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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
England learn for next time
By Martin Gough

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan appears to struggle early in a one-day innings
When England next play a one-day international in the Caribbean it is likely to be as part of the 2007 World Cup.

After a rain-hit series against West Indies, and just eight of 13 planned matches seeing significant play this winter, they are short of evidence on several newer players.

But after avoiding a one-day series defeat at the hands of the West Indies for the first time, the pointers are there for England's management to ponder.

OPENING BATSMEN

Marcus Trescothick's hit-first approach may see his Test form fluctuate but it is far more successful in the one-day game and he must be one of the first in the team sheet.

The decision to maintain his Test opening partnership with skipper Michael Vaughan in one-day internationals, though, is still to be proven correct.

Vaughan tends to play himself in before opening out and early jitters often appear to get the better of him in the limited-overs arena.

Andrew Strauss hit two half-centuries in the Caribbean and, while also inelegant early on, could move up a spot while Vaughan again gives backbone to the middle order.

TOO MANY ALL-ROUNDERS: NOT ENOUGH BATSMEN

Rikki Clarke
All-rounder Clarke could be ditched in favour of a specialist batsman
Poor Anthony McGrath has played in just two matches, bowling three overs, on his three tours this winter.

But his position as a batsman who bowls a bit is over-populated in this current side, with Rikki Clarke and Ian Blackwell both filling the position

Neither Clarke nor Blackwell has impressed with the bat on this tour, and England's preference for both over McGrath could signal that all three will be discarded.

There is a further chance to tinker over the summer before Nottinghamshire's South African-born batsman Kevin Pietersen is eligible.

Mark Butcher would be a short-term solution or Owais Shah of Middlesex could gain a chance to add to his 15 caps.

SPINNER OF THE FUTURE

Ashley Giles suffered a calf injury while swimming before the weekend but claimed to be fit for the last two games of the series and was apparently over-looked.

At 34 when the World Cup comes around the left-armer will be at the senior end of the squad and his fielding is unlikely ever to be electrifying.

Gareth Batty clearly has much to learn - Chris Gayle was on hand with a masterclass in one-day spin - but is more of a complete package in terms of batting and fielding.

Blackwell, meanwhile, is a part-time spinner who struggles in the field and has so far failed to translate his big-hitting county form to a higher level.

SEAM BOWLING EXPERIENCE

Darren Gough
Gough's comeback has proved a disappointment
While there was plenty to celebrate in England's Test bowling in the Caribbean, their performance in the shorter game left much to be desired.

England are likely to persevere with Steve Harmison and James Anderson, and a rested Simon Jones could join them soon.

But Darren Gough's disappointing series - his return of 1-67 on Sunday was the most expensive of his career in terms of runs per over - could have been his last.

Instead the side may have to take more collective responsibility to fill the void.

James Kirtley's bowling at the end of an innings remains highly rated, although his figures struggle for attention, and tops the list to take Gough's place.




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