Lack of confidence proved lethal for England in World Cup: Collingwood


Paul Collingwood

You can only imagine how devastated England’s players will be after they were knocked out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 by Bangladesh. It actually hurts me. It gives you that feeling in the pit of your stomach for how bad the players must be feeling at the moment.

They know they haven’t played their best cricket. They’ll be soul-searching just like other England players through World Cups. It will have been desperate in that dressing room.

If we’d scraped through against Bangladesh it was probably only delaying things by a couple of games. Ok, you give yourself the chance of getting into the quarter-finals and you never know.

England were clinging on in that hope of getting to the quarters and hoping that it would click or an individual or the team would do something special, but if they had beaten Bangladesh it would have been papering over the cracks and hiding where they’re really at.

Bangladesh played a really good game and you have to give them a lot of credit, getting themselves in a position to put England under pressure. They didn’t get a huge score but they didn’t allow England to get away from them and once the wickets started falling you could sense the pressure building.

I’m sure the whole of Bangladesh is partying right now and so they should be because it’s incredible and a huge scalp for them.

You just sensed the nerves in the England team. You play cricket as a living and there are a lot of pressures on your shoulders and you could just see where the confidence levels are.

That’s the huge difference between all these teams. There’s a lot of skill and talent in that England side, players that can do special things. England got a good team on the park but when confidence isn’t as high as other teams, it suffocates you and England seemed as though they were running out of breath.

You look at someone like Glenn Maxwell coming into bat and poor Eoin Morgan who I have a lot of sympathy for, and they’re just miles apart. They’re both world-class players and that confidence and the mental side just seems to be lacking at the moment.

I sympathise with Peter Moores as well. I can’t imagine what he must be going through as a coach. It must be tough to see your team perform like that when you know they can play a lot better.

It was always going to be very hard to change things overnight. There were a lot of last-minute changes coming into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Eoin Morgan taking over the captaincy seemed a real positive step at the time and I think he can do a fantastic job in the future.

Everything seemed to be fragile, it just seemed like it might not take much for it to unravel. The best situation you can have is if this team had been together for a year and got to know each other’s games and confidence levels rose during that period.

They were going into a World Cup unsure about a lot of things and unfortunately it hasn’t turned out well.

If you look at what teams are doing now, they’re making what you could call an entertaining mockery of the last 15 overs.

The game has moved on so quickly, even in this tournament which has surprised everyone, and people are doing things that you thought might be doing in five or 10 years.

Everyone can say it is rule changes but it’s just the belief of what they can do these days. It’s no consequences stuff and the best players are going out as if it’s a game in the back yard. You can sense that the England players have that fear of failure.

How do we get that free-flowing, natural talent and expression to come out of our players? At the minute they’re nowhere near what other teams are doing.

I genuinely believe we’ve got some seriously exciting talent around the country. A lot of people will question our one-day cricket in England and the ability that we have our approach. I honestly think there are some amazing one-day cricketers in England and I see it day in, day out playing county and one-day cricket.

I don’t think there needs to be a huge uprooting of the domestic game, we’ve got the talent there but it’s not being shown.

It’ll take a while because confidence will be as low as ever now. They’ve got a really tough game coming up against Afghanistan now which will be one of the hardest they’ve played in, not because of who they’re playing against but because they’re going into it knowing that they’re out of the tournament.

Somehow they need to pick themselves up and take the bull by the horns. Courtesy ICC