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James Taylor: Players, not Moores, to blame for 2015 World Cup debacle

by Henry Clark
@HenryWAClark 3 minute read

Former England batsman James Taylor has defended former head coach Peter Moores for his role in England’s premature 2015 World Cup exit.

England crashed out of the tournament in the group stage following defeats at the hands of Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The exit is generally recognised as one of the low points in England’s ODI history.

Moores oversaw the unsuccessful campaign in 2015, his second spell in charge of the national side after he was appointed Andy Flower’s successor in 2014. He received his marching orders again following Andrew Strauss’ appointment as national director of cricket in 2015 with the former England captain charged with improving England’s fortunes in white-ball cricket.

Moores received widespread criticism for his performance as coach, with the infamous misquote that he would “take a look at the data” before explaining what had gone wrong with England’s campaign. Though Moores actually said “later” rather than “data”, the moment became a millstone, summing up what in many people’s eyes was an overly analytical approach to his role.

Taylor, who hit 98 not out in England’s opening defeat to Australia, says much of the criticism was wrongly directed Moores.

Speaking on the Giving The Game Away podcast, Taylor said: “It’s funny how things work and how quickly things turn-around. We re-invented the way we play cricket after the (2015) World Cup.

“I mean, we were terrible. People talk about Peter Moores and Peter Moores got sacked off the back of it but he was outstanding. What a brilliant coach and one of the best I’ve ever worked with. It wasn’t him, it was the players that were ultimately to blame because we didn’t perform well enough.”

The tournament is seen as a line in the sand moment for white-ball cricket in England and sparked a four-year revolution which culminated in World Cup success in 2019.

Taylor spoke of his immense pride that despite his early retirement from the game for health reasons, he was still able to play a part in the journey to World Cup success that he began as a player in his current role as a selector.

Taylor said: “As a result of that we transformed and ripped up the manual of the way England cricket plays and we played a totally different brand and I was a part of that to start with. To finish it winning the World Cup as a selector, it’s amazing how things come around.”

Moores’ first spell in charge of England in 2008 was marred by a public fall-out with then-captain Kevin Pietersen who reportedly claimed he couldn’t work with the England coach and wanted the ECB to find a replacement.

Moores, who has won County Championship titles with Sussex and Lancashire, is currently the head coach at Nottinghamshire.

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