England’s World T20 exit shows a need for structure and belief

Andy Lloyd
ENGLAND’S 19-run defeat to Sri Lanka yesterday’s Super Eights match, which confirmed their elimination from the World Twenty20, showed once more that they just leak too many runs.

In addition to that, in the two games they’ve lost, it’s struck me that they don’t know what their best attack is. They’ve made a lot of personnel changes. England and Andy Flower are normally very organised, and the impression I’ve got is that they’ve not been as organised as they normally would – and should – be.

To compound that, we’ve been losing wickets in clutches. You can’t afford to lose three for zip and expect to chase totals of 170 – it’s almost impossible to do that. I don’t think the bowlers have done the job that the captain wants, and we haven’t been able to get runs from the top of the order.

When all’s said and done, England’s is a relatively inexperienced group of players.

Teams go through their peaks and troughs, and England just aren’t in good form and don’t have confidence. Sri Lanka showed real belief, in contrast.

Confidence would be vital for England going forward, but you can, of course, only get that from winning matches, so they need to concentrate on getting the right combinations together and getting people to deliver on the day.

What I don’t think is needed, is for the team to be overhauled. Stuart Broad is captain for the T20 team; we’ve lost Andrew Strauss, our Test captain, and Alastair Cook was captain for the one-day team – everything’s become a little bit sporadic. We just need to settle down and be calmer about what we do, it’s all been a bit frenetic.

What’s in less doubt is that there’s not been a great deal of British interest in the World T20. It’s simple: internally, the ECB have killed the golden goose. When it first came in, T20 cricket was box office, but they’ve just played too many fixtures. The summer’s weather also hasn’t been good, which doesn’t help, but interest has waned and I believe it to be a case of supply and demand. England are lucky to get 3,000 or 4,000 to matches; in the old days, there’d be 15,000 in the crowd.

Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer. An opening batsman, he captained Warwickshire in the late 80s and early 90s, and later enjoyed a spell as chairman of Warwickshire.