England ‘feeling the heat’ of World Cup implosion – Marcus Trescothick

Assistant coach Marcus Trescothick says England are “feeling the heat” of their World Cup implosion.

England arrived in India as defending champions but are on course to leave with their tail between their legs after losing four of their first five games.

The all-conquering hosts are next up in Lucknow on Sunday – on paper their toughest assignment of all – and another loss would represent England’s worst-ever sequence at the tournament.

The question marks are piling up with every disappointing result, with team selection, tactics and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s structural commitment to the 50-over game all under scrutiny.

Captain Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott have both been forced to defend their positions and Trescothick made it clear the situation was taking its toll.

“We’ve just not been matching up to the levels we expect and of course it’s disappointing,” he said.

“We’re all feeling it. We’re all feeling the heat. It’s challenging for everyone.

“But what can you do? We prepared the same. Every practice we go through, we’re coming out the other side thinking we’re in a good place and feeling quite right.

“But it’s just not quite worked when we’ve gone into the games.”

The drop off in performance from a side who became the most feared white-ball side in the world on their way to the 2019 title has been so stark, there have been suggestions about England’s motivation to climb the mountain once more.

Asked if England had simply lost interest in the 50-over format, sidetracked by T20 and the ‘Bazball’ revolution in the Test arena, Trescothick resisted.

“Forgive me, I don’t want to be blunt here, but we haven’t lost faith in what it is,” he responded.

“I can’t really say too much more. We love playing any form of cricket, any form of the game that we play.

“We were desperate to come here and try and win back-to-back 50-over competitions. So, we’re still very much focused on all formats of the game.”

Harry Brook in action for England
England might consider bringing Harry Brook back into their under-performing batting line-up (PA Wire)

Lining up against India at their home can be a daunting experience at the best of times and doing so while devoid of confidence and form only makes matters worse.

Rohit Sharma’s side bring a 100 per cent record into the match and are likely to be aided by a highly partisan crowd and, if local reports on the ground are to be believed, a helpful turning pitch.

But Trescothick hopes to see England thrive under adversity.

“I think playing against India in a World Cup in their own country is a special part of the game,” he said.

“You know there’ll be a big crowd and there’ll be a wonderful occasion. The atmosphere is going to be electric.”

England will surely consider bringing Harry Brook back into their under-performing batting line-up after surprisingly dropping him last time out, while Gus Atkinson, Sam Curran and the recently-arrived Brydon Carse all stand by to help refresh the bowling stocks.

There will be some temptation to play all three in an overt act of adding a more youthful sheen to an ageing outfit, but England may exert more restraint given the size of the task ahead against the likes of Rohit and Virat Kohli.