World Cup, ENG vs NED: Champions Trophy spot at stake as defending champions England face

World Cup, ENG vs NED: Champions Trophy spot at stake as defending champions England face

PUNE: Bazball has become a legit word after getting added to the dictionary, however, there is no word that could describe the dismal show of the English team in the World Cup.
The defending champions are struggling at the bottom of the 10-team table. Unlike their Tests side, this team lacks aggression. Their ODI team, coached by Mathew Mott, looks like a pale version of the one that plays under coach Brendon McCullum.England have managed to register only one win — against Bangladesh — so far.
Their top run-getter, David Malan (286) stands 20th in the table of highest run makers in the tournament, while placed at the 19th spot, Adil Rashid, is their best bowler with 10 wickets. There are three Dutch bowlers above Rashid in the list.

England collectively have hit only 33 sixes and 155 fours in their seven matches, better than only Nether -lands, who have hit 18 sixes and 129 fours, respectively. Their match against the Netherlands will not only decide their fate in the tournament, but also in the Champions Trophy to be held in Pakistan in 2025.
Not to forget the calls for an overhaul of the team that are growing louder with each loss. Though England have exhausted every chance to defend their title, their fielding coach Carl Hopkinson doesn’t want to call their match against the Netherlands, a dead rubber.

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“I don’t think there’s ever a dead rubber when you play for England. I think the lads are completely up for the two games in which we need to win both to qualify for the Champions Trophy,” he said.
Hopkinson cannot specify the things that went wrong for England, he however feels not performing well under pressure cost them the Cup.
“I think cricket can be a game of – it’s about executing under pressure, isn’t it? I think this team has been well known for doing that really, really well. It’s an incredibly skilful team, it’s a very talented team, but at key moments in certain situations, we haven’t executed under pressure like we normally do,” he said.

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Have England invested more in the Test format than ODIs? Hopkinson disagreed. “No, absolutely not. The schedule is obviously very busy like it is for all international teams. I think we balance players playing Test cricket and playing ODI cricket to try and get the best performances that we can do. So, I don’t think there’s ever one that gets put in front of the other. But there is always a balancing act when you have Test series played so closely to ODI series. So, you just try and make the calls as best you can around selection and have the team there for that. I don’t think that’s the case now,” he said.

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When asked about the contribution and the leadership qualities of the head coach Mott, Hopkinson defended the former Australia Women’s coach.
“I think Motty’s (Mott) a relaxed character. I think he’s got a lot of experience in lots of different avenues that he can draw on and bring to the table when things aren’t going well, but equally when they do go well, like they did this time last year. So, I think all that experience that he’s gained from all around the world sets him in good stead to lead this team moving forward.”

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