England began with a mauling at the hand of last edition’s runners up New Zealand, who won by nine wickets, chasing a challenging 283 to win.But the English bowlers had no answer to the dominance of Devon Conway (152 not out) and Rachin Ravindra (123*).
The batters, led by Dawid Malan’s 140, once again did the job in the next match against Bangladesh to put up 364/9 on the board and the bowlers also came to the party this time to deliver a 137-run win.
But since that match, England have failed to cross the 215-run mark in three matches, resulting in three crushing defeats. Against South Africa and Sri Lanka, the title holders couldn’t even reach 200.
The four defeats in first five matches is now a record for a team defending its title in an ODI World Cup. Here’s the list:
England – 2019 champions (Lost 4 out of the first 5 matches in 2023-24)
|Oct 5, 2023||New Zealand||Ahmedabad||Lost by 9 wickets|
|Oct 12, 2023||Afghanistan||Delhi||Lost by 69 runs|
|Oct 21, 2023||South Africa||Mumbai||Lost by 229 runs|
|Oct 26, 2023||Sri Lanka||Bengaluru||Lost By 8 wickets|
Before this, the unwanted record was in the name of Australia and Sri Lanka, who had lost three matches each in the first five games of their respective attempts to defend their World Cup title.
Australia – 1987-88 champions (Lost 3 out of the first 5 matches in 1991-92)
|Feb 22, 1992||New Zealand||Auckland||Lost by 22 runs|
|Feb 26, 1992||South Africa||Sydney||Lost by 9 wickets|
|March 5, 1992||England||Sydney||Lost by 8 wickets|
Sri Lanka – 1995-96 champions (Lost 3 out of the first 5 matches in 1999)
|May 14, 1996||England||Lord’s||Lost by 8 wickets|
|May 19, 1996||South Africa||Northampton||Lost by 89 runs|
|May 26, 1996||India||Taunton||Lost by 157 runs|
(Stats Courtesy: Rajesh Kumar)