Moeen Ali insists England will not panic despite a dismal run of five successive ODI defeats as they remain focused on ‘getting the right team together’ for World Cup title defence later this year
- England are on the verge of equalling their worst set of ODI results for 14 years
- Sunday’s five-wicket defeat to South Africa in Bloemfontein made it five in a row
- England will have key players such as Joe Root back for the World Cup in India
Moeen Ali says England will not panic despite being on the verge of equalling their worst set of one-day international results for 14 years.
Sunday’s five-wicket defeat to South Africa in Bloemfontein made it five in a row, and not since Andrew Strauss’ team trailed 6-0 at home to Australia in 2009 have England endured a longer losing streak.
Such form comes with mitigating circumstances, however – three of the quintet came in Australia last November after the high of Twenty20 World Cup glory and this tour has been an exercise in blooding new players and welcoming back others from lay-offs while senior men like Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood sit out due to other commitments or injury.
England are on the verge of equalling their worst set of ODI results for 14 years
Moeen said: ‘There is no panic in the changing room. We know with World Cups coming up it is about getting the right team together.
‘Rooty is a massive player at No 3, and he’s not here, Jonny is out, Woody would be in as well. There’s a lot of strength to come in.
‘For the players it’s about not getting too down, we want to peak at the right time.’
England vice-captain Moeen, who struck his first ODI 50 in 64 matches to help the tourists to a competitive 342 for seven at Manguang Oval, added that the current set-up isn’t ‘in a position like before in 2015 where we were terrible and building a team,’ and that its experienced core of players know tournaments are ‘all about handling the pressure.’
England will have key players such as Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow back for the World Cup
Indeed, as they prepare for the defence of their 50-over crown in India this October, they can reflect on reaching the semi-finals in each of the ICC’s five most recent limited-overs competitions, winning twice and finishing runner’s up once.
‘We’re more experienced, used to different conditions, and going to India where we’ve played a lot of IPL, I feel we’ll be ready to go. Results don’t show it yet but I think we will be better than we were,’ said Moeen, comparing the current situation to the build-up to the 2019 World Cup.
Next month’s trip to Bangladesh, which will test skills in Asian conditions, should prove a better gauge of where Jos Buttler’s side is at but more immediately, England must attempt to avert being condemned to six of the worst, should the thunderstorms that greeted them upon arrival in the Northern Cape today and are scheduled to last all week, subside.
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