Dawid Malan believes it would be unfair for England’s head coach Matthew Mott to take the blame for a dire World Cup campaign, suggesting the players themselves “need to take responsibility”.
England arrived in India as reigning champions and among the favourites but have unravelled in dramatic fashion over the past month.
After six games they sit bottom of the table in 10th place, with a solitary win against fellow strugglers Bangladesh, leaving Mott’s white-ball role under scrutiny.
Speculation over the Australian’s position increased when Eoin Morgan, the side’s World Cup-winning former captain, claimed the squad seemed “unsettled” and later suggested England “take a leaf out of Baz’s book” – a direct reference to Test coach Brendon McCullum.
Malan, the top run-scorer and solitary centurion in an underperforming lineup, told BBC Sport: “Motty is not the one walking out on the field.
“We are being given everything we need to perform. The facilities and work, everything is being done as it always has been, we just haven’t been able to find a way to get wins on the board. It has been frustrating from a players’ point of view because we know we’re better than that.
“I’m not involved in selection or any of those things, so I don’t know how that works or who is in charge of all that, but as players we need to take responsibility when we cross that rope.”
Malan broadened the focus away from Mott’s future, insisting that everyone involved in the campaign would be feeling the same heat.
Lost to New Zealand, 9 wickets
Beat Bangladesh, 137 runs
Lost to Afghanistan, 69 runs
Lost to South Africa, 229 runs
Lost to Sri Lanka, 8 wickets
Lost to India, 100 runs
“When you don’t perform well enough as a team there will be questions asked of certain people, whether that is the players, captain, selectors, coach, whoever it is,” he said.
“There is always going to be questions asked, that just comes with it. The only way to change that narrative is to put runs on the board.
“But the mood is still extremely good in the camp. It still feels like all the boys are together.
“I know people say that a lot when their backs are against the wall but genuinely, we still back each other and we’re still here for each other. We just haven’t been able to put those performances out on the pitch.”