Matthew Mott - 'India's ferocity took us by surprise' in T20I series loss

Matthew Mott – ‘India’s ferocity took us by surprise’ in T20I series loss

If butler implored his England side to be ‘braver’ after ‘timid’ performances with the bat in their first two T20 internationals against India, Matthew Mott found.

England were knocked out for 148 and 121 in Buttler’s first two games as full-time limited captain on Thursday and Saturday, losing by 50 and 49 points respectively. Mott, their new white ball coach, admitted they had been surprised by the “fierceness” of India’s new attacking game plan.

Buttler addressed his side after the second loss to Birmingham on Saturday night and told them they should be “ready to make mistakes” rather than strike too carefully. The answer was a total of 215 to 6 first at bat at Trent Bridge on Sundaytheir highest T20I score since February 2020 and one they defended by a 17-point margin despite Suryakumar Yadavis awesome 117.

“We learned a lot of lessons in the first two games,” Mott said. “India obviously came out with a really attacking mindset and put a lot of pressure on us. We expected that, but the ferocity of it surprised us a bit.

“After the second loss and the series loss, I thought he [Buttler] spoke exceptionally well in the group about the fact that these are the times when you get to know the character. It’s easy when you dominate teams, but we’re going to learn more about ourselves playing with big teams like India and South Africa leading to a World Cup – we’re going to learn more about that what we need in Australia when we are under pressure.

“We just talked about being a little braver. On the contrary, we could have been accused of being a little timid with the bat. [On Sunday] we just went over there and thought, ‘this is a great wicket, put a score over there and hang in there.’ We don’t like to lose but I think there’s a lot we’ve taken away from this series already and it sets us up well for the summer.”

England were without several first-choice players throughout the series, including Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, who were seeded No. 3 and 4 respectively for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. But, if available, Stokes could also be used lower down in a finishing role, with Dawid Malan’77 from 39 balls on Sunday serving as a reminder of his credentials after an early reprieve when Harshal Patel dropped a caught-and-played chance.

Malan’s rounds were his first half-century T20I in a year and came after a tough 19-of-25 run on Saturday. His attacking intent at the start of his innings was a notable departure from his usual pattern: “Malan was amazing,” Mott said. “In the last game he wasn’t very happy with how he handled it and he worked very hard this morning. He played a special set.”

Mott expects to have something approaching a full squad available for all three T20Is against South Africa July 27-31. These will be the last games England play before they name their T20 World Cup squad in mid-September, just before traveling to Pakistan for a seven-game series – although some cross-format players will be rested for this tour.

“I do not think so [the World Cup squad] is still locked,” Mott said. So far there are so many things that could happen – whether it’s injuries or form or whatever. We have a good idea of ​​what we think is the right makeup, but you want players to come in and perform and really deserve that spot. It’s still open to a lot of players and that’s why we’re looking at different combinations and trying to learn.”

Mott also drew positives from death bowling in England, which has been a problem for the past two years. “It was an amazing experience for some of these bowlers,” he said. “[Reece] Topley was gorgeous and [Richard] Gleeson was a real find for us. All the information I’ve had is that it’s definitely an area we’re looking to improve on, so being under that kind of pressure and keeping our cool gives us a lot of confidence.”

England will host Stokes, Bairstow, Joe Root and Craig Overton in their squad for this week’s ODI series against India, which begins at the Kia Oval on Tuesday. “They are obviously world-class players,” Mott said. “As a coach, it’s a great opportunity to learn from probably some of the best players in this format of all time.

“They’ll bring energy to the group and they’re really excited to be there. I don’t think they’ll have to change a whole lot from the way they play, but it’s a slightly different format. . They are coming in pretty hot and we’re right in: it’s the modern game, we’ll see how everyone does.

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