Moeen Ali said on Wednesday that “everything is a must-win now” as faltering defending champions England face a Cricket World Cup day of reckoning. England tackle Sri Lanka in Bengaluru on Thursday knowing that a fourth defeat in five games will shatter any realistic hopes of sneaking into the semi-finals. “We know we’ve been in this position before although probably not to this degree, but we know everything is a must-win,” said Moeen.
“We have to get our confidence and perform well and bat and bowl and field better than we have done so far in this tournament.”
England’s lone win came against equally hapless Bangladesh.
They have lost to New Zealand, suffered a shock defeat to Afghanistan and then slumped to a 229-run thrashing at the hands of South Africa, conceding their highest total in a one-day international of 399.
Injury-hit Sri Lanka have been just as underwhelming, also having just one win and three defeats.
Moeen is England vice-captain but the 36-year-old veteran was dropped after the opening defeat to New Zealand and has been sidelined.
He made just 11 runs in that game and failed to take a wicket.
In all, he has made just one ODI score in excess of 50 in the last six years and sat out the 2019 World Cup final.
Moeen did, however, feature in England’s title-winning World Twenty20 team in Australia last year.
“It’s very frustrating, obviously, because you want to play and make some sort of difference,” added Moeen.
“It’s difficult when you’re not winning and then when you’re not playing on top of that, it’s hard.”
Moeen believes England need to resort to the aggressive spirit of 2019 which took them to their memorable World Cup triumph over New Zealand at Lord’s.
However, he insists he is not advocating adopting ‘Bazball’, the free-wheeling style of play which has virtually revolutionised Test cricket in England.
“Bazball is in Test cricket. One day cricket’s different and we’ve been playing different all the time,” he said.
“We’ve been playing aggressive cricket since 2015 and done it quite well.
“I think probably the lack of that way of cricket has probably cost us a little bit in this tournament.
“We haven’t been playing that way in my opinion and I think we need to play that way, but without slogging the ball, but just be that really aggressive side that we know we can be.”
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is familiar territory for Moeen as it is where he plays franchise cricket for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
“It’s one of those grounds where scoring is quick and batting deep makes a big difference. If I get the nod, then I’m really looking forward to playing.”
How much longer Moeen, as well as his senior colleagues in the England team, continues in the international set-up could hinge on Thursday’s result.
However, he warned against making drastic, knee-jerk changes to the squad.
“I think there’s still a lot of players that can play for a long time. There’s obviously a few of us who are a bit older, more than likely won’t make the next World Cup,” he admitted.
“I don’t think it’s the end of anything. I think it could potentially be the start of something else.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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