As another England ODI flop comes to an end (and let's be honest even if we'd won the Ashes I still reckon the current CB series would have been a flop) - there is enough eveidence (SA 2005, SL 2001) to show that even when the preceeding Test series is a succsess we still flop in the ODIs - the question is: Why? Well to be honest I reckon its to do with domestic one-day cricket in England.
When we were really crap in Tests (I'm talking 86-89 when we didn't win a home Test match (apart from v SL the weakest team in the era) went through five captains in 1988 and suffered an Ashes defeat in 1989 which made this year's look good - 29 players used, down to our 17th choice seamer, etc) domestic FC cricket had no resembalance to Tests. It was mainly three day cricket on crap pitchis and with a ball that had too big a seam. Remember in 1989 Derek Pringle and Steve Watkin were the leading FC wicket-takers. The next winter they went to Zimbabwe (not then a Test country) and achieved nothing - proving the point. It wasn't till we introduced all four-day CC and two divisions that our Test cricket started improving (despite Ashes fiasco we are still No 2 in the world inb Test cricket). Fast forward to 2007 and the same applies to our one-day cricket.
It beggars belief that until last summer the english county player was guarenteed only one 50-over match against FC opposistion - in the C&G - then a knock-out cup - and the rest of domestic one-day cricket was a 45-over league. Last year the ECB did bring in more 50-over cricket by turning the C&G into a league - but of course they stil did things wrong. The 20-over power-play rule that is in ODIs wasn't brought in - we still have the "old" 15-over rule - and from July onwards we went back to 40-over cricket - please tell me if another country in the world plays 40-over domestic cricket (and no power-plays either). No wonder the likes of Loye and Joyce are unprepared for ODIs - they've never played under the current power-play rules before.
Time for a change. IMO all non 20-20 one-day cricket MUST be played under the rules of ODIs - at least that way when players come into ODIs from county cricket they have some idea what they should be doing. The pro 40 (the 40-over competition) should be scrapped and a knock-out cup (with the minor counties) should be brought back. Youi'd then have one league, one KO cup but all over 50 overs. Remember that pre 1996 we were good at ODIs in our own country - hardly surprising when they were 55 overs when the rest of the world played 50! Until we get our domestic one-day cricket in line with ODIs we will still tread water in one-day cricket - and ven having a specialist one-day coach (as G Boycott suggested) won't help.