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What’s going wrong for England in World Cup 2023?

What’s going wrong for England in Cricket World Cup 2023? Is there hope left for England in CWC 2023?

CWC 2023: England's poor show in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 continues _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©EnglandCricket_Twitter)
England's poor show in CWC 2023 continue (Photo: ©EnglandCricket/Twitter)

Defending champions England are having a horrible outing in Cricket World Cup 2023 - losing three out of the four matches they have played so far. This also includes one of the games where they were trounced by minnows Afghanistan.

It is important to understand what is ailing England in this World Cup as they don’t seem to be in their elements. England needs to fire on all cylinders right now; else they will be left with too much to do at the business end of the competition.

Batting yet to click collectively

It has been a forgettable tournament for England batters except Dawid Malan and Joe Root to a lesser extent. Their batters have been unable to find their knick; a defeat against Afghanistan and the mauling by South Africa still play out like the reels of a bad dream.

Jonny Bairstow was one of the heroes for England during their historic World Cup winning campaign at home in 2019 - scoring 532 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 93. But he hasn’t been impressive in this edition yet, having managed just 97 runs in four innings with an average of 24.2 with one half-century.

Captain Jos Buttler’s story is similar, he is always in the race for Orange Cap of Indian Premier League, but he hasn’t clicked in World Cup 2023 yet. He has scored only 87 runs off 77 balls in the four innings - with the best score of 43 at an average of 21.8.

With the kind of approach England pursues to play ODI cricket, one name that excites the fans is that of Liam Livingstone. He has the ability to dismantle any bowling lineup with his immense power, but he too hasn’t quite performed as per the potential and the talent. He has scored only 37 runs in 3 innings with an average of 10.0 striking at only 81.1.

There were so many expectations from Buttler, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Livingstone but none of them have delivered so far.

They have also missed their match-winner Ben Stokes, who was the player of the match in the 2019 World Cup final. Stokes has played only 1 match, that too against South Africa where almost every English batter failed.

CWC 2023, England vs Bangladesh_ Reece Topley took 4-43 against Bangladesh _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Reece Topley took 4-43 against Bangladesh (Photo: ©ICC/Twitter)
The ineffectiveness of the fast-bowling

The English pace battery needs to put on a show to help the team register a second win in the tournament. Unfortunately for them, Reece Topley - who was their only bowler with some good performances under his belt - has been ruled out of the tournament.

With the exception of Topley, England have been struggling with their pacers in the 2023 World Cup. The combined bowling average of their fast bowlers is a poor 42.61 - which is the worst amongst the top teams and places them only above Bangladesh on this criterion. The combined economy rate of their pacers is as high as 6.47 and the second-worst only after Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Mark Wood seems to be a figment of the threat he is in the longer format of the game and has bagged just three wickets in as many matches. Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have picked a combined four wickets in the three matches and they have also been very expensive - going at 7.5 and 8.07 per over, respectively.

The right-arm pacer Chris Woakes, who was in brilliant form against Australia in the home series hasn’t clicked yet. Woakes has picked just 2 wickets in 18 overs of 3 matches of the World Cup, where he leaked runs at an economy of 7.50 with an average of 67.50. It is noteworthy that he has not bowled his full quota of overs in all the three matches he played in.

England needs a spinner who can pick up wickets for them in the middle overs apart from Adil Rashid. Rashid, who is Buttler’s go-to-bowler in the middle overs has picked 6 wickets in the 4 matches with an average of 32.00 and at an economy of 5.19.

Livingstone, who can bowl spin, has given some support to Rashid in the middle overs. He has picked 2 wickets in 3 matches at an economy of 4.38 with an average of 35.00. However, he has been unable to provide breakthroughs on regular intervals. Interestingly, Livingstone has the best economy among all the 10 bowlers who have bowled for England in this tournament.

Still finding the best combination

England started the tournament with four all-rounders - Woakes, Ali, Curran and Livingstone - but in the game against South Africa none of them were in the playing 11. Even Stokes played as a pure batter in the match against the dangerous looking Proteas.

The failure of all their all-rounders is seemingly the most disappointing news for English side as it has been their strength since the 2019 World Cup. Such a drastic change of template at the outset of the tournament shows the indecisiveness inside the England camp.

In conclusion, England team needs to perform collectively to not only get back in the winning ways but to qualify for the semi finals. To avoid an early exit, England needs to play the brand of cricket they are known for. In particular, their batters need to perform as per their caliber.

The English side will not get a more favorable venue than the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, with its short boundaries and flat pitch-aiding runs, where they will be up against Sri Lanka in the 25th clash of the tournament.

Their all-rounders will have to perform in every remaining match to keep their hopes alive in the competition. Too many changes in the playing 11 will not help the team’s morale, so they should stick to the players’ strengths keeping in mind the pitch and playing conditions.

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