Midway through its ODI World Cup match against India in Lucknow on Sunday, England knew it had more than half a chance after it pinned down the home side to 229.
But any hopes of a tournament-reviving win were quickly snuffed out by an efficient Indian bowling unit, which bowled the English side out for 129.
England coach Mathew Mott too felt that a win was in sight after the way his team started off.
“I was really pleased at the halfway mark. I thought it was definitely our best bowling and fielding effort. And we went out to bat with a lot of positivity. We got to none for 30 and were well placed. But anytime you lose four for ten, you put yourself under pressure and it unravelled again from there unfortunately,” said Mott after the game.
England’s top-order collapse was triggered by Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who removed Dawid Malan and Joe Root back-to-back. Mott, though, pointed out that the latter’s wicket was an unfair blow for his side.
“I wasn’t sure about Joe’s [Root] one, how pretty clear on the technology there was a little spike there, so I’m not sure why we didn’t use that. But then it happened bang, bang and we’re under pressure and they bowled extremely well,” added Mott.
This was England’s fifth defeat in six games and with it, its hopes of defending the title it won at home in 2019 has all but ended following a disastrous campaign this time out, which has sparked rumours of a fractured dressing room.
“I think anyone that’s inside our tent at the moment would say that despite our results, we’re an incredibly tight-knit unit. Dave Humphries, who’s a former rugby international, was flabbergasted just how tight the unit was when he came in for a week to observe us, given the results that we’ve had,” said Mott.
Earlier today, ICC announced that this ongoing World Cup will act as a qualifier for the 2025 Champions Trophy – the top seven, along with host Pakistan will enter the competition. England currently rooted at the bottom of the points table is under a genuine threat of missing out on the tournament.
It [Champions Trophy qualification] will give us a lot of focus. We’ve got to turn up and play and win those games. And we’re obviously up against some good teams in those last few games as well. So, that’s plenty of motivation for us to pick ourselves back up off the canvas and keep trying to throw punches,” said Mott.
England all-rounder Liam Livingstone, who top-scored for England, opined that the pitch had nothing to do with his side’s heavy defeat.
“It was a difficult pitch. It was spinning a fair bit. I think it came on nicely for the seamers too. It got dewy too in the second innings. I don’t think it was a horrendous pitch. Ultimately, we fell short,” said Livingstone.
- WPL 2024: All-round show helps Delhi Capitals thrash UP Warriorz by nine wickets for season’s first win
- Hard work, determination and a bit of kismet: For RCB’s Asha Sobhana, WPL is just the start
- Indian sports wrap, February 26
- NBA: Clippers unveil new uniforms, logo for next season
- Bayern Munich signs Max Eberl as sporting director