- England’s ICC World Cup 2023 semifinal hopes have faded with a bottom-place standing.
- Captain Jos Buttler reflects on his personal batting struggle despite enjoying his leadership role.
- England aim to finish the campaign on a high note in their remaining matches.
England’s hopes of qualifying for the ICC World Cup 2023 semifinals have dwindled to nothing more than a distant mathematical possibility following their defeat against Australia in Ahmedabad. The reigning champions now find themselves rooted at the bottom of the points table, and the prospect of securing direct qualification for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy hinges on winning their last two games.
The tournament has been a challenging journey for England, with both their batting and bowling performances leaving much to be desired. Captain Jos Buttler, who plays a pivotal role in the batting lineup, has also faced a personal struggle during the campaign. In his seven innings, Buttler has accumulated a total of 106 runs, averaging a mere 15.14. He expressed his frustration, saying,
“I think my own form has been something that’s probably the most frustrating thing.”
Despite the team’s renowned aggressive approach to limited-overs batting, they found themselves in a chasing situation against Australia, pursuing a target of 286. An 84-run partnership for the third wicket between David Malan and Ben Stokes offered a glimmer of hope, but Malan’s dismissal after reaching 50 triggered a quick succession of wickets. However, Stokes and Moeen Ali managed to regain control and steer the innings.
Buttler continued to back his team’s approach, stating,
“I never criticize guys for being positive and trying to score runs.”
He acknowledged that the run rate had reached a point where taking chances was essential, and Malan’s attempt to accelerate was in line with the team’s aggressive style.
Despite the challenges on both individual and team fronts, Buttler emphasized that the leadership role as England’s white-ball captain hasn’t been the primary source of his frustration. Instead, it’s been his personal batting performance that has left him disappointed.
The England captain expressed his belief in his abilities and maintained that the self-confidence remains intact.
“I think the belief in my game is as high as it’s ever been really, which is why there’s so much frustration. Coming into the tournament, I felt in fantastic form, as good a form as I’ve been in.”
England’s upcoming matches carry added importance as they aim to end their campaign on a positive note. They are set to face the Netherlands on November 8 in Pune and conclude their league stage with a match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens on November 11. Although the road to the ICC World Cup 2023 semifinals has grown significantly tougher, they will be eager to salvage their pride with strong performances in their remaining fixtures.
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