England white-ball head coach Matthew Mott admitted that the 2-1 defeat in T20I series to South Africa is a “line in the sand moment” for the hosts. In the decider T20I at the Ageas Bowl, England were defeated by 90 runs against South Africa to end a home summer where they didn’t win a single white-ball series at home.
“We were down on confidence with bat and ball. It was disappointing. I thought we put ourselves in a good position to win the series and we’ll have take a lot out of that game. I’ve just spoken to Jos very briefly and this is a line in the sand moment for the team,” said Mott after the match to Sky Sports.
England’s next T20I assignments will be in mid-September, when they travel to Pakistan for seven T20Is, followed by flying to Australia for three-match T20I series and Men’s T20 World Cup. “We’ll want to use The Hundred really well to get that confidence so when we get ready for Pakistan and the World Cup we’re a bit of a different team,” stated Mott.
Further speaking on BBC Test Match Special, Mott pointed towards lack of fighting effort with the bat as the reason behind the thrashing in third T20I against the Proteas. “We came in with high hopes to try and win the series and we never really got going. They were a bit over par with the bat and clearly we just lost too many wickets to mount a challenge at the end.”
“It ends up with a bit of a sour taste on the last day. It’s been a bit of a struggle. We’ve had ups and downs throughout the summer. We’ve played two great teams and come out second both times so we’re disappointed.”
Mott refused to put the blame of England’s disappointing time in white-ball matches to hectic schedule, where they played 12 matches in 25 days. “The quick turnarounds certainly haven’t helped but we’ve got to be better than that. As a group we have to acknowledge that we’re still professional cricketers and you have to go out and front up and that performance was not what we want to be renowned for.”
Former England captain Eoin Morgan opined on Sky Sports that England’s batting looked tentative in the third T20I against South Africa. “I would. England’s strength is their aggressive batting but they looked tentative in this game. In previous years, England would have played a lot more shots earlier as opposed to giving it more thought, more calculation.”