Ravi Shastri showcased remarkable charisma while providing commentary during the recent India vs. England match at the 2023 World Cup in Lucknow. England, however, faced another disheartening loss, this time to India by 100 runs, significantly jeopardizing their campaign in the tournament. The aftermath of this defeat has seen England bearing the brunt of severe criticism, with none more scathing than the remarks delivered by Ravi Shastri on air.
During their pursuit of 229, England faltered, collapsing to a perilous 98/8 before eventually succumbing at 129 runs. Esteemed cricket pundits like Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton reiterated their concerns about Jos Buttler and his team’s wavering mental state. Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan, a former World Cup-winning captain, detected a deteriorating morale within the dressing room due to the string of defeats. Nevertheless, Ravi Shastri took his critique to another level, challenging England’s status as the reigning World Champions.
Apart from a solitary victory against Bangladesh, England’s five defeats in the tournament have been resoundingly one-sided. New Zealand thrashed them by 9 wickets in the opening match, Afghanistan stunned them with a 69-run win, South Africa annihilated them by 229 runs, and Sri Lanka outplayed them by eight wickets. These results are far from what is expected from the current world champions, and Shastri aligns himself with the public outcry in the UK, urging England to take responsibility for their subpar performance.
Shastri emphatically stated, “England should be devastated – spectators, supporters. In the first match they lost, New Zealand beat them with 17 overs to spare. Against South Africa, they were all out in 20 overs. That game ended quickly. Then they were dismissed for 30 overs against Sri Lanka, where Sri Lanka comfortably chased the target in 25 overs. Today, they had lost 8 wickets in just 32 overs. You call yourselves World Champions? If they aren’t disheartened by their performance, who will be?”
England’s woes have positioned them at the bottom of the World Cup standings after their fourth consecutive defeat, even trailing behind Bangladesh in 10th place, with a dismal net run rate of -1.652. With matches remaining against Australia, the Netherlands, and Pakistan, England’s primary motivations are pride and the chance to qualify for the Champions Trophy. As revealed during the recent game, only the top 8 teams in this World Cup will earn a spot in the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan. This implies that if England’s troubles persist, they may miss out on this prestigious tournament in two years.
Shastri summed it up, “From this point forward, England must play for pride. I say this because they currently occupy the bottom spot on the points table. In the 2025 Champions Trophy, only the top 8 teams from this World Cup will qualify. Therefore, if England remains in the bottom two, it would be a significant setback for a team of their stature to miss out on a prestigious ICC event like the Champions Trophy.