England’s inflexible mantra uncovered on the most important stage

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After shedding to Sri Lanka on Friday, a pissed off Eoin Morgan was curt in his response to press questions.

“Once we get overwhelmed, we have a tendency to come back again fairly sturdy,” the England skipper stated, eyes mounted. “We are inclined to resort to aggressive, good, constructive cricket.”

Within the days main as much as Tuesday evening’s anticipated conflict in opposition to Australia, he was equally assured of his facet’s overriding philosophy, staying equally on-brand. “Our strengths with the bat have been being aggressive, constructive, however enjoying good cricket alongside the best way.”

It’s been England’s mantra for the reason that final World Cup; aggression, on prime of aggression.

‘Positivity’ trumping all. The philosophy hasn’t simply labored in idea, however delivered gorgeous outcomes on the sector.

Earlier than this World Cup, the hosts had gained 13 of their final 15 bilateral collection. There was no stopping the England machine previous to this World Cup and with that pre-tournament column inches contemplated whether or not England may in reality put up 500.

How the sport strikes on.

England's captain Eoin Morgan bats

Eoin Morgan (AP Photograph/Rajanish Kakade)

Two exceedingly poor performances with the bat have known as into query England’s seemingly unwavering dogma. Bowled out for for 221 and 212 of their final two innings, they’ve confirmed incapable of fixing with the situations.

First, on a cheesy floor in Headingley, they crumbled when endurance was wanted. At three/127 chasing simply 232, Morgan’s facet caught by the aggression-at-all-costs mantra and failed spectacularly.

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Then at Leeds on Tuesday, they’d abide by solely 50 per cent of the ‘aggressive, good’ philosophy. Having witnessed Australia bat first on a spinning wicket – grinding out early overs and reaping rewards – they did not climate the inevitable early storm.

Morgan, by stark distinction along with his opposing skipper Aaron Finch, needed to hit his facet out of a rut when arriving on the crease at 2/15. Early in his innings he gave himself room, uncovered all three stumps and flailed wildly at a Starc supply outdoors off, lacking.

Certainly then, at that second, the mantra may have been shelved? In a significant World Cup conflict, the rigid philosophy could possibly be discarded in favour of, effectively, digging in?

To hell with that, Morgan thought, attacking a Starc bouncer solely to be caught at fine-leg the very subsequent over. It left his facet at three/26 and primarily out of the sport.

It’s not the primary time England has struggled on an enormous stage when the wickets provide bowler help. Within the 2017 Champions Trophy they cruised by the group levels with two scores of 300-plus, then 240 in 40 overs in opposition to Australia in a rain-affected conflict.

Then, within the semi-final, they have been rolled by Pakistan for 211 on a pitch that supplied help to the spinners. Morgan lamented the pitch post-game reasonably than trying inward. “I don’t suppose there was any house benefit,” he stated, a remark which garnered criticism.

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He would equally deflect on Tuesday night after the loss to Australia. “After all he did”, he replied bluntly when advised Jason Behrendorff urged England may need bowled too quick.

However the factor is, that they had. The beehive graphic unequivocally proved it. “Thanks mate, good”, he sarcastically completed when answering a query about England’s World Cup file in opposition to Australia.

Jason Roy for the England ODI side

Will Jason Roy make a distinction? (David Davies/PA by way of AP)

Morgan’s insistence that panic hasn’t set in is beginning to look doubtful.

Understandably, the England skipper is pissed off. So accustomed to issues going their means in recent times, it’s crumbling on the solely second that actually issues.

Amongst all of the doom and gloom, nevertheless, England are removed from out of it on the World Cup. They’re merely the celebration host who’s gone lacking for an hour.

Whereas the steadfast Morgan maintains their future is presently in their very own palms, that’s true provided that they win each of their final two video games in opposition to India and New Zealand who, together with Australia, symbolize the 2 hardest assignments on the World Cup.

In the event that they declare only one win, it is going to depend on sure outcomes going in opposition to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In the event that they don’t declare one, effectively, it’s see ya later.

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I’m nonetheless anticipating them to progress to the semi-finals, the place they’ll nonetheless be a harmful prospect. Years of dominance don’t exit the window in two video games. But when the pitch isn’t flat, England’s reasonably inflexible techniques shifts them from sturdy favorite to outsider.

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