England have been the most consistent side as T20 Champions, as compared to India and Pakistan and in these two years, they’ve vanquished several teams, even in unfavourable conditions such as UAE and India. Yesterday’s game was a big game, with lots of expectations as it was the first time that two former champions were going against each other, in a T20 World Cup. Unfortunately, despite the expectations, England succumbed to defeat, and perhaps, just ‘ defeat’ is not enough to describe what had happened. Probably the circumstances of the match were another reason for such a performance, for both teams had qualified to the super eights.
Nevertheless, such defeats are enough to destroy any team’s morale. But I don’t think that would be the case with England. I’ve always adored the English side for the way in which they’ve always hit back from failure with an extremely solid performance. For example, they were winless in the group stage of the 2010 T20 world cup, but they responded strongly by winning every match from there with a convincing margin. Even recently, their 4-0 ODI sweep and a 2-1 T20 victory at UAE against Pakistan, after a 3-0 defeat in the test series, proved their fighting qualities. Their captain, Stuart Broad, also faced humiliation when he was smashed for six sixes in the same over by Yuvraj Singh, that too at a very young phase of his career. This could’ve shattered the confidence of most youngsters but Broady didn’t lose heart and he has managed to ascend to his current role.
Hence, I feel it is a blessing in disguise that England have faced failure so early on in the tournament which doesn’t affect them in anyway and could even learn lessons from this defeat. A change has to be made, as conditions obviously favour spinners. In my opinion, Bresnan has to be replaced with either Patel or Briggs, but the former has the edge owing to his abilities with the bat, which are vital in this format of the game.
England are to face New Zealand, Bangladesh/West Indies and the hosts Sri Lanka in the super eight stage and none of these sides are beyond England’s level. The fixture against the hosts would be a little difficult for them if they don’t correct the mistakes they made against India but certainly is not a match where England could be ruled out.
Going by past events and their group mates in the super eight, the answer to the first question that I’ve written in this article is a counter question, ‘why not?’ and I shall not be surprised if England eventually end up topping the group.