ENGLAND must start playing to the potential captain Stuart Broad is convinced they have - or face an early exit from the ICC World Twenty20.
The champions know, after Thursday’s 15-run defeat against the West Indies at Pallekele, that they need to beat New Zealand at the same venue or suffer what could be harsh consequences.
Should they lose this afternoon, and Sri Lanka beat the West Indies in the match which follows, England’s defence of their title will be over - irrespective of how they fare against the hosts in their final Super Eight fixture on Monday.
Broad has good reason to be exasperated by the damaging false starts to England’s last two run chases, in which early wickets have put them in near-impossible situations.
They never hinted at recovery in a record defeat against India, but did get closer than seemed likely yesterday thanks to a century stand between Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales.
A simple equation faces England - and their captain appears to be relishing the chance to show their true colours. “The next two games are must-win for us,” he said.
“That’s quite a good place to be in; you have clear targets of what you need.”