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How England can turn Cricket World Cup campaign around
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Danny Ryan
Jos Buttler's England are entering the last-chance saloon
Jos Buttler's England are entering the last-chance saloon

England's Cricket World Cup defence is in tatters after convincing defeats to New Zealand, Afghanistan and South Africa.

The only victory for Jos Buttler's men came against Bangladesh and if the holders are to reach the semi-finals, they will likely need to win their remaining five matches.

But with so many gifted white-ball players in the squad, a run of victories is not outside the realms of possibility.

Ahead of key fixtures against Sri Lanka and India this week, we take a look at how England can get their campaign back on track.

Bring back Mo

With Ben Stokes unable to bowl, England need a premier all-rounder — and Moeen Ali is an option after being left out for the last three games.

Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone and David Willey have all tried to excel in both departments this tournament and come up short.

So maybe it is time for Buttler to recall vice-captain Ali and slot him in at No7, all while reducing the reliance on Joe Root's off-spin.

The 36-year-old has played 133 one-day internationals and is very experienced playing in sub-continental conditions thanks to his 59 appearances in the Indian Premier League.

Ali's numbers in the 50-over format are far from sensational — 2,271 runs at an average of 24.7 and 106 wickets at an average of 48.3 — but like Stokes did in this summer's Ashes, Buttler should turn to one of England's veterans in his hour of need.

Moeen Ali was dropped after England's heavy defeat to New Zealand
Moeen Ali was dropped after England's heavy defeat to New Zealand

Stop chasing

Buttler's decision to field first against South Africa in the sweltering Mumbai heat unsurprisingly proved to be a shocker — for more than one reason.

On top of those testing weather conditions, England's record chasing in ODIs of late has been woeful, losing seven of their last eight matches when batting second.

So leaning towards hunting down totals — a situation they previously thrived in during Eoin Morgan's white-ball revolution — is a habit they need to get out of.

The defending champions' only win this tournament came when they set Bangladesh an imposing total of 364-9, before skittling their opposition for just 227 under the lights.

If England get the chance to bat first against either Sri Lanka or India, they need to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Give Carse a chance

Brydon Carse is now part of England's Cricket World Cup squad
Brydon Carse is now part of England's Cricket World Cup squad

Brydon Carse has been brought in as a replacement for the injured Reece Topley, who fractured his finger in the South Africa thrashing.

And given that Topley was the pick of England's seamers in the first four matches, there is no reason why Carse should not be given a chance to shine.

The 28-year-old already has 12 ODI caps, taking 14 wickets at an average of 33.9.

His ability to bowl in the region of 90mph consistently could make him a similar threat in the middle overs to 2019 hero Liam Plunkett, with Root referring to the squad's newest addition as "Junior Plunkett" earlier this week.

Carse would also strengthen the batting line-up, as he boasts a first-class average of 31.85.

Attack, attack, attack

England's mantra in the Morgan era was to attack whatever the conditions and whatever the potential cost.

This tournament, they seem to have slowly drifted away from that style and their attempts to play conservatively have allowed opposition bowlers the freedom to build momentum.

Afghanistan's spinners and South Africa's pacers each made England's top order crumble with a litany of soft dismissals — perhaps most notably Dawid Malan's tame flick down the leg side to gift Marco Jansen a wicket and leave his team 24-3.

England need to revert back to their front-foot best, when they had every other team on the planet fearful of their batting power.

And if they still lose while taking the game to the opposition, the criticism will be far less scathing.

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