Execution rather than exhaustion was to blame for England’s T20 whitewash defeat by Bangladesh, claims Matthew Mott – with shoddy fielding and a batting collapse allowing the hosts to put gloss on the series victory
- England fell to a disappointing 3-0 T20 bilateral series defeat to Bangladesh
- Matthew Mott refused to accept exhaustion after tough winter was to blame
- England twins Jamie and Craig Overton reveal what Cheltenham means to them
England coach Matthew Mott reckoned execution rather than exhaustion was the critical factor in the Twenty20 series in Bangladesh ending in a chastening whitewash.
Mott was at a loss to explain the shoddiness in the field that allowed Bangladesh to take control of the final match of a winter that due to a Covid backlog has seen England teams play in every month from September to March, a sequence of 34 fixtures across formats – but refused to blame fatigue.
Even then Jos Buttler’s double world champions were well placed at 100 for one in a chase of 159 but the dismissals of Dawid Malan and Buttler himself in consecutive deliveries at the start of the 14th over proved critical and the Bangladeshis were able to put further gloss on their first ever series win over England.
‘Playing for England everyone’s trying to do their best. The way the world is at the moment everyone’s going to be fatigued at different times, everyone’s on slightly different schedules,’ Mott said.
‘We’ve pulled out of some sessions here and there. When we see players flagging we’ll try and help but everyone was ready and available. I just think we got it slightly wrong.
Jos Buttler’s side fell to a 3-0 whitewash defeat against Bangladesh in their T20 series
Poor fielding and then a batting collapse ensured the hosts were able to put gloss on series victory
‘That was definitely our worst performance, particularly the first 15 overs, which we can’t really put our finger on. We’d prepared well, were up and about ready for a good finish.’
While hugely disappointing, the 3-0 scoreline requires context. Australia lost 4-1 here, New Zealand 3-2 in the past 19 months, and, rightly or wrongly, England used the T20s as an extension of their one-day series victory at the start of this tour, parachuting both Moeen Ali and Sam Curran up the order to provide extra subcontinental batting practice ahead of the 50-over World Cup in India in October.
Getting tournament ready is something England have done expertly in recent times, winning series in Pakistan and Australia in the lead-up to becoming 20-over champions in November.
But Mott insists bilateral contests retain importance in their own right, despite the experimentation and a modest overall record since Buttler took over the captaincy from Eoin Morgan last year.
‘I don’t think we ever want to accept losing. We came here to win the series. We won the ODI series, I thought that was an exceptional effort. The history of teams coming here and winning is quite low so we’re proud of that,’ Mott continued.
‘We’re disappointed with the T20s, and I think we had a good enough team to win here. I don’t think there was a massive gap in the playing of both XIs, but the facts are we lost.
Matthew Mott was at a loss to explain the issues faced by England during this series
Mott noted the first 15 overs as England’s ‘worst performance’ – though couldn’t put his finger on why
‘In terms of bilateral series, they’re all very different. This one clearly we’ve gone out and we didn’t go the extra batters, I thought it would have been a hell of a test to bring someone out here at very short notice in these conditions to bat at 6 or 7, wherever the gap was.
‘So we made that decision, a longer-term decision. We could have made the short-term fix, but that also would have exposed someone to come in really fresh in these conditions which I don’t think would have influenced the result either.’
England’s white-ball group do not reform now until September, and by then a 50-over World Cup squad will have been chosen.
Those who came here and exposed themselves to some of the toughest batting conditions on the international scene might have done their causes more harm than good.
The two England victories that preceded four Bangladesh wins in a row featured hundreds apiece for Malan and Jason Roy, but a lack of match-winning performances with the bat thereafter will feature in the tour debrief, with the struggles of Phil Salt against left-arm spin particularly evident.
The white ball coach said performances in the forthcoming IPL will have a ‘huge bearing’ on the make-up of this year’s World Cup squad
Equally, those who opted out and prioritised franchise opportunities elsewhere, like Alex Hales and David Willey, will not have such decisions held against them.
Furthermore, Mott says performances by English players in the Indian Premier League will have a ‘huge bearing’ on the make-up of the World Cup group.
‘The IPL in particular is renowned as one of the best competitions in the world, you’ve got all the best players playing in those conditions, we’ll be watching really closely on how our guys go,’ Mott said.
‘We know it’s going to be an incredibly hard 15 to pick, because once they’re all fit it’ll be hard to squeeze them all in.’
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