Monday, June 24, 2024

England’s decline is stark – the players are too powerful and they lack strong leaders

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Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott have to get the players into the mindset of playing great cricket but the swagger has gone. Australia did to England on Saturday what England did to Australia in T20 cricket for the previous few years. Australia just looked like a team that knew what they had to do to achieve their aims. They just went out and bullied England.

What is really worrying is that even some of the lesser teams like Scotland are better fielding sides than England. How can that be the case? England are still very dangerous with the bat but there are massive flaws in the bowling.

They have two spin options that have been around for a long time. Teams are used to facing Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid so nothing surprises the opposition.

The fact England have not picked Reece Topley staggers me. Most T20 teams generally want left arm pace bowlers and spinners who can turn it either way.

England have gone for Chris Jordan because he is an all-rounder who hits sixes at no 8 and is their best fielder by a mile. For me England are not good enough to not pick their best, specialist bowlers. If that weakens the batting fine, they have to go with the best bowling attack.

Three years ago England were the best white-ball team in the world and everyone else was trying to copy them. But you can’t sit still in sport and England did that.

Other teams copied them but brought more skill and discipline to their cricket. England have to be very careful. This team is clearly coming to the end and they will go through transition after this World Cup.

There will be new players coming in. They will be good because the English system produces decent white-ball cricketers these days but they will not be so good that we are favourites to start winning trophies straightaway. It will take two or three years because you need that time to develop a team.

We have to be open and honest and say this last year has been a shocker for England in all formats. The coaches of this team will be questioned if England are knocked out at the first hurdle. But let’s not beat around the bush. The Test team have not won anything either. They have just been hammered in India and made some poor decisions on the field and with selection. I think they got most of their Ashes teams wrong last summer as well.

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