England captain Eoin Morgan feels not sticking to their "batting mantra" has cost them back-to-back defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia in the World Cup, making the road to semifinals much tougher for the pre-tournament favorites.
England had not lost back-to-back ODIs on home soil since 2015, yet they followed a loss to Sri Lanka at Headingley, where they failed to chase down 233, with a 64-run reverse against their oldest rivals at Lord's. It was once again an unsuccessful chase that proved their undoing as Australia's 285/7 was more than enough when left-arm seamers Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc took nine wickets between them.
"Both this game and the last, we struggled with the basics of what we call our batting mantra, strong intent, building partnerships, and doing it in our own way we haven't done those for long enough periods of the game in order to either chase down 230 or chase down 280, and that's disappointing. Our mantra is always evolving if you've watched the last two years of the way we've played, it has evolved a lot," said the England captain after the loss here on Tuesday.
Starc and Behrendorff ripped through England's deep batting line-up while the home team's pacers failed to find the right length on a helping pitch after Morgan opted to field.
"Early on they bowled well. Being 20/3 obviously creates a bigger challenge, especially chasing 280. To make those inroads I thought they bowled well. Normally when we lose games of cricket, we go back to what we do well. We'll still strive to do that for Sunday's game against India."
England's chances of reaching the semi-finals have taken a hit in the last two matches but their path to qualification is still in their own hands with victories in their final two group games guaranteeing a knockout spot. Those contests are against two sides also currently ensconced in the top four India and New Zealand and Morgan is hoping to set an example that his squad can follow.
Morgan said that the team believes that odds of reaching the semi-finals are still in their favour. He assured that everything is within control and just have to produce a performance worthy of winning upcoming games. Morgan confessed that he wants to lead from the front and play a captain's knock. He pointed out that the majority of captains have success with a team when they perform well as a player. Morgan is hoping to have clinical performances in the upcoming games to create a positive impact in the dressing room and make a difference.
England has to play New Zealand and India next, both teams have a cent percent winning rate in the ongoing World Cup.
(With inputs from PTI)