English cricket is going through a tumultuous period because of a shambolic World Cup campaign. This World Cup campaign has turned out to be a disaster for England and there is no clarity in the circles of English cricket as to why this happened.
Their philosophy of playing a fearless brand of cricket has been challenged and they have not been able to pave their way out of adversities in this tournament. They could not move on from the early setbacks that they suffered in the World Cup which caused a complete failure. There seems to be a lot of introspection that is imminent after this World Cup gets over and there might be an overhaul as well. Let’s take a look at the 3 biggest setbacks in this World Cup for England.
Brand – A Burden?
After the 2015 World Cup debacle English cricket went through a metamorphosis that revolutionized their cricket. Captain Eoin Morgan was at the forefront of this revolution which brought many laurels. They won the 2019 ODI World Cup and the 2022 T20 World Cup but that revolution seems to be going through a bumpy phase.
Their fearless brand of cricket has fallen prey to their inability to adapt to different conditions. Their revolutionary philosophy was never tested truly in Indian conditions and this World Cup appeared to be an impossible task for the English team. They could not mold themselves into Indian conditions and the stubbornness to stick with their brand proved to be a recipe for disaster.
Lack of Clarity
After the initial setbacks, a sort of panic seemed to have crept into the thought process of the management and leadership. There were too many unnecessary changes in the combination of the team which harmed their prospects in the tournament. They went away from their proven mantra of relying on all-rounders to provide depth, to a combination that was not associated with them. This panic midway through the tournament conveyed a sense of vulnerability which was exploited by other oppositions.
Jos Buttler brought glory to English cricket in the very first big assignment that he was entrusted with, the 2022 T20 World Cup. England, under the stewardship of Buttler, played fearless cricket to romp their way through to the title. But this ODI World Cup has raised questions about his ability as a captain in the longer format of white ball cricket.
There were a few horrendous decisions made by him, for instance, electing to field against South Africa in the fatal Mumbai heat. Many other decisions taken by the English captain made little sense as per conventional cricket wisdom. It would be interesting to observe whether the English & Wales Cricket Board would repose faith in Buttler as the leader in white ball cricket or they will go for another alternative.