According to Moeen Ali, on Wednesday he expressed that “everything is a must-win now” as the struggling defending champions England are facing a day of reckoning in the Cricket World Cup. England will be facing Sri Lanka in Bengaluru on Thursday with the knowledge that a fourth defeat in five games will destroy any realistic hopes of sneaking into the semi-finals. Moeen said, “We are aware that we have been in this position previously, although perhaps not to this extent, but we understand that everything is a must-win.”
“We have to regain our confidence and perform well, and we need to bat, bowl, and field better than we have thus far in this tournament.”
England’s solitary victory came against equally struggling Bangladesh.
They have been defeated by New Zealand, suffered an unexpected loss against Afghanistan, and then collapsed to a crushing 229-run defeat at the hands of South Africa, conceding their highest total in an ODI of 399 runs.
Injury-ridden Sri Lanka has been equally underwhelming, with only one victory and three defeats.
Moeen, who is the vice-captain of England, was dropped after the initial defeat against New Zealand and has been sidelined since then.
He only scored 11 runs in that game and failed to take a wicket.
In total, he has scored only one ODI total of more than 50 runs in the last six years and was absent from the 2019 World Cup final.
However, Moeen did play a part in England’s title-winning World Twenty20 team in Australia last year.
Moeen added, “It’s very frustrating, obviously, because you want to play and make some sort of impact.”
“It’s difficult when you’re not winning, and then when you’re not playing on top of that, it’s hard.”
Moeen believes that England needs to revert to the aggressive mindset they had in 2019, which led them to their memorable World Cup triumph over New Zealand at Lord’s.
However, he clarifies that he is not advocating for adopting ‘Bazball,’ the free-flowing style of play that has essentially revolutionized Test cricket in England.
“Bazball is for Test cricket. One-day cricket is different, and we have been playing differently all the time,” he said.
“We have been playing aggressive cricket since 2015, and we have done it quite well.
“I think the lack of that style of cricket has probably cost us a little bit in this tournament.
“In my opinion, we haven’t been playing that way, and I think we need to play that way, but without mindlessly slogging the ball, but rather be that really aggressive side that we know we can be.”
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is familiar territory for Moeen as he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
“It’s one of those grounds where scoring is quick, and having depth in batting makes a big difference. If I am chosen, then I am genuinely looking forward to playing.”
How much longer Moeen, as well as his senior teammates in the England team, will continue in the international setup could depend on the result of Thursday’s match.
However, he cautioned against making drastic, knee-jerk changes to the squad.
“I think there are still many players who can play for a long time. There are obviously a few of us who are a bit older and probably won’t make it to the next World Cup,” he admitted.
“I don’t think this is the end of anything. I think it could potentially be the start of something new.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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