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Swann critical of 'crazy' England for 'muddled' strategy

Graeme Swann feels England were "crazy" to change their World Cup batting line-up at short notice - but still believes they can turn their tournament around.

Swann still thinks England can turn things around. Credit: PA

The in-form James Taylor was dropped down the order to number six to accommodate Gary Ballance's return in place of Ravi Bopara for the competition opener against Australia.

Defeats in that game and against New Zealand - the latter an eight-wicket hammering having been bowled out for 123 - have left Peter Moores' side with an uphill task to make the quarter-finals.

And former Three Lions spinner Swann told BBC Radio Five's Sportsweek programme:

I don't think the strategy's been clear. Every player hasn't got a clear and concise role. The Kiwis have been building up to this World Cup for four years and every player absolutely knows his role - Ashley Giles said that last night.

England changed their batting line-up the morning of the World Cup against Australia, Gary Ballance is suddenly brought back in, James Taylor's down to number six, Ravi Bopara taken out of the squad - that was crazy, in my book.

It's muddled, it's not clear. (Captain) Eoin Morgan wants to play a very expressive, aggressive form of cricket; I'm not sure Peter Moores completely agrees with that and I don't know how easily that relationship is going to fare.

But if they actually play well for the next four games - beat Sri Lanka heavily, destroy Scotland - if they do that, all this anger and emotion will disappear.

– England cricketer Graeme Swann

Watch Cricket World Cup highlights on ITV4 tonight at 10pm