There are lots of reasons for it but the one key thing we’ve done consistently is play ‘normal’ cricket and when I say that I mean conservative cricket. If you haven’t got some kind of mystery spin or extreme pace or anything like that, then you’ve got to try something different.
In the past, Sri Lanka won a World Cup by coming out and doing something completely different that took everybody by surprise. But whenever I’ve been with England, everything had to go perfectly well for us to beat the top sides consistently.
The top of the order has always been an important part of the game as well, especially when it was 15 overs of Powerplays, and we went over a 10-year period where we were chopping and changing that top order.
You want to have aggressive players but it’s very hard and tough to do that in English conditions. We wanted to go down that line but because we play in England every summer it always came around that we weren’t that successful with that strategy so we always resort back.
We’d tinker with it and then go back to ‘normal’ players all the time instead of picking one strategy.
I played in the last three ICC Cricket World Cups and I never felt we were never really that close to really doing something if I’m totally honest. It’s a disappointing thing to say but we had to have everything going our way to beat the best sides.
You only have to look at Australia. They were always a settled team which knew its roles, whereas we were going into a tournament unsure of what our best line-up was. There have been so many World Cups where we’ve been wondering what our best team is.
Australia knew what the best team was and because of that their roles were always refined and defined and they knew what each other had to do. There was no rocket science about it and they just had better match-winners.