England coach: Firing captain Cook ‘the right thing to do’
LONDON (AP) — England coach Peter Moores says dropping captain Alastair Cook from the Cricket World Cup squad was right and necessary to introduce an aggressive leadership and top order.
England left for Australia on Tuesday, more than two weeks after Cook was dumped for a lack of runs, extended during the one-day international series loss in Sri Lanka last month.
Cook, the opener, reached 50 only once in 22 ODIs going back 18 months. England also lost five of its last six bilateral series.
Moores publicly backed Cook until they returned from Sri Lanka and reviewed their options.
“Plans are there to be changed at times, I’m comfortable with that,” Moores said at Heathrow Airport.
“We got to a position where it felt it was the right thing to do. It was a brave decision (to sack Cook), but it felt right to move.
“I said it had to be reviewed at the end of the trip ... you have that time to reflect.
“We threw it all around and came to the conclusion that our best team was to give ourselves more aggressive options at the top of the order.”
The captaincy was passed to Eoin Morgan, who averaged 13 in Sri Lanka and has only one half-century in 19 ODIs going back a year.
But Moores believed Morgan will be bolder than Cook in the tri-series with Australia and India starting on Jan. 16, and will have a big say in the lineup for the World Cup opener against Australia on Feb. 14 in Melbourne.
“That change of mindset has already happened,” Moores said. “Eoin will drive that really hard, and that’s a good thing. He plays his cricket like that, he wants to be aggressive.
“Eoin plays a style of cricket that is exciting to watch, and he is in our best World Cup team, there’s no doubt about that in my mind.
“Tactically, he’s savvy, and he fronts up as a player.”
England, which has never won the World Cup, isn’t expected to pass the quarterfinals.
“What I can say to everybody is we will go for it,” Moores said.
“My message to the players is, first, it is a great place to play cricket, and, second, let’s go for it, let’s go play good, hard cricket, and enjoy playing for your country.”