THERE HAS been some talk that Alex Hales could be brought in by England as a potential World Cup replacement for Jason Roy if he does not recover from his hamstring issue – but I do not see that as the right thing to do.
Especially when the captain came out earlier and said that the team had a meeting and decided it was best that he was not picked as he was a bad influence on the team. To bring him back in now would be a strange decision.
I actually think if England do need some cover, it is in the role in the middle where Eoin Morgan plays.
For me, James Vince is good enough to open the batting and if they bring someone in, I think it is more likely to be someone like Dawid Malan, who can bat in the middle order.
The cricket has lost its way a little overall. I think the best game we have had in the past week was the New Zealand versus South Africa, which had a bit of an edge to it and was close.Darren Gough
Sam Billings is injured and with the problems that Hales has had, I cannot see him going back into that team. So Malan is the only real option.
But I think England will risk it with Roy right until the end.
India have had to make a change in bringing in Rishabh Pant for Shikhar Dhawan, but I do not think that is a massive change to their strength.
Pant is an unbelievable player and those who watch the IPL will know that. He is fantastic.
It is harsh on Dhawan, who scored a fine hundred against Australia, but I rate Pant very, very highly.
Looking at the England team, I think there is a bit of a competition now in terms of who is going to hit the most sixes and they just keep coming.
We haven’t really got to the likes of Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes yet and seen those two players lash out. They both hit a long ball.
As for the winners overall, I think I am still sticking with Australia, but as I have said, if England play at their best, they win the tournament and they were excellent in the games against Afghanistan and West Indies.
That said, the competition has yet to really catch alight.
For me, the Cricket World Cup and the Women’s World Cup in football have both been going for a while now and I think there has been a loss of momentum in both.
The cricket has lost its way a little overall. I think the best game we have had in the past week was the New Zealand versus South Africa, which had a bit of an edge to it and was close.
Kane Williamson played really well and showed what you have to do under pressure.
Elsewhere, we have had too many easy victories and not many games have gone to the last over.
I have got to say that Australia looked strong on Thursday in a big win over Bangladesh, which has basically sealed the top four placings.
To be fair, Bangladesh have been good and have some experienced players.
Looking at the tournament, there have not been any really massive shocks. I have to say that Afghanistan have been terrible after their best player Mohammad Shahzad, who was brilliant in the t10s last year and the one player who can win them a game with the bat, went home ‘injured’ and then said that he was not.
They have a lot of older players and it is time for a re-jig. They have not been led very well at all and the captaincy of Gulbadin Naib against England was terrible. He kept bowling Rashid (Khan) and did not mix it up enough and change his fields and he kept it very, very basic which any club captain could do.
The only shock really – until, perhaps, yesterday at Headingley, has been when Pakistan beat England.
In terms of the Women’s World Cup, it also needs a bit of impetus.
Building up to the England Lionesses v Scotland in the opener, there was huge interest, with just over six million people watching on the TV, but it seems to have gone under the radar a bit of late.
I think it needs some big games now between the main contenders. Although you have to feel sorry for Scotland in getting knocked out after a VAR-awarded spot-kick was taken, which was unbelievable when you think about it after it was deemed that keeper Lee Alexander was off her line.
I had to watch it about five times – it was ridiculous.
In a way, it was a shame for the publicity that England played Scotland first. Now we have got a kind of low-profile game in the last 16 against Cameroon, although it was a shock when they beat New Zealand – who beat England in a pre-tournament friendly.
Maybe England need to play against a US or a France to get the best out of them – obviously we have to beat Cameroon and then someone like Norway first.