Defending champions England faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the opening match of the 2023 ODI World Cup. Despite a pitch favorable to batters, only Joe Root and captain Jos Buttler managed to perform well.
They scored 282 runs, but it wasn’t sufficient as New Zealand comfortably chased it down, winning by nine wickets. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes was absent from the match due to an injury.
In the 2023 World Cup opener, New Zealand beat England by nine wickets
After the game, Buttler expressed confidence in his team’s overall abilities, emphasizing that they don’t rely solely on one player, even though they value Stokes’ skills. He believes all his teammates can make significant contributions in upcoming matches.
“I think Ben’s a top player but we’ve got many top players. I think everyone in the team got into double figures and we didn’t have enough guys go on and make telling contributions.”
“It’s not just Ben who is able to score runs in our team. We’ve got brilliant players right throughout the squad,” Buttler was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Similar to the batters, the bowlers struggled to leave an impact in the previous match. Bowling in the evening conditions in Ahmedabad was challenging, and most of the bowlers delivered average performances, raising concerns.
Mark Wood, who was supposed to step up in the absence of Jofra Archer, conceded 55 runs in just five overs, which is a worrying sign. England’s next match is against Bangladesh, and they are anticipating several changes.
Ben Stokes is set to return, and Reece Topley, who performed exceptionally well in practice games, is likely to join the team. This could mean Harry Brook and Chris Woakes may make way for them.