England skipper Eoin Morgan tells batting flops to go back to basics or risk early exit from World Cup after shock defeat against Sri Lanka
Eoin Morgan urged his side to remember what took them to the top of one-day rankings after England slumped to their second surprise defeat of the World Cup – this time against lowly Sri Lanka.
‘We’re not going to win every game at this World Cup,’ he said. ‘We need to go back to the process that’s taken us to being a strong side.
‘You look at the basics of a run chase. Partnerships are very important, but we struggled to get enough going. We had one substantial one and a couple of individual innings, but that’s not good enough to win a game. The message is quite simple: we need to do the basics along with the way that we play.’
Eoin Morgan urged his side to remember what took them to the top of one-day rankings
Morgan cut a taciturn figure after England’s failure to knock off 233 – the lowest total they have failed to chase in the last four years. And it was left to vice-captain Jos Buttler to put his finger on what exactly went wrong as seven wickets fell for 85.
‘We were a little bit passive as a group with the bat, which is what we haven’t been for a long time,’ said Buttler.
‘That is the most frustrating thing, to lose that intensity. This will hurt for a few days, but we get ready for the next game.’
Sri Lanka pulled off a massive upset as they defended a moderate total of 232 to claim victory
That comes against Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday, with England knowing that another defeat will leave them facing a dogfight for a place in the last four.
The permutations are complex, but the bottom line is this: if England win two of their last three games against the Australians, India and New Zealand, they are almost certainly through.
One win out of three gives them a chance of progressing, but will depend on results elsewhere going their way. It is not the scenario they envisaged at this stage of a tournament they began as favourites to win.