England white-ball coach Mott urges fans to be patient with new-look white-ball team | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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England white-ball coach Mott urges fans to be patient with new-look white-ball team

ANI |
Dec 11, 2023 10:08 AM IST

A new-look, revamped England side succumbed to a four-wicket defeat to West Indies in the third and final ODI to lose the series 2-1 after a miserable ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, which saw the then-defending champions win only three matches out of nine and finish at seventh place.

St John's [Antigua], December 11 (ANI): England head coach Matthew Mott has urged fans to be patient with England's new-look white-ball team, considering it is work in progress and stressing that they have had only three opportunities together to play as a group.

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A new-look, revamped England side succumbed to a four-wicket defeat to West Indies in the third and final ODI to lose the series 2-1 after a miserable ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, which saw the then-defending champions win only three matches out of nine and finish at seventh place.

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A group of fresh talent, like Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Harry Brook, Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Gus Atkinson and Reham Ahmed played under the leadership of skipper Jos Buttler, with only four players having played 10-plus ODIs. They were facing the West Indies, who are also undergoing transition after not qualifying for the 50-over WC for the first time ever this year.

However, Shai Hope, Romario Shepherd, Alick Athanaze, Sherfane Rutherford and Matthew Forde produced some fine performances throughout the series to win the trophy, despite England being in strong positions for a good part of it.

Mott said that the group has not put a complete game together and it is frustrating. But despite all the troubles, there were some good signs and players loved playing with each other.

"We have not put a complete game together and that's the frustration," Mott, England's head coach, said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

"We put ourselves in a chance to win all three games and come away with a series loss, so that is not ideal."

"But there are definitely some really good signs there that there is a group of players who love playing with each other. They are some really good mates in there and I think it will really take the game forward," concluded Mott.

Mott praised young all-rounder Sam Curran, who bounced back from atrocious figures of 0/98 (the worst figures by a men's England player in ODIs) in the first ODI to produce match-winning figures of 3/33 in the second ODI and teen spin sensation Rehan Ahmed. Mott described the spinner tasked with filling the gigantic shoes of veteran Adil Rashid as a "revelation".

Rehan took five wickets across the series at an average of 23.40 and an economy rate of 4.33.

"Sam is definitely a player that we really want to invest in. He has got a lot of qualities that we like and he has got the game to really play well," said Mott.

Mott was also proud of the fact that England showed a lot of fight in the third ODI, where after bundling out for just 207, England reduced WI to 135/6. They were facing a natural disadvantage of bowling second in a rain-affected game. The greasy conditions made it hard for English spinners to grip the ball and made playing seam easier for Windies batters. Will Jacks was the star for England, with figures of 3/22. But WI won by four wickets after they chased down the revised target of 188 runs in 34 overs with 14 balls to go.

"I thought today we showed a lot of character and spirit to fight all day. You do not want to make excuses, but to hang in there as a team and show the fight that they did, throwing themselves around and nearly snatching one was something that we're looking for," said Mott.

After three months of ODI cricket, England's attention turns to T20Is, with a five-match series kickstarting from Tuesday in Barbados.

Mott said that England has played a good brand of T20I cricket over time and also confirmed that skipper Buttler will return to opening the batting after spending time lower down the order against New Zealand before the 50-over World Cup.

"We have played really good T20 cricket over a period of time. It is always good when you lose a series to change the format. You move on pretty quickly. It is only a couple of days, it would not be that different. Obviously, you have got a few new players coming in with experience. But it is much of a muchness really," said Mott.

For the T20I series against WI, Chris Woakes, Rashid, Moeen Ali, Reece Topley and Tymal Mills will join the Three Lions while Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley, Matthew Potts, Tom Hartley and Brydon Carse will head home

"It is probably easier transitioning back," Mott said.

"T20 is, particularly for the batting group, pretty clear, you go out and take the game on, there is not a lot of dead balls. And from the bowling group, you are trying to hit your variations as much as you can and deny them hitting opportunities. So I think we'll be fine. We have got a couple of days to work on it and looking forward to it," said Mott.

Joining the English set-up for the T20I series is legendary all-rounder Andrew Flintoff as a mentor, a role which he took in the summer, getting himself back in the public eye following a serious car crash while filming 'Top Gear'.

Flintoff will be paid for his role and was the part of backroom staff for the New Zealand white-ball series and home ODIs before the World Cup and also graced the England Lions' red-ball training camp with his presence in Abu Dhabi.

Flintoff has also been appointed as the Northern Superchargers head coach for the 2024 edition of The Hundred. (ANI)

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