ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Eng vs Ind – ‘Everyone’s under scrutiny,’ but Matthew Mott determined to ‘restore pride’

Matthew Mott accepts that his position as England’s white-ball coach will come under pressure with his side on the brink of an early World Cup exit, but said he is “fully determined” that he and captain Jos Buttler can turn things around in the future.

Mott was appointed on a four-year contract in May 2022 and Rob Key, England’s managing director of men’s cricket, made clear to him that he would be judged on results at World Cups rather than bilateral series, where England have routinely rested first-choice players.

He oversaw their success at the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, sealing England’s legacy as world champions in both white-ball formats. But after four defeats in their first five group games in India this month, England’s semi-final hopes are merely theoretical and Mott’s role will be scrutinised.

“Jos and I are incredibly aligned and united,” Mott said after England’s latest defeat, an eight-wicket thrashing by Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. “Rob Key has been an amazing support to us [but] when you lose tournaments like this, everyone’s under scrutiny; everyone’s place will be questioned.

“I’m fully determined that we can turn this around. I’ve got great faith in Jos: he’s hurting now and he’ll be feeling like there’s a lot on him. I certainly feel like I could have done things a lot better. But I’ve been in the job 18 months: we’ve won a World Cup and lost a World Cup. I think I’ve shown the capability that I can coach this team.”

Buttler said on Thursday night that he retains “a lot of confidence and belief in myself as a leader” despite England’s results, but conceded that his future lies in the hands of the ECB. “If you’re asking if I should still be captaining the team, that’s a question for the guys above me,” he said.

Mott is used to coaching at World Cups with high expectations after seven years with Australia’s women. Under his leadership, they won one 50-over World Cup and two T20 World Cups – though were also shocked by West Indies in the 2016 T20 final, and India in the 2017 50-over semi-finals.

“I think, having experiences from the past where I’ve had tournaments like this, I’ve shown an ability to be able to turn things around,” Mott said. “So that’ll have to happen pretty quickly. But yeah, what will be, will be.”

England travelled to Lucknow on Friday ahead of their next fixture against India on Sunday, for which they are massive underdogs. “[They] are probably raging favourites at the moment,” Mott said. “That’s an opportunity to restore some pride and confidence in the group, and every opportunity we get to play together is vital now to try and find our mojo again.”

After picking a side comprising 11 players aged 30 or over for the first time in their ODI history against Sri Lanka, England will consider making changes again on Sunday. All four of the squad members who did not feature on Thursday – Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse and Sam Curran – are aged between 24 and 28.

Mott did not commit to using young players for the rest of the World Cup, despite widespread expectations that England will overhaul their ODI set-up after this tournament. They still have four group matches to play, with fixtures against Australia, Netherlands and Pakistan after Sunday’s clash with India.

“We’ll just try and keep picking our best side for the conditions – as we’ve tried to do all the way throughout,” Mott said. “What we need to get our heads around is restoring pride… that is our first priority at the moment: to make sure we come out and give India a good scrap, and hopefully perform a lot better than we have.”

Brook was left out in favour of Liam Livingstone against Sri Lanka, but is England’s third-highest run-scorer of the tournament and one of only four batters to reach 50 in an innings. Asked specifically about his omission, Mott said: “Harry Brook is going to be a world-class player in all three formats.

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