NEW DELHI: Defending champions England were pushed to the brink of World Cup elimination on Thursday when they were handed an eight-wicket thrashing by Sri Lanka in their crucial ICC ODI World Cup match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.England now have four defeats and just one victory and need to win their remaining four matches to maintain their slender hope of sneaking into the semi-finals.
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh came down hard on the 2019 champions and called their captain Jos Buttler ‘clueless’.
“Jos Buttler has never looked so clueless. Ben Stokes was asked to come out of retirement ahead of the World Cup but got injured. He has failed to make a significant impact in the matches he has played,” Harbhajan Singh said in a YouTube video.Chasing just 157 to win, Sri Lanka reached 160-2 with 146 balls to spare thanks to in-form Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama. For the Three Lions, Ben Stokes top-scored with 43 but even he was unable to perform one of his trademark rescue missions as Sri Lanka ripped through their rivals in just 33.2 overs.
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“England loved to chase in white-ball cricket and had batters who only dealt in fours and sixes. However, forget about boundaries; they aren’t even sure of how to take singles. It seems as if they have forgotten how to play this format. They haven’t looked like world champions,” Harbhajan said.England, who are languishing in ninth spot in the points tally with 2 points – 1 win and 4 defeats in 5 matches – will take on an undefeated India on Saturday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.”England’s next match is against India. I don’t think they are capable of beating India, and they will have to deal with yet another loss. I feel it might be a spin-friendly surface, and we could see India play three spinners,” he added.