match is that, then?

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?