Advertisement
Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Wounded England Face Australia Survival Test

England, who lost to Sri Lanka in their previous ICC Cricket World Cup game, can't afford any more slip-ups in their remaining pool fixtures against Australia, India and New Zealand -- teams they haven't defeated at a World Cup since 1992.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Wounded England Face Australia Survival Test
Hosts England will take on Australia in a Cricket World Cup 2019 fixture at Lord's on Tuesday. | AP
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Wounded England Face Australia Survival Test
outlookindia.com
2019-06-24T14:50:54+05:30

Are England just a bunch of "flat-track bullies"

That's the uncomfortable question facing Eoin Morgan's side as they look to get their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign back on track against arch-rivals Australia. (POINTS TABLE | FULL SCHEDULE)

Tuesday's match at Lord's was always going to be a showpiece occasion, but it has been given added spice by England's 20-run loss to Sri Lanka.

Faced with a relatively modest target of 233 on a tricky Headingley pitch, England slumped to 212 all out.

ALSO READ: 'Bring Them On' - Glenn Maxwell Challenges England Pace Battery

Despite their second defeat of the pool phase following an earlier loss to Pakistan, the tournament hosts remained in the top four and on course for a semi-final spot.

But England, bidding to win the World Cup for the first time, cannot afford many more slip-ups in their remaining pool fixtures against fellow title contenders Australia, India and New Zealand -- teams they have not defeated at a World Cup since 1992.

England's rise to the top of the one-day international rankings since their woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup has been based on aggressive batting.

They have twice posted a world record score at this level in the intervening four years, including the current mark of 481-6 against Australia at Trent Bridge just over 12 months ago.

'Dumb Cricket' 

Doubts, however, persist about England's ability to bat in less than ideal conditions for shot-making.

Their problems were summed up against Sri Lanka when Moeen Ali marked his 100th ODI by hitting a six, only to try to repeat the shot next ball and hole out to leave England 170-6.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was unimpressed, writing in Britain's Daily Telegraph: "He (Moeen) was there to win the game but it was dumb cricket taking on the man at long off having just hit the ball for six."

According to research by cricket statisticians CricViz, on the 11 toughest one-day pitches for batting England have played on since losing to Pakistan in the 2017 semi-finals of the Champions Trophy on a slow Cardiff surface, they have lost five.

By contrast, on the 11 best pitches for batting they have played on since then, Morgan's men have won nine.

England's problems have been compounded by the absence of Jason Roy from their past two matches, with a torn hamstring threatening to sideline the in-form opener from the Australia clash as well.

Yet while former players such as Vaughan bemoaned England's lack of nous against Sri Lanka, Jos Buttler said the problem was they were not aggressive enough.

"I think we were a little bit passive as a group," said the usually big-hitting Buttler, who made just 10 before becoming the last of four wickets for veteran paceman Lasith Malinga.

"That doesn't just mean hitting fours and sixes, that means showing intensity and trying to put pressure back on the bowlers," he said.

By contrast, Australia have been buoyed by the productive opening partnership between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner and are second in the table after five wins from six matches.

Mitchell Starc is the joint-leading wicket-taker at the World Cup -- his tally of 15 putting him level with fellow pacemen Jofra Archer (England) and Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) -- but Australia's bowling in support of the left-armer has looked vulnerable.

Allan Border, Australia's captain when they beat England in the 1987 World Cup final in Kolkata, believes it will be the bowlers who are decisive.

"The game will be won and lost in the bowling," he wrote in an ICC column. "If Australia can hold their ground against the onslaught and put pressure back on England, that'll be key."

(AFP)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Two Vendors From UP, Bihar Shot Dead By Militants In J&K

Two Vendors From UP, Bihar Shot Dead By Militants In J&K

Police claim 13 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in nine encounters over the last nine days.

In Ongoing Poonch Encounter, Bodies Of Two Missing Soldiers Recovered, Toll Rises To Nine

In Ongoing Poonch Encounter, Bodies Of Two Missing Soldiers Recovered, Toll Rises To Nine

According to the Army, the bodies of a jawan and the JCO were recovered during the search operation on October 16.

India 'Mentor' Dhoni Ready To Set Template For CSK

India 'Mentor' Dhoni Ready To Set Template For CSK

Dhoni has been pretty ambiguous about his future as an IPL player. And the new role with India will help him decide which route to take.

Kerala: Six Dead, 12 Missing As Heavy Rains Cause Flash Floods And Landslides

Kerala: Six Dead, 12 Missing As Heavy Rains Cause Flash Floods And Landslides

Several people have been injured and displaced. Dams in many districts are nearing full capacity. Small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off.

Advertisement