When the schedule for the 2023 World Cup was finalised after the initial release was modified, most fans would have pinned down the clash between India and defending champion England in Lucknow on October 29 as a top-of-the-table shootout.
But as it whittled down to reality, the plot has veered awry. England has endured a damaging tournament, losing four of its five games and sitting dangerously close to the bottom of the table, only narrowly ahead of the last-placed Netherlands on Net Run Rate (NRR).
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Meanwhile, India is comfortably placed in the second spot, with five wins in as many games. A win on Sunday would all but seal its progression to the semifinal, effectively putting England on the brink of an early exit.
England’s assistant coach Marcus Trescothick was quick to admit how much his side has underperformed in the tournament on the eve of the India clash.
“We’ve just not been matching up to the levels we expect. It has been disappointing. We’re all feeling it. We’re all feeling the heat and stuff. But what can you do? We prepared the same and we’ve done things very similar to what you’d expect. It’s just not quite worked then when we go into the games,” said Trescothick
England’s vaunted batting line-up has so far failed to set a mark in the tournament, with its most recent and evident failure coming against Sri Lanka, where it folded to a meek 156 in a not-so-devilish Bengaluru track.
“I think, we’ve only had one really big score, haven’t we? So, we could do with a few more. Obviously, we need to. That’s the level we expect it to be. We just haven’t put pressure on opposite bowlers consistently with batters reading the situation, taking the right options, and then putting it all together to get that score.” added Trescothick.
With the Lucknow crowd set to stream in for the first-ever World Cup match involving India in the town, the pressure will only mount for England. But Trescothick chose to see it as an opportunity to make a statement.
“I think playing against India in a World Cup in their own country is special. You know there’ll be a big crowd and it will be a wonderful occasion. We’re looking forward to that chance. I think there’s nothing more we can do apart from going out and playing well. And then hopefully you come out on top at the end of it,” said Trescothick.
The 47-year-old, who has represented England in all three formats, also weighed in on the ongoing debate on the necessity of the ‘Umpire’s Call’ in the Decision Review System.
“I don’t think we need to change anything at the moment. It’s been working pretty smoothly, as you’d expect it to be. I think everyone knows the rules, everyone has the same understanding going into the game. So, you know there’s nothing to change at the moment,” said Trescothick.
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