An unbeaten India piled further misery on a woeful England, winning by 100 runs in Lucknow in the Cricket World Cup 2023.
Despite a bright bowling performance on a tricky pitch, England could not stop the tide as the defending champions lost their 4th game in the row, sitting bottom of the table.
The hosts are everything England were 4 years ago when they won their first every World Cup and it will be difficult for anyone to stop Rohit Sharma’s team in this competition.
England’s last four run totals read 215, 170, 156 and 129. So as England get worse, what is going on?
Where is the Leadership?
After a Woakes and Willey resurgence England were in the driving seat, pinning India to 40-3. Then came a solid partnership between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Sharma top scored with a measured 87 from 101 balls, not his most scintillating innings but crucial in the context of this game.
Sharma said after the game that he had to “Use my experience and do whatever is necessary to help the team. I had to stay in and make a partnership. We had to dig in.”
Sharma read the game situation, stayed in, and built a partnership which propelled India to a score that was enough to win the game.
This is the difference between the two teams. When faced with adversity, this England team crumbles. The oldest team in the tournament look like the most inexperienced. Not one of the batters who have been world class in white ball cricket have stood up and got the job done. Root, Stokes, Buttler- the key figures in this side all lost wickets at crucial moments.
The lack of leadership is clear, and England simply do not dig in, they cannot survive any adversity.
England’s batting woes continued as they suffered another collapse.
Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan gave England a positive start, Malan creaming Jasprit Bumrah to the boundary for a 6 and two 4’s early on to see England 30 for 0. That’s where the positives end.
Ex England bowler Steven Finn said “After 229 all out you’ve thinking you’ve got this. After 30-0 you’re thinking you’ve got this. All it takes is one moment and everything collapses”.
And collapse it did. Malan was bowled by a Bumrah beauty who found himself on a hat trick after trapping Joe Root LBW.
Usually the player to dig in and provide England with determination, Ben Stokes then got out in calamitous fashion. Finding himself on 0 off 8 balls he was bowled attempting an ugly slog from Mohammed Shami’s bowling.
After that, it was only a matter of time. Buttler, Ali, Woakes and Rashid all made it to double figures only to be bowled without leaving any impact on the game. Livingstone managed 27 but again couldn’t convert into a big score.
England have needed partnerships to form all World Cup and they haven’t. In the last 4 games the only 50+ partnership was that of Mark Wood and Gus Atkinson. The batters have failed England once again this tournament.
Best Bowling Performance.
It was not all doom and gloom though, as England produced their best bowling performance of the competition to reduce India to a below par total.
David Willey, the only player in the World Cup squad not to be handed a central contract last week, was the pick of the bowlers, taking the key wickets of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja.
Chris Woakes turned his form around, managing to find his rhythm opening the bowling after being dropped due to poor performances earlier on in the tournament. He ended up with figures of 2-33.
Rashid and Wood chipped in with the rest to give the batters a good chance to upset the juggernaut that is India in this competition.
In the field, England looked more engaged and alert.
The batting issues, destroyed all the good work however, leaving England looking more lost than ever before.
Written by Daniel Allerton