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HomeBangladesh v EnglandMatthew Mott interview: Root, Malan, Stokes, Archer & more

Matthew Mott interview: Root, Malan, Stokes, Archer & more

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Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

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Members of the media spoke with England men’s white-ball coach Matthew Mott during their tour of Bangladesh. Mott spoke on a wide range of topics regarding England’s white-ball game and where they stand ahead of the ODI World Cup.

You can listen to the entire discussion below. In this article, we will cover a few of the key topics, namely England’s approach, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and his view on World Cups.

Matthew Mott interview: key quotes

Q: Saw a little bit of evolution thinking in the way you bat. Your team has always been to be a bit uber aggressive. Saw a little bit more of a template for Asian conditions.

“From 2019 a lot of statisticians have told us that we have been more aggressive since then. It’s something; I think the making of this team is aggressive. It’s about getting the fine balance between aggression and playing the smart game in different conditions as well. We know we are not going to get belters every time we bat. When we do, we will back ourselves against everyone. It’s on the trickier conditions that were there yesterday [3rd ODI against Bangladesh] that’s the evolution. It’s about finding a way – when we talk about playing what is in front of us. Probably yesterday the lack of execution, there weren’t too many bad shots but just some shots where if we adjust on a little bit more and probably waited a little bit more in these conditions then we might have put the ball to the boundary than getting out. So, it was a good opportunity to learn for us yesterday.”

Q: England have got Joe Root as the straight guy in the whole team and everyone going mental around him. Dawid Malan is the guy being intended to play when Joe Root isn’t there to fill that role. Do you think it is possible that they both play in three and four as the double anchor pair?

“Absolutely. I think they can definitely play in the same team. Their numbers are incredible. Joe is one of the all-time greats. Dawid Malan’s record over the last 18 months is incredible – both white-ball and T20s. He has played 16 innings in this format and scored four hundreds. They are incredible numbers. As I said, when you add in those extra players, there are going to be some class players who will miss out of that top six. All you can keep doing as a batter in this time is to keep scoring runs in whatever format it is.”

Q: On the subject of Ben (Stokes) and the developments around him. Is that going to have an impact if he comes out of retirement for the World Cup or if he can’t bowl for example?

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“Don’t know, to be honest. I have deliberately made an effort to leave Ben alone. Obviously, I am in touch with him. The issue about whether he wants to play, we don’t need to know that for a while. I would say, halfway through that summer, gauging on how he is feeling physically and mentally that will be his call whether he wants to make himself available for selection. We will welcome him back. Obviously, we are talking team balance – you have got a player who can bowl in any over of the game and make big hundreds as well. Any team will cry out for that. I think the worst thing you can do is to put pressure on him early to make a decision. We have to see how his body is holding up and how he is feeling physically and mentally.”

Q: Obviously, we are talking about the World Cup which is seven months away, which is a long time. Has that been a topic of discussion in the dressing room as well?

“I think we talk about it all the time, to be honest. These bilateral series – of course you want to win it, they are important to win, but it is all building towards that (World Cup).

As we found out leading to that T20 World Cup, people forget series’ pretty quickly but they don’t forget how you go in World Cups.

That obviously puts a lot of pressure on the World Cup but I don’t like looking that far ahead but the realistic thing about this team is that this is our last opportunity to get together. We have been exposed to the conditions that we want to be exposed to. I think, to come over here and had flat, belting wickets – it wouldn’t be the same experience. We have had to work for everything. You can’t buy that. I mean if we are asking to construct a series, this is the best series for us. It’s difficult. You are stuck in a hotel, can’t get out and about. The group is tied up. I think when we look back at the T20 World Cup, Pakistan (tour) was a very similar experience. We drew on that a lot for the World Cup and essentially that’s what it is about. It’s about how you perform in the World Cups.”

Q: We have had four games of Jofra (Archer) in South Africa and here. How has that changed your thinking? Having a bowler of that class, that calibre. What have you made of him as a character around the group and what difference does he make to your team?

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“He is a box office player, isn’t he? He is someone everyone wants to turn up and see. He has fitted back in the group. Incredible effort for a fast bowler the other game to be out and come back and bowl the way he has done. He would admit that he is not fully firing in all cylinders. But, I think, even yesterday, his adaption, his slower balls, he read the wicket, just shows that he is building and by the time the we get to the – the red-ball guys for the Ashes and the World Cup, you can just see he is ticking all the boxes to be back to his best again. I think he is incredible for him to be comeback and he just seems to be very slowly, strategically doing it right, ticking over and come the Ashes, come the World Cup, I am sure you will see him back to his best.

Q: Could he have played two games in three days here? Could he have, if required, done that yet?

“Not really. The medical advice was definitely not for back-to-back games. I think it actually suits us anyway. We are just trying to find our best 15 for that World Cup. Different opportunities for different players, testing our depth because you know he is walk-in. Of course, I will love him for every single game, who wouldn’t? But in the bigger picture, to get in overs for other bowlers in these conditions is probably better.”

Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jha is a media professional and cricket writer who has managed social media content, public relations (PR) and marketing related content for cricketer Ajinkya Rahane and cricket presenter and stand-up comedian Vikram Sathaye. Also, Tarkesh has been featured in some leading publications such as Sportskeeda, Khel Now, firstpost.com, and cnbctv18.com

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