ENGLAND head coach Peter Moores accepted that aspersions will be cast about his suitability for the job after overseeing a disastrous World Cup campaign which shuddered to an abrupt end following a dismal defeat to Bangladesh in Adelaide yesterday.
Moores has come under increased pressure during a competition which has seen his side’s limitations in one-day international (ODI) cricket highlighted and the gulf between England and their Test-playing rivals unashamedly exposed.
Harrowing setbacks to full-member nations Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka were briefly interrupted by success against Scotland, although yesterday’s 15-run loss to Bangladesh extinguished their fading World Cup ambitions.
“I understand why people would think I’m not the right man, but it’s a bigger picture than that,” said Moores, who began his second spell in charge of England last April.
“I want to carry on desperately but it’s not my decision if I’m given time. I’m here to try and make a difference. Certainly on a day like today you look at it and you know we have a lot of work to do in one-day cricket, there’s no doubt about it.
“You just feel hollow to be honest. Very, very disappointed. We haven’t played well enough, we’ve got to accept that. You just feel like you’ve let people down, that would be the main emotion.”
Moores last night received the support of England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton, who ruled out any knee-jerk change in management structure.
“I’ve got full faith in Peter Moores. He will stay,” said Downton. “Whoever got that job at that time was going to have a difficult time. We’re in a rebuilding phase so now is the wrong time to be making any kind of judgment at all.”
England were consigned to their third group-stage exit in five World Cups after failing to chase down 276 after Bangladesh posted 275-7 from their 50 overs, as Mahmudullah struck his maiden ODI century and Mushfiqur Rahim an invaluable 89.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler instigated a comeback with a rousing 52-ball 65, initially alongside all-rounder Chris Woakes, after England had wilted to 163-6, despite 63 from opener Ian Bell.
The lower-order effort proved forlorn as seamer Rubel Hossain bowled James Anderson for a duck on his way to claiming figures of 4-53 as England were routed for 260 with nine balls remaining. Skipper Eoin Morgan, who replaced the axed Alastair Cook as captain in December, posted his fifth duck in nine innings.
England made selection changes for the first time in the competition with Alex Hales and Chris Jordan replacing Gary Ballance and Steve Finn respectively, although the likes of all-rounder Ravi Bopara and off-spinner James Tredwell are yet to feature at all.
“We tried to find what we think are the best players to get into the team,” added Moores. “Gary [Ballance] is a very good one-day player, we felt that was the right decision but he didn’t play well enough. There was no obvious team to pick because they’re young players, they haven’t played a lot of cricket. We’ve got nine guys who haven’t been to a World Cup before.
“That’s the reality of it. You make your choice, you pick the side you think is the best team, which we did, and we have to accept they didn’t play well enough.”
England have now lost three of their last four ODIs against Bangladesh, who progress to the quarter-finals, with humiliation Down Under the latest instalment of World Cup failure since the heady heights of reaching the 1992 final.
It has been a consistent criticism that England lean towards an old-fashioned brand of ODI cricket which is not in sync with the modern game, although Morgan argued their exit was due to execution of their plans and not an ingrained, dated mindset.
“We’ve picked guys who can play a brand of cricket that if we performed we could win this World Cup, but ultimately we haven’t performed,” said Morgan. “It’s pretty poor, to be knocked out of a World Cup this early is unbelievably disappointing.”
VIEWS ON ENGLAND’S WORLD CUP DEMISE
I cannot believe this! I just cannot! But well done Bangladesh! You deserved it! Do not say we haven’t prioritised ODI cricket! We played back-to-back Ashes to make sure England played six months of ODIs before this World Cup.
I am lost for words. Peter Moores said ‘We thought 275 was chaseable. We’ll have to look at the data’. Genuine quote! Surely you don’t need to look at any data to tell you that 275 is chaseable against Bangladesh?
It seems like there’s been this incredible, unstoppable momentum that has been built while England have been stuck behind and are almost going in the opposite direction. It’s horrible to watch because we’re miles away from the top teams.
I’m not saying Peter Moores is the right man or the wrong man, but now is not the time to say ‘on your bike’, it’s time to get plans in place to move forward.
England had the wrong team, the wrong style of play and everyone could see it, tonight’s result not a shock. I feel for Morgan, coach in trouble! Congrats to everyone in Bangladesh cricket, what the World Cup is all about - pride and passion.
Well done Bangladesh! England pathetic! When are we going to pick the selectors to pick a team for the one-day format? Time for change!!
Sir Ian Botham