It is now with great regret that we are compelled to talk about the England cricket team—soundly trounced, thrashed, taken to the cleaners (choose your metaphor) by New Zealand in the World Cup on Thursday. Now don’t get me (Martin) wrong; New Zealand are revealing a discipline and a talent that must have more fancied teams (South Africa, India, Australia) quaking in their boots. Tim Southee bowled one of the best spells ever seen in World Cup cricket, delivering several unplayable deliveries to the English batsmen. Brendon McCullum destructiveness revealed yet again why his arrival at the crease empties bars, and his captaincy was imaginative and creative.
Where the Kiwis are organized, clearly enjoy their cricket, and have oodles of self-belief, the England team is floundering. Their captain, Eoin Morgan, is in a batting rut that he failed to escape from against New Zealand, and several of the batsmen had no answer to Southee and Trent Boult‘s penetrating bowling. Only Joe Root played anything like a responsible innings. England’s bowling lacks discipline. It is, simply not ready for prime time.
This being the World Cup, there’s still a chance for New Zealand to screw up (it almost did the other day against Scotland) and England have a chance to go through by thrashing the supposedly lesser teams (Scotland, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh). England have lost to the two best teams in their group, but they will have to beat Sri Lanka—and on this form they won’t.