When I look at this World Cup table, I remember the very first thing Duncan Fletcher said when we met as captain and coach of England.
Duncan said, “You may not be the best team in the world, but you’re certainly not the worst,” and that’s how we were rated in Test cricket back then.
Now I’m thinking, “Okay, India were always going to be hard to beat at home in the World Cup, but there’s no way England should be at the bottom with five defeats from six games.”
How did an England team with so much talent in the dressing room end up in a situation where they were all but eliminated from the World Cup?
How could an England team with players of the caliber of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and so many others end up in a situation where they may even struggle to qualify for the next Champions Trophy to qualify? ?
England are in a battle to qualify for the Champions Trophy after losing again in the ODI World Cup
Jos Buttler’s side have lost five of their six games in India, losing by 100 runs to the hosts on Sunday afternoon
England have so much talent in their team but have still had major problems with selection and performances
It seems like there is a downward spiral that has been going on practically since the start of the tournament. They lost their first game against New Zealand and then beat Bangladesh, but made mistakes before and during the defeat against Afghanistan.
Then England capitalized on those mistakes again and made even worse decisions about their selection. As a result, their self-confidence imploded so much that it was difficult for them to come here for their biggest test.
Not that England did anything wrong against India to begin with. The throw was a 50-50 decision and they did everything right on the field. I thought they bowled better than they have ever bowled in this World Cup and I couldn’t fault Buttler as captain.
At this point the game was going as I expected. It wasn’t easy for India to bat first on a slightly difficult pitch and I expected the ball to keep slipping under the lights for England to bat second after the dew came down, making it more difficult for India, to throw.
England bowled well, restricting their opponents to 229/9 from their 50 overs and were favorites at half-time
Adil Rashid (second left) took two wickets for just 35 runs, with David Willey and Chris Woakes also starring
What England had to do was get through that difficult 5-for-10 phase at the start of the innings when the new ball would be floating around and then things would have become easier for them.
For me, as old-fashioned as I am, that was the time when they had to make it and survive the difficult spell you get in any form of gaming. Wait, persevere, survive, and then get going again when the weirdos are on and life is a little easier.
I was commentating with Eoin Morgan when Ben Stokes was batting and we didn’t agree on that. Eoin would have tried to hit the ball into the outfield to make it wetter and make it harder to bowl, and that’s exactly what Stokes tried to do.
It is very rare for Ben to get something wrong and he has been the key man in so many difficult situations in various forms of cricket over the years. But I’m not sure he got it right this time and contributed to England losing wickets in the powerplay again. And it is very difficult to come back from 39 for four, even if you are aiming for a less than impressive total for India.
Captain Jos Buttler was bowled just 10 times as his poor World Championship with the bat continued
Ben Stokes, meanwhile, tried to take the attack to India but was over-bowled without scoring a run
Former England captain Eoin Morgan will argue that England should have been tougher, but perhaps they should have just gotten involved
Morgan will argue that England should have been tougher yesterday and he has a World Cup triumph and a clean ball to his name to back up his view. But there were times when his England had to wait and play a different game, particularly in the 2019 win.
While there is a small mathematical chance that England will still make it to the last four, that is not going to happen. They are out of this tournament and all they can do now is try to push through, beat Australia on Saturday and regain as much pride as possible.
I’m not the type of person to throw out all the players and start planning for the future now. Although the chance of qualifying is one percent, you must choose your strongest team and give it your all, especially against the old enemy and with automatic qualification for the next Champions Trophy now at stake.
That’s what England have to do, but they’re doing it from a position of weakness at the bottom of this table – and no one in cricket expected that.