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ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

That was another painful watch in what is turning out to be a truly embarrassing defence of the World Cup.

This could soon become the most depressing thread on the Zone.
Love to know what’s happened in the squad, this stinks of turmoil and politics within the group and management, still can’t win them all time for a new skipper and goodbye to the old guard it’s been fun.

They really need to move the World Cup in the schedule so it doesn’t follow the Ashes (or better still move the Ashes which doesn’t need to be every 18 months). We’ve got an off form England and Australia, with England somehow simultaneously both knackered and undercooked. Australia might yet come good but have been underwhelming to date (Maxwell aside).

England still don’t know their best side and haven’t since the underrated Roy was dropped. They’ve replaced a super aggressive batter who gets them ahead in power plays in Roy with an accumulator who plays for his average in Malan. They’ve then tried to crowbar in Brook and Stokes. Nobody in that batting lineup knows their role any longer. It used to be England would go harder than any other country but now we have Malan, Root and a half fit Stokes (who can accelerate but needs to play himself in) who don’t play that way. We’ve lost our identity in one day cricket. Buttler talks a good game but he’s saying one thing whilst selection is saying another.

They should have sorted that out with everyone knowing their roles in the warm ups but they couldn’t as England’s relentless schedule to keep the Sky cameras happy meant they never had their first choice XI available, let alone got to test it out in Asian conditions.

England’s last ODI XI before the World Cup
1 Salt
2 Jacks
3 Crawley
4 Duckett
5 Hain
6 J Smith
7 Carse
8 Ahmed
9 Hartley
10 L Wood
11 Potts

England’s last ODI XI in Asia before World Cup

1 Roy
2 Salt
3 Malan
4 Vince
5 S Curran
6 Buttler
7 Moeen
8 Woakes
9 Rashid
10 Ahmed
11 Archer

Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Woakes, Moeen etc all look like they haven’t recovered from the Ashes. International cricket is tough. It takes a lot out of players mentally. You need to give them time to recharge their batteries and then build up to a major competition, particularly one in a different format! They haven’t had sufficient rest and then they haven’t had sufficient build up after that rest.

Maybe it’s time for separate test and white ball squads. But my preference is for them to play less cricket and instead play more focused cricket. If you want to win a World Cup you should spend 18 months building to it. England spent the last 18 months building for the Ashes. This was the result.
After losing their first two the Aussies seem to be coming on strong right now