Veterans blast England side for taking a day off ahead of Cuttack ODI

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London, Nov 26 : Former English cricketers have reportedly blasted England cricket captain and his team for keeping themselves off the nets yesterday, a day ahead of the fifth ODI at Cuttack, especially after losing the seven-match series 0-4 against India.

They said that the team members appeared like "zombies", playing poor cricket in all the aspects of the game.

While former fast bowler Dominic Cork said that the England side deserved to be hammered for the move, former batsman Allan Lamb said the day off was "some sort of joke", reported The Sun.

Cork said: "Why are we giving England players the day off when we're 4-0 down? At the moment, it looks as if we're going to lose all seven. They deserve to be hammered for this decision and should take a good look at themselves. They are playing appalling cricket at the moment. They need to break the monotony by actually winning a game. The way you do that is by sitting down and analysing how to become a better side."

Lamb slammed the tourists' preparation, saying: "They must be playing really well to call off nets! You don't get better by not practising and it just shows how we've been totally under-prepared for this tour. We picked the wrong side and some of the decisions have been bewildering. You have to blame the players and selectors for what's gone on. It's been dismal and some of our bowling has been atrocious."

But, David Lloyd, who coached England in the 90s, said that the team did the right thing by being off the nets analysing their game plans: "I'd have done the same thing, even though I'd know we'd have been criticised. If England lose, the day off thing will come out again so they'll be on prayer mats hoping for a result. But I looked at the team after losing in Bangalore and they were like zombies. I think it's right they are being given the chance to re-charge and freshen up."

Batsman Owais Shah said: "You're not going to forget how to play shots overnight just because you don't practice for one day. Sport at this level is more in the head."

ANI

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