ASHLEY Giles believes his old captain Michael Vaughan tweeted harshly and “in haste” that a partial ticket refund should be in order after England rested five first-choice players for the NatWest Series.
A team minus captain Alastair Cook, his one-day international opening partner Ian Bell and frontline bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann came unstuck in an 88-run defeat by Australia at Old Trafford.
The same experimental line-up, apart from the possible inclusion of one emerging player, under stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, must therefore today try to battle back from 1-0 down with three to play at Edgbaston.
Vaughan responded to the announcement of England’s squad and before Australia went on to pile up 315 for seven in Manchester against an attack featuring only three tried-and-tested specialist bowlers, by calling for a minor reimbursement for anyone who thought the event might have been mis-sold.
Asked about the opinion voiced by his former Test captain, England’s limited-overs coach said: “It’s harsh – I think it was said in haste by Michael.”
Almost half the team who can reasonably be expected to represent England at the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 were absent but Giles added: “This is an exciting side to come and watch. Kevin Pietersen, Michael Carberry is an exciting batsman at the top of the order, then you go [Jonathan] Trott, [Joe] Root, Morgan, [Ravi] Bopara, [Steven] Finn – there are some good names to watch.
“Then you have the youngsters. I’d hope the cricketing public would want us to bring through some of our young cricketers.”
At Old Trafford Ben Stokes was deployed as a bowling all-rounder at No 8, a pivotal role England will hope Tim Bresnan can reprise after recovering from a stress fracture in his back.
Giles acknowledges it is tough for such raw talent but is confident Stokes – and others in the squad – have great potential. “You don’t get ready-made replacements for Broad, Bresnan, Anderson,” said Giles. “So this exposure is crucial. It’s hard on these young guys at times because we’re asking them to do a lot. But we’re asking them to do it because we believe they can.
“If this exposure goes the right way, we’ve got a much greater pool of players to look at for 2015.”
If that means sacrificing possible series victory, it is a trade-off England appear to be prepared to risk. Giles added: “We want to win the series outright, but there are other successes to be had. We’ve had an opportunity to look at some young players.”
It seems unlikely that Giles will tinker with the team just yet, although bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan, teenage seamer Jamie Overton and Luke Wright are available options. “If the pitches are livelier, you might play four of the big guys. But at this stage I don’t see us making any huge changes,” said Giles.
England were criticised after the Manchester defeat for relying on all-rounders Stokes and Bopara, and part-time off- spinner Root, to get through their overs. But Giles said: “The balance is what we played in the Champions Trophy, when we were very successful.
“Against New Zealand, we played five specialist bowlers and it didn’t really work. That’s when we brought Ravi back into the side, since when he’s had a fantastic run, so I don’t believe we are just ‘fiddling’ overs.
“But, when you have inexperience you are going to have to suffer some pain to get some gain, and that’s a little bit of what we are looking at.”