Moeen Ali wants England to be ruthless to salvage their T20 World Cup title defence

36-run loss to Australia has rendered England's qualification for the Super Eights

By Web Desk
June 10, 2024
Moeen Ali is the vice-captain of England. - AFP

Moeen Ali urged England to remain composed and deliver two ruthless performances as they seek to salvage their T20 World Cup title defence, which is on the verge of a potentially humiliating elimination in the first round.

The 36-run loss to Australia in Barbados on Saturday has rendered England's qualification for the Super Eights beyond their control. 

In addition to requiring Scotland to lose their last match against Australia and stay on five points, Jos Buttler's team must improve their own net run-rate – currently at -1.8, in contrast to Scotland's +2.16 – by convincingly defeating Oman and Namibia in Antigua this week.

“It’s about being calm and not letting the outside noise affect us,” Moeen said. “We need to be more aggressive without being reckless, not overthink things and take those two teams down. We’ve got to go into them, almost throw the first punch and just keep going from there.”

The loss to Australia has prompted early scrutiny of England's tactics, just six months after a disappointing 50-over World Cup campaign in India. Rob Key, the team director, granted Buttler and his head coach, Matthew Mott, a second opportunity, raising questions about the team's direction.

“My own personal thing is, I don’t care about that 50-over World Cup, that’s done. I think we’re better at T20s, I just think Australia were better than us on the day. I don’t think the dressing room is ever positive when you lose a game, especially to Australia. But you can’t get too down and go into your shells and say: ‘What if this happens, etcetera?’ We’ve just got to be really ruthless," he added.

Remember, England only have one point after two matches in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Their match against Scotland was washed out due to rain before their loss against Australia.

To qualify for the Super 8 stage, England not only need to win their remaining matches against Namibia and Oman but also hope other results go their way.

If England claims victories in both of their remaining matches and Scotland loses against Australia, both teams would be tied on five points. In that case, the Net Run Rate (NRR) will be of utmost importance.

England will not only look to win their remaining matches, but also by a good margin, in a bid to improve their NRR. This is because Scotland already has a good NRR of 2.164.

If both England and Scotland end on 5 points, team having a higher NRR will qualify for the Super 8 stage.

England are the defending champions of T20 World Cup after they beat Pakistan in the final in 2022 in Melbourne.