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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
You quizzed Jonathan Agnew
England's NatWest Series hopes faded away in their one-day match against Australia at Old Trafford.
Tune in and listen as BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew answers your questions on England's one-day demise.
England's successful Test run has been overshadowed by their poor one-day form recently.
In their ninth one-day defeat, the home side slumped to their lowest ever score in a limited overs international.
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew answered your questions.
Evan Campain, Australia
How does the standard of lighting in the UK compare with the grounds that have lighting in Australia?
They are pitiful in comparison. They're tiny, they're temporary and they're erected outside the grounds so they're further away. But the main problem is that we have such a long twilight here that you don't get in Australia, and so the difficult half hour or so that you get over there is actually most of the second half of the match here. That coupled with fact the lights are next to useless means that batting second is very difficult indeed. I'm not detracting anything from Australia's win at Old Trafford where they bowled outstandingly well. But in poor light and with balls nipping around off the seam, it clearly was not a balanced contest.
Nick stone, Coventry
There is a clear disadvantage in batting second in English day/night matches. Is there a general consensus among your commentating colleagues that these games are not suited to English conditions?
Yes, there is. I haven't found anybody yet who thinks that they should persist with day/night matches, at least at international level. Everyone accepts that they can do it in county cricket where the bowling isn't as good or fast, and you can get people in the ground that way. But you must never compromise the quality of International cricket as far as I'm concerned, and at the moment there is a great danger of that happening. People won't come and watch it if they know that if you win the toss you win the match. Unfortunately we're stuck with it unless the ECB comes to an arrangement with Sky because it's part of their contract. There will be three day/night matches each summer for the next five years.
How can we remove the ghastly innovations from one-day cricket? The playing of music every time the ball hits a boundary is so tacky. One-day cricket is becoming like a cheap Saturday night game show. Any suggestions on how we can return cricket to its roots?
Write to the ECB! That's what we're all saying here. I think the music's terrible - it adds nothing. We stage International cricket so well here, there's just no need for it. It's being dumbed down to such an extent now. Poor old Paul Collingwood coming out and batting in his second match for England would have been very nervous. He walked down the steps at Old Trafford to those fluting sounds of 'The Great Escape' and mocking laughter ringing in his ears. It's not the way to come out and play International sport, and I think it's pathetic actually. I found myself on the radio having to try and explain it listeners in Sydney who would have been just waking up - having to apologise for what it sounded like on the radio.
Rob Hayward, UK
It seems to me that we must abandon the bits-and-pieces players that we have persisted with over the years. When you look at Australia, their one-day international side is only marginally different to their Test side, where as England bring in players like Mullally and Ealham. Should we look to bring the young players through now, in order to give them more experience for the 2003 World Cup?
I think it's a question of balance.You do need all-rounders in one-day cricket, but you obviously need good all-rounders. Paul Collingwood, for example, is only a very part-time medium pacer, but the fact is that he can turn his arm over and it would be in his interest to get into the nets and work on his bowling. But you're right; you've got to have specialist cricketers - people who are good at this level. What has stood out as far as England are concerned in this series is that once the two opening bowlers (Gough and Caddick) are off, there's no-one else who can come on and bowl in aggressive way. You need top quality bowlers and not just fiddlers.
We should not lose heart with this one-day series. Pakistan and Australia are the best one-day sides in the world, along with perhaps South Africa. This was always going to be tough, but we need to work for the future, and plan a team for the 2007 World Cup, not 2003.
They've got to plan for 2003. I think this little trip to Zimbabwe is a good thing. They can leave all the baggage behind. They've got no need to take Alec Stewart, for instance, and they can really kick on and look at some young players. I think you're right. It may very well be that that six struck by Ian Harvey off the last ball of the penultimate over at Bristol has a wider reaching effect than simply winning that one-day International. England could easily have won that game, and who knows where they could have gone from there. That six turned the match on its head and started England's decline.
Nick stone, Coventry
Why is it that England plays so few one-day internationals?
They've always been slightly sniffy about one-day cricket, particularly these curious tournaments that have popped up. I think it's clear that they do need to get more experience and play as much one-day cricket as they possibly can.The Zimbabwe tour will be an excellent opportunity for them. It comes at the end of the summer, and they can just go there and play five one-day internationals with a load of youngsters. They must not take the likes of Alec Stewart out there, it's time to look for his possible successor.
Who is the likely successor to Alec Stewart? Perhaps someone like Chris Read?
He's probably top of the list. Paul Nixon was also on the last winter tour but didn't get an opportunity. I'm not sure about the quality of both of their wicket-keeping, whereas Jamie Foster of Essex is regarded as a better wicket-keeper than those two. So there are definitely three in the frame, and I'm sure they'll get the opportunity over the next year or two to stake a claim.
Adrian Brooks, England
Can you tell me why Graeme Hick gets dropped from the one-day side when up to the start of this series he is our highest ranked batsman? He can bowl some good off-spin and is a great fielder too. Is it possible the media have a say in his selection?
Of all the players that have represented England in the last ten years, possibly Hick has been one that the media have rather latched on to when he's been recalled or dropped again. There has been a 'here we go again' attitude when he has been recalled, but then he hasn't really done anything to prevent people from writing that. It may be that he would have been picked for this one-day series had Michael Vaughan had not scored a century at Taunton in the Benson & Hedges semi-final, which was very timely. I think Hick has had it now. Unless there are exceptional circumstances with injuries, I don't think he'll play for England again.
Gareth Hughes, UK
I was very impressed with Owais Shah. What are your thoughts?
I agree entirely. He's looked so comfortable in the innings' that he has played so far. He seems to have slotted in and just looks a though he belongs there. He could quite happily have coped with one Test match, and probably enjoyed it. He looks extremely talented, but he's got a long way to go having only had three one-day knocks. He's a terrific prospect, but I hope he keeps his feet on the ground. If he does knuckle down, I'd imagine he's almost guaranteed a place on the winter tour.
Gary Roberts, Australia
I think England have underestimated the Aussie bowlers - particularly Jason Gillespie.
There's no danger of that at all. Old Trafford was a very good reminder of what they're both capable of. We know that Gillespie is a very fine bowler when he's fit. The one problem that the Australians might have is that although they've got a very strong seam attack, Gillespie, Fleming and Brett Lee have got very poor fitness records. So that's one thing I'm sure they'll be hoping goes well for them. I'm sure England wouldn't mind one or two of them breaking down because I think that might level things up a little bit. At the moment, I'm sure Australia are looking forward to starting the Ashes.
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