Lucknow, Oct 27 (PTI) Besides England's all or nothing approach, the below-par performance of their IPL stars has contributed to the defending champions' catastrophic campaign in the World Cup thus far.
As former captain Nasser Hussain pointed out after England's fourth loss in five games, there is little point looking for scapegoats for the team's shambolic run.
A team of full of stars, including Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, has not just clicked as a unit. England shed their outdated approach in ODIs to win the Cup four years later but the same band of the players, who contributed to the team's glorious past in home conditions, has cut a sorry figure on sub-continental tracks.
The importance of IPL experience is often paramount in order to crack the white-ball code in India and despite having got tons of T20 league experience under their belt, the likes of Buttler, Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali have flattered to deceive.
There is a world of difference between the T20 and 50-over format but much more was expected for the IPL regulars who know the Indian conditions at the back of their hand.
Sam Curran, the most expensive played in IPL history, too has done nothing to write home about. Equally dismal has been Harry Brook, who hasn't crossed 30 in three of the four games. He is also a million pound plus IPL buy.
In contrast to the underwhelming showing by England's IPL stars, their counterparts in Australia and South Africa have performed on the big stage using the acquired knowledge.
South Africa's Quinton de Kock has three centuries in five games while Australia's David Warner smashed his back-to-back hundred in the competition on Wednesday.
CSK and New Zealand opener Devon Conway too has made match-winning contributions. In bowling, Mitchell Santner's CSK experience has been really handy for the Black Caps and Rachin Ravindra might get some good bucks in the mini-auction in December. Experience of local conditions always comes in useful but the fact that English batters have not been able to pace their innings over the course of 50 overs has also let the team down. The uber-aggressive playing style is necessity of the shortest format but one must know how to shift gears in the 50-over game.
South Africa have been smashing at close to 15 runs per over in the last 60 balls but there is a method to the madness. De Kock, pacing his innings with his conventional strokeplay, has given the license to the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller to go ballistic in the death overs.
England can learn from the Proteas on how to make the best use of all the firepower at their disposal. The bowling too has left a lot to be desired with ultra-quick Mark Wood, who made an instant impact in the IPL this year, struggling for accuracy in the ongoing World Cup.
As Hussain said, there is not much wrong with this ageing England squad. They had their time under the sun and perhaps it is only fair to move on.
"They have collapsed as a unit. Their form has deserted them and it just feels like we're coming to the end of an era. It has been a bridge too far for some of them," Hussain told Sky Sports.
"That said, it's so easy to be wise after the event. Some of those cricketers on that park today would go in your best-ever England white-ball XI and I wouldn't have changed things before the tournament.
"A sports psychologist once said to me, 'if you stay at the same level, do not think that you're improving'. It has looked like a side that has stayed at the same level, thinking 'that will do, double world champions, we're fine'. Well, they're not alright, they're on the verge of going out," he added. PTI BS KHS KHS