Changes demanded after England’s latest World Cup flop
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The incoming chairman of England’s cricket board has flagged a review of the team’s approach to the one-day format after a third crushing loss at the World Cup.
England slumped to a nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday, leaving their hopes of making the World Cup’s quarter-finals hanging by a thread. Having beaten only Scotland in their first four pool matches, a loss to lowly Bangladesh or a wash-out of the match in Adelaide on March 9 would end their tournament.
“In ODIs we have underperformed. In tests we are on the up, we have some fantastic young players coming through and have got to have some faith in them,” Colin Graves, the incoming chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, told the reporters. “We have to have a strategy and in one-day internationals we have to improve.
“The main thing is, you look at the World Cup and it’s very aggressive early on, are our players as aggressive as the others? We need to talk about those things.” England have performed poorly at World Cups since their run to the final in 1992 but have appeared especially stodgy and predictable at the current tournament.
Having set Sri Lanka 310 to win at Wellington Regional Stadium, their bowlers managed to take just a single wicket as their opponents reeled in the total with overs to spare. Their pace attack, all right-arm seamers, have been treated with contempt by opposing batsmen while number three Gary Ballance has scored a total of 46 runs from his four matches in the tournament. Despite that, selectors have stuck with the same misfiring lineup throughout. England’s under-fire captain Eoin Morgan dodged questions on whether changes would be made for the Bangladesh game on Monday.
Former players have called for a shakeup of England’s attack and said the team is too hung up on statistics, citing the plodding middle overs of England’s batting innings against Sri Lanka and Morgan’s insistence their total was above par at the Wellington ground. “From what I’ve heard over the last year or two, that culture has been driven by premeditated plans and statistics when it should be gut feeling and instinct,” former captain Nasser Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail. Former England spinner Graeme Swann added: “It was a very self-congratulatory 310, everyone was saying ‘brilliant’. These days that’s about average and not a great score.”