According to Eoin Morgan, England’s poor performance in the World Cup in India is unmatched in any sport, and its players are “definitely unsettled” following crushing losses in four of their five group matches.
Even if they lose against India on Sunday, they won’t be formally eliminated from the tournament according to math. However, even if England has an unusual run of form and wins all four of their remaining games, they are unlikely to make it to the semi-finals.
Morgan, who led them to victory in 2019, said that seeing England’s predicament over the past three weeks had been “unsettling” and that their confidence had suffered. Additionally, he made a suggestion that the problems were not limited to form when he said, “I think there’s something else going on – there has to be.”
In light of the general belief that England would make it to the semifinals, Morgan even went so far as to say that the team’s performance has been among the worst in athletic history. “I’ve never come across a sports team that has underperformed like this England team, given the level of expectation that is on their shoulders,” he stated on Sky Sports.
“There is undoubtedly unease among the squad members. The strategy they’re trying to employ, the significant way they’ve lost the game[s], and the confidence and morale of the players are all obviously put into question. It must be at the lowest point that it has been in a long time.”
The mere claim that players were all off of form at the same moment, according to Morgan, is “an unacceptable excuse”. “I think there’s something else going on – there has to be,” he stated. England is as strong as any other team in this tournament on paper when you consider their depth, especially in the batting position, but they haven’t performed well yet.
“They’ve made selection errors; they’ve had a great deal of difficulty assembling a squad that is both effective and balanced enough to compete, let alone win this tournament. It has been incredibly difficult for Jos and his group; they need to recover faith in the strategy that has allowed them to win two world championships in a row.”
The team is “feeling the heat” and “gutted” with their performance thus far, according to England’s assistant coach Marcus Trescothick, who also said that he hasn’t been able to comprehend their group’s batting inadequacies. Since Reece Topley was sidelined due to injury against South Africa, England has lost 47 of a possible 49 wickets, and in their last two games, no batsman has reached a fifty run.
“The thing that’s baffled me the most is that it’s been consistent across the board,” said Trescothick. “There has never been the consistency of people scoring runs, with the exception of the game in Dharamsala where we played Bangladesh and one of our players, Dawid Malan, scored a big 140. We also scored a few other big scores around it.”
“I believe they’re attempting to comprehend it. Their form has not vanished; it is currently concealed in an odd location. It hasn’t vanished overnight, and they won’t ever score runs again. They will eventually bounce back from this and return to their previous form. However, the fact that it will be too late for this competition may be upsetting.”
The game on Sunday in Lucknow will take place on a resurfaced field that was utilized for South Africa’s victory over Australia two weeks prior.
According to Morgan, “the timing really couldn’t be any worse.” Given that India is still the clear favorite to win this competition at home, the challenge is now much greater than it would be if the game were being played on a brand-new field.
“England just have to play what’s in front of them,” he stated. “I think they’ve been focusing more on things outside of the camp or carrying other burdens for the most of this tournament than on their own performance. They must turn India over tomorrow and spend as much time as possible in the present.”