T20 WC: Buttler and Mott vulnerable, says Nasser

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 12, 2024 IST

Jos Buttler

New York, June 12: Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.

This old English adage seems to be very much true for defending champions England in the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

With England staring at an early exit from the tournament, former English captain Nasser Hussain believes skipper Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott are in a vulnerable state.

England need to win over Namibia and Oman to give themselves the best chance of entering the Super Eight stage of the ongoing competition. But that may not be enough for qualification as Scotland and Australia will play the final game of Group B.

If England make an early exit from the competition, then it will add to the intense scrutiny over the Buttler and Mott combination. Under the duo, England failed to enter the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup semi-finals in India, after winning just three out of nine games in an utterly forgettable campaign.

"Make no mistake: Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott are vulnerable. You can absorb one poor World Cup, especially when you began as double world champions, but two letdowns would be trickier to explain away.

"It’s up to England to show what a good side they are. They must not only beat Oman and Namibia, but beat them well enough to ensure they end up with a better net run-rate than Scotland.

"Any judgments about the captain and coach should take place once the tournament is over. If England can turn it on, that moment can be postponed until well beyond the weekend," wrote Hussain in his column for The Daily Mail.

He also urged England to forget what happened in their abandoned fixture against Scotland and the 36-run defeat to Australia and approach their remaining games with a fresh mindset.

"Little things like that have added up, and made England look worse than they are. With their struggles at the 50-over World Cup in India fresh in the memory, I can see why the fans aren’t happy. But they must now avoid the mistake they made in India, and stop chasing their tails.

"Pick the best team for the conditions in front of you, not the one you should have picked for the game before. For that reason, against Oman and Namibia, there is a case for sticking with Wood over Topley, and trying to blast away two batting units who lack the quality of Australia’s," he added.

Hussain further voiced his dissatisfaction over England not opting to play left-arm fast-bowler Reece Topley, who has better off-pace deliveries in his arsenal than the tearaway pacer Mark Wood.

"Going into this tournament, my hunch was that the pitches in the West Indies would help pace-off bowlers. For that reason, I’d have picked Reece Topley for the two games in Barbados, with his cutters and variations, instead of Mark Wood, who is all about express pace, or Chris Jordan.

"Three of Wood’s first four balls against Australia were hit for six, before Jofra Archer reacted to conditions, took pace off, and was rewarded with the wicket of Travis Head. Topley has a good record against left-handers, too, and Australia opened with David Warner and Head. One of Scotland’s openers, George Munsey, is also a leftie, so that was one error," he concluded.

When a major team stumble at a bigger ICC tournament, often heads do roll. With England not performing satisfactorily in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 and then T20 World Cup 2024, chances of major changes in the helm of affairs of the English cricket team cannot be ruled out. (With IANS support)

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