England might not have been everyone’s favourite team but they sure were given the tag of ‘favourites’ to win the Champions Trophy, having been runners-up in the last edition. A formidable batting lineup, the perfect fast bowlers, a world class all-rounder and a leg spinner in the ranks; all the right ingredients to win a trophy, no? The had beaten South Africa in a bilateral series right before the start of CT to enter the tournament on a high. They had every chance to win their first major ICC ODI tournament and perhaps because of that became complacent.
England were tagged as “favourites” to win the Champions Trophy
England started off the tournament with a perfect win, comprehensively defeating Bangladesh in their first game. Next up was the disinterested New Zealand. England’s batsmen did their job by putting up a 300 plus total on the board (which is the new normal for England since the 2015 WC) and then Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett did the trick with the ball. The last group match against Australia proved no different. Mark Wood shined with the ball while Ben Stokes showed his magic with the bat. England topped their group with flying colours and were all set to face a rejuvenated Pakistan in the semi-final.
Liam Plunkett took 55/4 against New Zealand
‘A used pitch’ is what went wrong for England in the semi-final against Pakistan. Or perhaps not just the pitch but the fact that they were outplayed on that day by a far better opposition. England were complacent and their arrogance got to them. Before the start of the game, no one in their wildest imagination would’ve thought of the annihilation England were about to suffer. A team which is used to putting up big totals on the board was choked in the first innings, and their star batting line-up full of power hitters could only manage 211 against a bowling unit which had come to life. Just like the batsmen, their bowlers never looked like taking wickets. England started off the tournament winning by 8 wickets and ended the tournament losing by 8 wickets.