Botham demands changes, now

England

Former captain Ian Botham has insisted England make several changes in personnel, after slumping to a three-nil ODI series defeat at the hands of India in the fourth ODI at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Former captain Ian Botham has insisted England make several changes in personnel, after slumping to a three-nil ODI series defeat at the hands of India in the fourth ODI at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Tuesday saw the hosts' limited-overs shortfalls compounded by a characteristically inadequate performance with the bat, after which centurion Ajinkya Rahane and half-centurion Shikhar Dhawan afforded the visitors triumph with all of 117 deliveries to spare.

"We can start looking for excuses but the hard, cold facts are we don't learn and if anything we're getting worse. There is no other word for it – it's embarrassing," Botham told <i>Sky Sports</i>.

"Let us make some changes. You've lost the series, what have you got to lose in the last game? Bring in some of the younger players and let's see what happens. Blood them, give them a taste.

"I've been amazed Gary Ballance hasn't been in the side, he averages more than most guys in the team in one-day cricket, then you've got James Taylor who is averaging 70 in one-day cricket, James Vince at Hampshire, there are a lot of players chomping at the bit to have a go."

Erstwhile India skipper Sourav Ganguly, meanwhile, questioned England's undisciplined shot selection throughout the five-match series. All-rounder Joe Root perished to a reverse-sweep on Tuesday, while wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler's footwork was found entirely wanting.

"India have kept on improving in this series and it was a superb performance. England will have to look at the strokes they played – there were too many reverse sweeps, too many across-the-line shots – and the way the India team batted," added Ganguly.

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