NASSER HUSSAIN: England bowled too short and their batsmen found no rhythm in their humiliating T20 World Cup loss to Ireland…they have put themselves under HUGE pressure ahead of Friday’s decider with Australia
- England fell to a humiliating five-run loss to Ireland on Wednesday
- Their pitchers threw too short and lacked accuracy early in the game.
- His batsmen then couldn’t find any rhythm in the crease of the run.
- England have now put a lot of pressure on themselves to beat Australia on Friday.
Alarm bells should have been ringing for England during Wednesday’s interval when I interviewed Mark Wood because he felt there was much more to the pitch than they found.
Wood was very honest in his assessment and believed that England were poor and did not have enough intensity. And for good measure, I thought they played too short and didn’t adapt to the change of venue and opposition.
On a bouncy field the size of Perth’s stadium, he was fair enough to shoot short in Afghanistan, but they seemed to have the same plan for Ireland at the MCG when what was needed was for England to shoot the ball a bit more.
Mark Wood took three wickets but knew England had played poorly in the early stages
Liam Livingstone was one of the only England bowlers to hit his line and length.
A Test match length around the top of the stump would have been ideal, but England not only bowled too short, they also bowled both sides of the wicket and got neither their lines nor their lengths right.
England recovered well in the second half of Ireland’s innings and I thought Liam Livingstone and Wood himself were excellent. But the way England batted in this field showed that 157 was a pretty decent Irish total.
Dawid Malan is usually good on these kinds of surfaces, but he had no rhythm all Wednesday and when you look back at the Afghanistan game you can tell that not many England batsmen have timed the ball in any of the games.
Jos Buttler went down in the first over to get England’s innings off to the worst possible start
Dawid Malan was the best scorer for England but lacked fluency during his innings in Melbourne
Moeen Ali did well when she got to the crease, but she was too late to change the game.
I also felt that Moeen Ali was a little low at six. He was about to pounce and seemed to have chosen the perfect moment to attack Gareth Delany’s spin, hitting him for six, two, four of the first three balls of the over before they went into the rain. He was then denied the chance to take England past par in the DLS.
But that decision of the referees was quite fair. I commented on the match between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Hobart which was also decided by rain and the important thing is that the referees are fair to both sides.
The players had started to slip on Wednesday when the referees decided to withdraw and five minutes later it was absolutely raining, so England can have no real complaints.
You have to give credit to Ireland. They played brilliantly and deserved this victory. The only thing they’ll have to work on, though, is catching because those two knockdowns could have been extremely costly had there been five more minutes of play.
It wasn’t just in this game either. They dropped some in Super 12 qualifying and on these big pitches they will struggle unless they sharpen up as they go.
England could not have complained that the referees took the players out due to heavy rain.
But the way they bowled those first 10 overs was the deciding factor and that leaves England vulnerable. I said before the tournament that you cannot afford any slip up in such a short and sharp World Cup and it remains to be seen how costly this slip up will be.
A week is a long time in a T20 World Cup. After New Zealand beat Australia and England beat Afghanistan, everyone talked about England getting a chance to knock Australia out of their own tournament on Friday.
That could be the case, but now England’s defeat in what is likely to be a similar ground in similar conditions will almost certainly eliminate them too. It is a virtual elimination game and that is the nature of this tournament.
I still think England are a very good team. It’s just that now they have put themselves under pressure and in front of a huge Australian crowd on Friday they will have to deal with it. They have some Aussies in their locker room in coaches Mike Hussey and David Sakar. They need to help them assess the conditions and get it right next time.
England now face a must-win clash with Australia at a sold-out MCG on Friday