England search for answers

  • Last Updated: March 12 2014, 18:46 GMT

England's limited-overs coach Ashley Giles admits his team badly need a victory in the third T20 international against West Indies.

Ashley Giles speaks to the media in Bridgetown
Ashley Giles speaks to the media in Bridgetown

West Indies have already clinched the series with wins in the first two games and England have now lost all five of their T20 fixtures in 2014.

With the World T20 in Bangladesh following on immediately after the Caribbean trip, Giles shies away neither from results, underlying causes or short-term implications which may yet put his hopes of becoming England's next head coach in jeopardy.

"We've lost five in a row," he said. "Clearly we're not playing very good Twenty20 cricket, and we haven't done for a period now.

"We'll go into that tournament as underdogs anyway. Every game we play, we go and play to win. But we're just not getting into matches. That's the biggest concern.

"Four of the last five occasions, we've been three down at six overs. If you consistently do that, you're behind the eight ball."

England repeated that unhelpful habit as West Indies clinched the series on Tuesday, mustering only 30-3 in powerplay before Jos Buttler and Alex Hales did their best to keep them competitive.

"As good as the players we've got coming into our middle order, it's very difficult for them to salvage games from those positions," said Giles.

"Jos gave us a glimpse of how well he could play - it was nice to see Hales back in the runs and to play a slightly different role through the middle.

"But you're always up against it."We made a really good fist of it in the end, but we were 20 to 30 short from our start."

It was left-arm swing bowler Krishmar Santokie who did the most recent damage, but before then West Indies spinners undermined England.

"We're consistently having problems with spin," Giles said. "In Bangladesh it's definitely going to play a part.

"We'd be naive and stupid to think that probably every team we come up against is not going to open up with spin against us.

"We have to try to find a formula at the top."

England have recruited Ian Bell, as a replacement for the injured Joe Root, but it is yet to be seen whether a player with almost 100 Tests and approaching 150 one-day international caps will be a Twenty20 remedy too.

In the meantime, Giles must try to give current incumbents some self-belief.

"Our message is, quite clearly, 'go and express yourselves, we back you, go and play your way'," he said.

"But I think, as much as you say that, you have to understand that guys who are struggling for runs - in the heat of battle, with options going through their head - are sometimes going to hesitate.

"If you slightly back off that option, choice, decision you're going to get into trouble."