World Twenty20 2014: Ashley Giles exasperated by England batting woes

'We're not playing well, and haven't done for a period now,' says acting coach


England's acting coach has assessed his side's chances in the World Twenty20, which begins on Sunday. Roughly speaking, Ashley Giles put them between slim and none with slim having left town.

"We've lost five in a row, clearly we're not playing very good Twenty20 cricket and we haven't done for a period now," said Giles. "We'll go into that tournament as underdogs anyway. Every game we play, we go and play to win.

"But we're just not getting into matches. That's the biggest concern. Four of the last five occasions we've been three down at six overs. If you consistently do that, you're behind the eight ball."

World champions only four years ago, England are now ranked eighth in the world and have been outplayed both in Australia last month and now in the Caribbean. Their top-order batting is simply not up to the job and they must change it or perish. Doing nothing is not an option.

The reluctance to pick Ian Bell, although he has been called up to the World T20 squad, seems beyond strange, although Giles insisted he was not yet ready to play because he had not hit enough balls. But as a proven world performer, rather than a supposed T20 specialist, Bell should be in immediate contention.

"We're consistently having problems with spin as well, so we have to keep working on those skills against spin," said Giles. "In Bangladesh it's definitely going to play a part. We'd be naïve and stupid to think that probably every team we come up against is not going to open up with spin against us.

"We have to try to find a formula at the top, I know you will say isn't that a worry going into a world tournament that you don't know what your best top three is, or your No 3. But before the one we won here, the opening partnership changed a couple of games before the tournament, so it's not the end of the world. Sometimes you can fall into formulas."

The opening partnership of Michael Lumb and Alex Hales is causing big trouble. Although they are England's most successful T20 pairing, their partnerships in the run of five defeats have been 14, 24, 11, 13 and 13. Both seem to be bamboozled by spin at the start and England's opponents will have spotted that.

In addition, it seems that England are simply lacking firepower. For all Jos Buttler's virtuosity in his 67 from 43 balls on Tuesday night, in general England are no match for West Indies' litany of sluggers. There may be more where they came from in Bangladesh.

"What we are also doing at the moment is hesitating," said Giles. "You can't do that in T20. We back these guys to go and do their job at the top of the order. Hales, Lumb, Luke Wright has had the opportunity, Moeen Ali. You can't hesitate in 20 overs. If you do, you're dead, you're sitting ducks. As good as [Eoin] Morgan, Buttler and [Ravi] Bopara are, leaving them in those positions all the time, you're not going to win many games, if any."

The ineptitude has been breathtaking, not least because it is such an old story regarding spin. The footwork has been non-existent, the uncertainty pervasive.

None of this is helping Giles to be appointed to the job of permanent coach in succession to Andy Flower. He remains the right man for it because he has a vision for the future and a recognition of present weaknesses but somehow he has to avert disaster in Bangladesh, starting in the third game against the West Indies in Barbados on Thursday.

'We would have still lost with KP in the side'

Ashley Giles believes the absence of Kevin Pietersen has no bearing on England's two T20 defeats to West Indies. When asked if the batsman's sacking was a mistake with the World T20 just days away, Giles said: "No. There is no point in going into a World T20 talking about someone who's not here. Kevin's not coming back – as far as I am aware. What we need to concentrate on is turning this around at the top of the order."

Third Twenty20: Bridgetown details

Probable teams

West Indies C H Gayle, D R Smith, M N Samuels, L M P Simmons, D J Bravo, D Ramdin (wk), D J G Sammy (capt), A D Russell, K Santokie, R Rampaul, S Badree

England A D Hales. M J Lumb, I R Bell. E J G Morgan (capt), J C Buttler (wk), R S Bopara, M M Ali, T T Bresnan, J C Tredwell, S D Parry, J W Dernbach

Umpires G Brathwaite (WI) & J Wilson (WI)

Television Sky Sports 2, 5.30-9.30pm GMT

Odds West Indies 8/13, England 13/10

Weather Hot and sunny with partial cloud. Maximum temp: 27C

Series so far

Sun West Indies won by 27 runs

Tues West Indies won by five wickets

Ashley Giles admitted that England have not resolved their problem against spin in T20

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent