England’s cricket director Andrew Strauss has insisted that England’s improving limited-overs team needs to learn from their “missed opportunity” at this year’s Champions Trophy.
While the team were impressive at Old Trafford against the West Indies, with excellent bowling from Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid as well as a century from Jonny Bairstow, Strauss wants to see more progress. He wants the team to overcome their eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat by Pakistan in Cardiff three months ago.
Last week Strauss said, “I do think the Champions Trophy was a missed opportunity, because the confidence that comes from winning a global event is massive. We headed into that semi-final … [feeling] like we had every reason to expect to win that event.”
However, England faltered as soon as the knockout stages began.
“We shouldn’t take anything away from the way Pakistan played that day,” Strauss added.
“They outplayed us, and there are some lessons for us to learn about knockout cricket, bearing in mind the next World Cup. The vast majority of it is group cricket and then semi-finals and final – two big games, and you have to enter those games in the right frame of mind. There are no second chances.”
However, he has been encouraged by England’s improvement since their disappointing campaign in the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand two years ago. He pointed out that the team has moved from an average of losing more white-ball games than they win and over the last year they have won more than 70% of one-day internationals.
“I don’t think there is any magic formula to winning a World Cup. If you look at the teams who have won over the last 20 years, they have generally always been in the top three teams in the world heading into it.”
“So the quality of performances in the lead-up to the World Cup will be really important. In that sense, we are in a good place.”