Originally Posted by sanskritsimon
OK, but can you be a bit more explicit about what you mean by the bits in bold?
Do these phrases mean that when you convene your selection panel you're going to start with these three in the team no matter what, and only discuss the remaining 8 places? If so, that sounds like a recipe for trouble -- because what if one of these three has consistently played badly for some time? Isn't that what they did with Cook after the last World Cup? It meant hanging on to him for some time after they should have dropped him. Wouldn't it be better just to pick all 11 players during the selection meeting, all on the same basis? Obviously if a player is doing badly one has to make a decision about if and when to drop him. And that will depend on one's hunches about his prospects of returning swiftly to his best, and it will depend upon who else is on the fringes and how you feel about them. But I don't see any advantage in singling out people for preferential treatment in advance.
Or do the bits in bold mean that those players get to bat in their preferred positions? Because if that's the case, I don't think we know what those preferred positions might be. Or do they mean that you get to decide yourself where you think those players would bat best and that you're intending to be inflexible about that when discussing selection for future matches?
I'm just a bit confused by what is being suggested. The analogy seems foreign to the task.
Okay, let me have a try at expanding on those aspects. I'll start off with the core.
By defining a core of the team, we mean identifying players who possess the essential qualities needed for the ODI team and squad, both in terms of proven performances and the demands of the modern game. By starting off with those players, the identity of the England ODI team will be defined and the skills and attitudes of those team members will be expected to rub off on the others drafted into the squad and the eleven.
Negative examples of this prior to the last World Cup were Cook, great test batsman that he is, as the captain in the run up. He didn't have the fundamental skills needed for ODIs to lead from the front. Bell also fits into that category, in my view. Senior member of the team, but not the quintessential ODI batsman who will set the tone and direction for the up and coming members of the squad. So then, Cook and Bell are examples of the kind of player you do not want to form the core, even though they are great servants of England cricket.