England captain Eoin Morgan feels not sticking to their “batting mantra” has cost them back-to-back defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia in the World Cup, making the road to semifinals much tougher for the pre-tournament favourites.
“Both this game and the last, we struggled with the basics of what we call our batting mantra,” said the England captain after the loss here on Tuesday.
“Strong intent, building partnerships, and doing it in our own way – we haven’t done those for long enough periods of the game in order to either chase down 230 or chase down 280, and that’s disappointing.
“Our mantra is always evolving – if you’ve watched the last two years of the way we’ve played, it has evolved a lot,” he said.
England had not lost back-to-back ODIs on home soil since 2015, yet they followed a loss to Sri Lanka at Headingley, where they failed to chase down 233, with a 64-run reverse against their oldest rivals at Lord’s. It was once again an unsuccessful chase that proved their undoing as Australia’s 285/7 was more than enough when left-arm seamers Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc took nine wickets between them.
Starc and Behrendorff ripped through England’s deep batting line-up while the home team’s pacers failed to find the right length on a helping pitch after Morgan opted to field.
“Early on they bowled well. Being 20/3 obviously creates a bigger challenge, especially chasing 280. To make those inroads – I thought they bowled well. Normally when we lose games of cricket, we go back to what we do well. We’ll still strive to do that for Sunday’s game against India.”
England’s chances of reaching the semi-finals have taken a hit in the last two matches but their path to qualification is still in their own hands – with victories in their final two group games guaranteeing a knockout spot.
Those contests are against two sides also currently ensconced in the top four – India and New Zealand – and Morgan is hoping to set an example that his squad can follow.
“They (hopes of reaching the semi-finals) are still strong. The chances are in our hands. Everything is within our control. We just need to produce a performance worthy of winning either one or both of the next two games.
“Ideally, I’d like to lead from the front. I think majority of the captains have success with a team when they lead from the front. Contributions from myself over the next two games might have an impact on the changing room, so hopefully I can make a difference,” he said.