Matthew Mott wants England to have attacking mindset against Australia | T20 World Cup 2022


England hope to use the shock of defeat to Ireland to their advantage in Friday’s crucial match against Australia in the T20 World Cup. Their coach, Matthew Mott, has called on his side to “show a response”.

“You don’t often win World Cups at the start and you often lose a game early,” he said. “For some teams that’s actually quite liberating and frees them up with more of an aggressive mindset. It can be a bit of sting that you need. We don’t want to lose any games but it is probably going to galvanise the group in terms of our approach.

“If we play a good game and Australia are better than us that’s OK with me. We need to show a response. We need to come out with a really attacking mindset and maybe throw caution to the wind and see how we go. A lot of people, after one result, have written us off. I don’t think it makes much difference. We can still progress to the semis and from there it’s anyone game.”

With less than 48 hours between the end of the Ireland game and the scheduled start of the Australia match, England have had no time to dwell on defeat. “That’s game’s done now, put that to bed,” Liam Livingstone said. “We know where we need to get better and we’ve got a massive challenge on Friday. I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to that.”

Having been thrashed by New Zealand in their opening game, Australia also feel they can not afford to lose. But neither side has let their precarious position provoke doubts about their players: Aaron Finch would admit no concerns about his own form or that of Pat Cummins, who, after two games, is unexpectedly the most expensive bowler in the tournament (of those who have bowled at least five overs). Nor would Mott about the batting of Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan or Harry Brook. “Definitely no sweeping changes,” he said. “You’re always talking about what to do differently but I still think we’ve got the right balance.”

After the Ireland game Buttler and Ben Stokes spoke to the group about how their approach must change. “It was a sombre dressing room,” Mott said. “I thought Ben spoke really well.

“It’s a different mindset now. We don’t have the luxury of losing another game, we’re playing against the hosts and defending champions and there’s no need for us as coaches to motivate the group.”

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Wade plays despite positive Covid test

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Australia’s wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade has tested positive for Covid-19 the day before his side’s crucial T20 World Cup game against England at the MCG. Wade is experiencing light symptoms according to Cricket Australia but, unless his condition worsens, he is still expected to feature on Friday.

International Cricket Council regulations state the Biosafety Advisory Group “will be the final arbiter as to the Covid status of any player and his consequential availability to participate in a match”.

Wade must travel to the match separately and change and train away from his teammates after becoming the second Australian case this week, with Adam Zampa testing positive before the Sri Lanka game. The leg-spinner did not feature after experiencing minor symptoms but Ireland’s George Dockrell has played against Sri Lanka and England despite his positive Covid test.

Complicating matters for Australia is Wade is the only recognised keeper in their 15-strong squad. Josh Inglis was the designated back-up but a freak golfing accident ruled him out with his place going to all-rounder Cameron Green.

Glenn Maxwell was practicing keeping drills on Thursday, while captain Aaron Finch has previously suggested David Warner would be the designated keeper if Wade was absent.

Warner stood in during a Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi eight years ago after a shoulder injury to Brad Haddin. Finch is another option if Wade is unavailable, having filled in at Big Bash League level. PA Media

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The dressing room was sombre in more ways than one. There are four at the MCG and for double-headers the primary pair are reserved for the teams involved in the late game. Ireland and England were thus accommodated on the opposite side of the ground, in spacious but gloomy, subterranean rooms. England carried that atmosphere on to the pitch (not a problem Ireland seemed to suffer). They will be back in relative comfort of the main changing-rooms on Friday.

This is just as well because they may well have to spend a long time in it. Rain is forecast in Melbourne every day for the next week, including for much of Friday, and with another double-header scheduled – Afghanistan play Ireland in the afternoon – more abbreviated or abandoned matches seem likely. While clearly suboptimal, a rain-enforced draw would at least postpone the moment the guillotine falls on either side.

This has been a freak year for rainfall in Australia. Sydney has already passed its record for October and Melbourne is expected to do so before the month is out. But the timing of the tournament always put it at risk of disruption. Finch said on Thursday: “It’s been a miserable couple of days, but playing a World Cup this time of year, weather’s inevitable.”

In the week from 20 October Brisbane had 97.4mm of rain, Melbourne 50.4mm and Sydney 31.6mm, all of them more than any region in England. The tournament’s slogan is This is the Big Time, but perhaps they should have considered This is the Wrong Time.



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