Opinion: Is Moores captaining a sinking ship?

Blog Opinion

It would not be surprising if Peter Moores is feeling a bit like the substitute officer as his bedraggled team head down to the Rose Bowl at a decreasing rate of knots.

On 10 April 1912, RMS Titanic left Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York City. The duration of a Test match later, the ship was at the bottom of the Atlantic. A number of catastrophic errors contributed to her fate before she had even left the harbour on the South Coast of England.

Famously, the lookouts in the crow's nest of the Titanic did not have any binoculars to see the impending iceberg. The binoculars were actually on the vessel but locked away. The original Second Officer, David Blair (no relation to Tony) was removed from the ship at the last minute and forgot to hand the keys to his replacement..

It would not be surprising if Peter Moores is feeling a bit like the substitute officer as his bedraggled team head down to the Rose Bowl at a decreasing rate of knots.

Some might say that Andy Flower held the keys and padlock to the team's soul and then promptly forgot to give his successor any idea of how to crack the code to the safe. 'Not my problem, anymore'..

Not even the most ardent anti-Moores man can fail to have a bit of sympathy with the lot that he has inherited. Second comings are difficult things to sell.

A return to the scene – even if the first part of the act was a success – is largely viewed as something to be avoided as the fates are often cruel to such scenarios. Think Jose Mourinho at Chelsea last year. Or Luis Felipe Scolari. The English cricket system may be misfiring but it's the coach that gets it in the neck.

Moores does not possess the charisma of either Mourinho or Scolari, but more importantly does not carry their international track record of success. Andy Flower and Duncan Fletcher were hardly box office sound bite men either, but their win-loss ratio was rather fine until Australia turned up the heat and killed their tenure.

Time will run out for him quickly against the backdrop of his first failure, if his new charges do not pick up their game very soon. Paul Downton's claim that the former Lancashire coach is the 'outstanding coach of his generation' will look increasingly like a local observation within domestic circles.

What to do? The worry lines are clear. They can talk the talk and bully all they want, but the opposition are not scared anymore. One of England's strengths in recent glory years, was the ability to grind out the win with unbearable pressure from bat and ball and in the field. It isn't happening now. The team has lost its precision.

Moores needs to impose himself and his ideas. He needs to show that he is good at cricket man management and not 'presentations' as Michael Vaughan suggests.

It looks like this England need some comfort, some cajoling, some cojones and someone to say: 'go out and express yourself and don't worry about consequences.' At least the new blood of Ballance, Jordan and Buttler remain relatively unaffected.

The Ashes 2015 is a huge worry. Australia have something to prove, given that their latest victory in England was in 2001. This England team have just been throttled by an Indian pace attack. The carnage in waiting is scary. Pitches can be doctored but this team needs a surgeon's touch, not the local GP.

When Peter Moores looks through the port hole of the Rose Bowl, there may be a lot of water on the pitch. The coach can't do much about the weather, but he must hope that by close of play on July 31 there are not five flooded compartments on RMS England.

<b>Tim Ellis</b>

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