England's recipe for success

Last Updated: 30/08/07 9:57am

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"Admittedly the Indian's wasn't the best attack they have come up against but they manoeuvred the ball around, they got five or six an over regularly and then, when they needed to, accelerated very well indeed."

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Mike Gatting thinks England might finally have found a solution to years of problems that have bugged their one-day international cricket.

In the wake of England's near perfect performance with a 104-run victory over India at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday, Gatting told Sky Sports News that England might have found a format for success.

For Gatting, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell showed the way forward by building in innings rather than trying to blast their way to a fast start.

"If Michael Vaughan is out of the equation, there is no better time to start with a guy like Cook," said Gatting, who captained England in 37 of 92 one-day internationals.

"He has adapts well, he has got a good head on his shoulders and he actually understands what is required, we saw that last night.

"The team seems to be learning at long last what they need to do. They haven't got anybody who can whack it around early on, so they have to build an innings without losing too many early wickets.

"The good thing then is that people don't get out and these two guys went on and made hundreds, which we haven't done before. Guys have made forty, fifty but then got out and put pressure on the middle order.

"Last night they didn't, they played awfully well and they knocked the ball around. Admittedly the Indians' wasn't the best attack they have come up against but they manoeuvred the ball around, they got five or six an over regularly and then, when they needed to, accelerated very well indeed.

"I would like to think that we don't have a repeat of what we normally do, which is play so well and then so badly the next day."

Owais Shah was left out of England's line-up on Tuesday, a move that surprised some after he performed well against the West Indies earlier in the summer, scoring 138 runs in three matches at an average of 46.

And Gatting thinks that there is room in England's line up for Bell, Cook and Shah, especially with the emergence of Ravi Bopara as a genuine all-rounder.

Gatting was delighted to see Bell retained in the side - not to mention score a century - and feels there could be better balance in the side with Shah also included.

"I have always thought Bell has been a very good player and he hasn't quite fulfilled his potential, so I am glad they kept him in," said Gatting.

"Ravi Bopara didn't bowl a ball last night and (Dimitri) Mascarenhas did, so my scenario would be that there might be room for Shah to fill the boots of Mascarenhas and then you bowl Bopara. To me Shah is a guy who has played very, very well in one-day cricket and he does deserve a chance.

"But what an inspired choice last night. Bell certainly played very well in the last Test match and so I was very glad to see him play.

"It makes a huge difference when you have players like Bopara and Flintoff in there. You have got two all-rounders, both can bat and from what I saw of Bopara in the West Indies, he looked like a player who can adapt to any situation.

"You can put him at three, you can put him at six and from my point of view he is an important part. Obviously Freddie (Andrew Flintoff) in the middle order is a guy who can take wickets or a guy who can keep it tight."

England's second one-day international against India is on Friday at Bristol, and you can watch it live on Sky Sports.