Whitaker: England to hit back

James Whitaker has insisted there is "a lot of positivity" in the England one-day squad despite the disappointing tour of Australia.

An Ashes whitewash was followed by a 4-1 defeat in the one-day international series, and Australia then won all three Twenty20 clashes.

England unveiled a new-look squad for the tour of the West Indies and the ICC World Twenty20, with the axeing of Kevin Pietersen causing a huge storm throughout the week.

But ECB national selector Whitaker is optimistic that England can bounce back from their mauling in Australia, claiming their performances were better than results suggested.

"We are not far away in both forms of the game and it can change very quickly," Whitaker told the ECB website.

"We played reasonably well in the ODIs in Australia, although a couple of games went against us.

"Twenty20 cricket can turn around very quickly so we have got lots of grounds for optimism and there is a lot of positivity in the squad.

"There are fine margins in Twenty20. But we have got a good mixture of youth and experience in the squad - and that is a good blend.


"We are just looking for some real energy and we believe the squad we have selected will be able to produce that."

Moeen Ali, Stephen Parry and Harry Gurney were handed their first England call-ups for the forthcoming six-match tour of the West Indies, and Whitaker believes all three will prove themselves on the international stage.

Whitaker said: "Moeen brings variety and confidence. He's an option at the top of the order and also has some off-spin. We're looking forward to seeing his talents on the international stage.

"Stephen gives us a left-arm spin option. I have seen him several times and he has good variety. He's an exciting option.

"Harry has control of the white ball as a left-arm seamer, which is a variety we are short of."

English cricket has endured a turbulent period in the wake of their failings Down Under, with Test coach Andy Flower standing down and Pietersen being released from his central contract.

"It has been an interesting time," Whitaker admitted. "It's very challenging but I am enjoying it immensely and looking forward to working with whoever comes on board the panel in the near future and whoever will be the England coach as well."