Moeen Ali: 'England didn't see writing on the wall'

Moeen Ali: 'England didn't see writing on the wall'

After England’s 30-something team was finally eliminated from the World Cup, the oldest man on his team acknowledged the finality of this defeat to Australia, their fifth in a row and sixth in seven games. “All good things come to an end,” said Moeen Ali. “Maybe we were clear about it and we just didn’t see it as players.”

This dismal title defense will cause an inevitable overhaul in England’s ODI setup. The team that lost by 33 runs in Ahmedabad on Saturday had eight members of its victorious 2019 team; the exceptions were Dawid Malan, 36, David Willey, who is retiring, and Liam Livingstone, who averages 10 in the World Cup.

Unlike eight years ago, when England’s elimination in the group stages of the 2015 World Cup led to a complete revamp of their limited overs set-up, there is plenty of talent waiting for an opportunity. The problem is that 11 of the 15 players in this tournament are on two- or three-year one-month contracts, so a complete renewal may not be easy.

For once, England’s schedule can work in their favor. They always planned to take a second-string ODI team for their three-match series against the West Indies next month, and then their attention turns to the T20 World Cup next June. They have a nine-month break between ODIs before hosting Australia at the end of September 2024.

But the pressing question is whether they will give Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott the chance to defend the T20 title they won as captain and coach in Australia last year and, if so, how they will revamp their team to avoid a repeat of the debacle. This has unfolded in slow motion over the past month in India.

“I just think all good things come to an end at some point. It’s very exciting, because going forward we have some really good players that we know will come back to the team with that courage.” [style]. “That start we had in 2015 could start again.”

Moeen Ali

Ben Stokes will undergo knee surgery when he returns home and did not commit to being available for the T20 World Cup when asked on Friday. Jonny Bairstow has lacked runs in white-ball cricket over the last three months, while Malan’s T20 numbers have dipped.

Moeen, who is on a one-year central contract, plans to speak to England’s coach and captain at the end of this World Cup to discuss his future. He is their vice-captain in white-ball cricket but has only played four matches in this World Cup, has been wicketless in 24.2 overs and, even after his fluent 42 against Australia, has made just 83 runs.

“Obviously I’m going to talk to Jos and Motty and see what they want from me, if they want me around or whatever,” Moeen said. “I don’t know. If they say, ‘Look, let’s go with younger players and start over,’ then I’m more than happy. I get it, I get it… all good things come to an end at some point.” “.

Rob Key, England’s general manager of men’s cricket, will return to India this week and join the team in Kolkata ahead of the final group match against Pakistan on Saturday. He will have to make some tough decisions about the players’ futures, and Moeen admitted that, in Key’s position, he would tear things up and start again.

Moeen said he hopes the core of the T20 team will remain the same ahead of next year’s World Cup, but said of the ODI set-up: “If I was in charge, I would play against the younger guys. Just start over. and I’m sure they will. It’s common sense, more than anything. You want that brave approach again, and it’s a good time to start again.

“Maybe the writing was on the wall and we just didn’t see it as players because we thought we would be playing well. But I think all good things come to an end at some point. It’s very exciting, because going forward we have some really good players.” We know that they will return to the team with that intrepid [style]. “That start we had in 2015 could start again.”

Moeen gave another blunt assessment of England’s performance, saying that “they have been rubbish throughout – batting, bowling and fielding”. But they face two more important matches against the Netherlands and Pakistan, and need at least one win, and possibly two, to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

“We have to present ourselves properly as players,” Moeen said. “There are two huge games coming up. I know how important the Champions Trophy is in terms of experience at a world event because then for the World Cup you get that experience, especially with potentially younger players coming in. It’s very important. We make sure to classify us.

Matt Roller is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98