Former skipper Nasser Hussain feels reliance on statistics rather than reading the conditions has led to England’s downfall in the ongoing World Cup, adding that the reigning champions don’t look like a side that can defend its title. England fell to a 229-run loss to South Africa on Saturday– their biggest in ODI cricket and their third in the ongoing tournament. England had opted to field in humid conditions and South Africa piled 399. Jos Buttler and Co then suffered a batting collapse to be bundled out for 170 in 22 overs.
“England keep getting their decisions wrong. We got the toss and the balance of the side was wrong. The three changes in the squad moved England completely away from how they have been playing for years,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.
England made three changes for the game, replacing Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes with Ben Stokes, David Willey and Gus Atkinson.
“Woakes had had no rhythm and on a flat pitch you leave him out and bring Stokes in, I agree with that decision. What I don’t like is the toss decision and reliance on stats.
“England need to get the decisions they’re making off the field right. The quality of performance was not good enough, but get your decision making right off the field.
“I hear a lot about statistics, and Eoin Morgan used statistics, but there was a lot of gut feeling there too. You need to get your decisions right, don’t just go to your default settings.” Desperate for a win to stay alive in the competition, England face India, Australia and Pakistan in their next few games.
“England now need to win seven games on the bounce to defend the World Cup, but they don’t look like a side that could do that at the moment. If they want to win every game from now, they need to get their decision-making right.”
England look like a side that has no confidence
With the latest defeat to South Africa, England have fallen to the ninth position in the 10-team table. Besides South Africa, they have lost to New Zealand and Afghanistan. Their sole win came against Bangladesh.
“England look like a side that has no confidence. These three losses will hurt them. It happened in the last World Cup, but you felt it was a side that had confidence and they were playing a style and brand of cricket where they could bounce back,” Hussain said.
Hussain cited the example of how Willey, playing his first game in the tournament, struggled with cramps which also forced him temporarily off the field.
“Just look at what happened to Willey today. No matter how much practice you’ve had in the nets, or how many laps you’ve done off the ground, playing in this heat and humidity, you need to have proper match overs in your legs, otherwise you’ll cramp up.
“These are super fit England cricketers and within 40 minutes you could tell how much they were struggling,” he added.
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