‘Our best cricket is in front of us’: England head coach Matthew Mott ahead of T20 World Cup semi-final against India

NEW DELHI: Ahead of their T20 World semi-final game against India on Thursday, England’s head coach Matthew Mott acknowledged a significant shift in India’s batting approach since their 10-wicket defeat in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final.
Mott highlighted India’s aggressive batting strategy, particularly in the powerplay, spearheaded by captain Rohit Sharma.This contrasts sharply with their conservative approach in the previous encounter, which England exploited by setting a challenging target and restricting India’s scoring rate.

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“Probably the only thing that we’ve discussed is that we feel that they’re a very different team to that semi-final. The way that they’ve approached it in the last couple of years is certainly taking the game on extremely hard in the power play,” said Mott, as quoted by PTI.
The coach anticipates a high-scoring encounter, stressing the challenge posed by India’s new-found aggression and suggesting they might aim to post a daunting total, potentially pushing it beyond England’s reach.
“Rohit (Sharma) with the bat has led the way extremely well and shown leadership in that department, as has Jos Buttler for us. But I think it presents a really unique challenge for us. It’s a venue we don’t know well. We’ve obviously been armed with a lot of information and we think we’ve got a squad to cover it, but there’s a little bit of unknown about what we’re going to get,” he said.
Despite being the defending champions, England enter the match with a point to prove following their disappointing performance in the recent ODI World Cup. Mott, however, exudes confidence in his team’s ability to peak at the right time.
“When we go back to that semi-final, obviously on a good pitch in Adelaide, we put India in and that was a risk. But I thought we felt that they weren’t sure what a good score was. I think the approach now is they would come at us hard and try and maximise that, maybe try and put it out of our reach. You’ve got two great batting line-ups. The bowlers are all class as well. So, it’s going to come down to on the day,” Mott remarked.

Mott admitted India’s consistent presence in the knockout stages of ICC tournaments, attributing it to the team’s quality and experience.
“What India has done incredibly well over the last few years is put themselves in semi-finals contention and the flip side to that is when you don’t win people look at that as a negative. But I think the consistency that they’ve shown over a length of time shows what a great group of players they are. And like anyone, when you get to the semi-final stage, every team, and the four teams out here, all think they’re in with a chance to win it. And there’s small margins. So, if you take those key moments at the right time, you get over the line, if you don’t, you go home. So, our tournament really starts tomorrow, we’re excited by – we know their players well, they know us well,” added England’s head coach.
The coach, however, downplayed England’s inconsistent run in the tournament, underlining their focus on the present and the belief that their best cricket is yet to come.
“There’s a general feeling that our best cricket is in front of us. I think we’ve been pretty good in patches, we’ve done some really good stuff over here, but we haven’t put together that perfect game. So, with a bit of luck that happens against India. It’s certainly going to be a great occasion,” concluded Mott.

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