Cricket World Cup 2023: England coach rubbishes dressing room unrest claims after abject surrender

England languish at the bottom of the 10-team table with a chance of missing out on the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan

By AFP

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England's Ben Stokes walks off the pitch after losing his wicket as India's Virat Kohli celebrates. —  Reuters
England's Ben Stokes walks off the pitch after losing his wicket as India's Virat Kohli celebrates. — Reuters

Published: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Tue 31 Oct 2023, 3:24 PM

England coach Matthew Mott on Sunday said the team remains an "incredibly tight-knit unit" despite a 100-run thrashing by India which condemned the defending champions to a fifth defeat at the World Cup.

Mott's claims came after former England captain Eoin Morgan insisted that there were splits in the camp which were causing the champions to under-perform.


"I've never come across a sports team that has underperformed like this, given the level of expectation," 2019 World Cup winning skipper Morgan told Sky Sports.

"There's something within the team that is definitely unsettled. I think there's something else going on - there has to be."


Mott was quick to refute the claims.

"I don't think that at all. I think anyone that's inside our tent at the moment would say that despite our results, we're an incredibly tight-knit unit," he said.

Jos Buttler's England suffered a fifth loss in six games at the tournament to all but slip out of the semifinal race.

Their bowlers kept India down to 229-9, but the batting once again collapsed to 129 all out against an Indian attack led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

England's batting folded for 156 in their previous loss to Sri Lanka, but Mott said the team will not throw in the towel in their next three matches.

"I think it's tough. I'm sick of coming up and speaking to you guys about the same thing, but that's what professional sport is," he said.

"And we've got to keep pushing hard here. We've got a fair bit to play for to the back end of this tournament."

England languish bottom of the 10-team table with a chance of missing out on the 2025 Champions Trophy, where the top seven teams from this World Cup and hosts Pakistan are expected to compete.

However Mott said they got to know about the qualification scenario only "about an hour and a half ago".

"Well, the ICC (International Cricket Council) do change the rules quite a bit with qualification and to be honest I don't think it would affect in any way the way we've played in this tournament so it's not a big deal," said Mott.

India, on the other hand, have six wins in as many games and are virtually assured of a semifinal place.

Skipper Rohit Sharma led the charge with 87 as India posted 229-9, a total that looked below par but proved enough for a struggling England side on a sluggish pitch.

"It was a great performance and we would take that win any day," said man-of-the-match Rohit.

"I think this was a game where we showed a lot of character. All the experienced players stood up at the right time and won us the game.

"Looking at how the tournament has gone for us, batting second in the first five games and then we had to bat first here, we were challenged.

"We knew the pitch had something in it and we had the experience in our bowling, so we wanted to get to a decent total."

Shami returned figures of 4-22 while fellow quick Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets to wrap up the match as fireworks lit up the sky.

Brief scores:

India beat England by 100 runs.

India 229/9 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 87, Suryakumar Yadav 49, KL Rahul 39; David Willey 3/45, Chris Woakes 2/33, Adil Rashid 2/35)

England 129 all out in 34.5 overs (Liam Livingstone 27; Mohammed Shami 4/22, Jasprit Bumrah 3/32, Kuldeep Yadav 2/24, Ravindra Jadeja 1/16)


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