World T20 2016 March 24, 2016

Batsmen need to adapt better - Farbrace

ESPNcricinfo staff

Paul Farbrace, England's assistant coach, has admitted the team put in a disappointing batting display against Afghanistan but praised the application that allowed them to emerge with a 15-run win in Delhi.

England have won two games in a row, in wildly differing circumstances, after losing their opening match with West Indies and still have their sights set on a semi-final spot. Having chased down 230 to beat South Africa in Mumbai on Friday, England stuttered to 142 for 7 against Afghanistan but put in an improved bowling display to secure victory.

"We can talk about a developing team, a team lacking experience, but it's also about winning and I think that the character we showed in the second half of the game was excellent," Farbrace said. "I thought we showed really good character.

"But we were very disappointed with the way that we batted. There's no fudging that. We didn't adapt to the conditions. We didn't work out that the ball was skidding on and played for turn that wasn't there. The Afghan bowlers bowled in the right way, they bowled wicket-to-wicket and encouraged us to hit across the ball. We did, and lost wickets.

"There certainly will have been a decent discussion at the end of the game, and there will probably be more over the next couple of days, through practice, leading up from Saturday. We know we've got areas to improve, we're not going to hide behind anything. We've got to keep working hard on our all-round game. We've played half a game again, but we have won which is the most important thing."

England's fluctuating form has reflected their inexperience - both of international cricket and the conditions in India. Their final Group 1 match will be against Sri Lanka on Saturday, with a win required to give them a realistic chance of reaching the last four.

While Sri Lanka are the defending champions, they are also rebuilding after the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, as well as the loss of Lasith Malinga to injury. Farbrace was in charge when they lifted the trophy in 2014, while England coach Trevor Bayliss has also been at the helm with Sri Lanka, and they will not be taking the challenge lightly.

"Sri Lanka have got some high-quality bowlers," Farbrace said. "[Rangana] Herath would have loved to have bowled on that surface, so he's someone we're going to have to prepare and practise well for for Saturday. [Tillakaratne] Dilshan is another one, he skids the ball on. Yes he does spin it, but he's also a very experienced bowler.

"They're a very good side. In Graham Ford they've got a fantastic coach. Angelo Mathews is an exceptional captain. They've had a tough little period in the last few months. In Mahela and Sanga they've lost two hugely experienced players who have been fantastic guys for them on the field. But they've still got good players, and they're capable of beating anyone on their day, as we are, and as anybody is in this tournament.

"Between Trevor and myself we know a fair bit about them and their players, but our focus will be on us and what we need to do and how we need to win the game."

Farbrace also offered words of encouragement for England's captain, Eoin Morgan, whose first-ball duck against Afghanistan extended his run of middling form in white-ball cricket, with his last ODI or T20 half-century coming 16 innings ago on the tour of the UAE.

"In practice - and you'd expect me to say this - he's striking the ball very well," Farbrace said. "The one thing that Eoin is, he's very honest. He's not someone who'll be kidding us and making excuses. He misjudged the ball. He makes an error, and that costs you a wicket. But I think he's been hitting the ball really well, practising really well.

"He's the sort of bloke who is our experienced man, and maybe he feels that in this side he carries a fair bit of weight on his shoulders in terms of experience going into every game. Maybe he feels he has to do more than he needs to, and that's something that only he knows. But between now and Saturday, there'll be a decent discussion with him, making sure he's clear in his own mind how he's going to play, and making sure that his plans are absolutely right."

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  • The_bowlers_Holding on March 26, 2016, 13:05 GMT

    I have to agree with comments about Taylor, he would be ideal good player of spin, rotates the strike, excellent fielder is it a size issue, are the management sizeist?

  • wereyorkshire on March 25, 2016, 13:02 GMT

    the batsmen put up 230 in the last game. The clear weak link in this England side is the seam bowling

  • vishkg on March 25, 2016, 11:22 GMT

    Hoping England go as far as poss, good thing is we haven't even peaked yet. However, post wc would like to see Taylor into the side (T20 and odi). He's someone who plays with the head, very good assessor of the pitch and can rotate. Very surprised his not here right now! Looking at Morgans stats he doesn't average over 40 against any of the top teams except aus (42) but that includes a few high scores which were not out. This explains his inconsistency....he smashes the lesser side but cant do the same when bowled against with a plan. Taylor for Morgan plus get wood and Finn back from injury we are not a bad side.

  • landl47 on March 25, 2016, 3:23 GMT

    The one thing England mustn't do is settle back into a cautious frame of mind. In this format it's go for broke all the time. If they lose while playing all-out attacking cricket, hey, stuff happens. If they play as though they are scared to be too bold, then they deserve to lose and almost certainly will.

    Give it a crack, guys. The fans will be right befind you.

  • jimmyvida on March 24, 2016, 18:00 GMT

    England has a very good chance of pulling this off. You have the best all round team, excellent fielding, good bowling and batting to #X1. Even if you play India in the final game on a turning wicket, you win. With the exception of Kohli none of the Indian batsmen are reasonably good against spin. Within the next few days we'll see who qualifies for the semis. Until then, good luck to all.

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