CHRISTCHURCH: England placed their faith in the side who were humiliated by co-hosts New Zealand last Friday by naming an unchanged side to play Scotland in their Pool A match at Hagley Oval on Monday.
Steven Finn, whose two overs against New Zealand cost 49 runs, was retained along with batsman Gary Ballance who struggled to hit the ball off the square in Wellington.
A buoyant Scotland side, beaten by New Zealand by three wickets in their opening game after some spirited bowling while defending a low total, immediately placed extra pressure on England.
Captain Preston Mommsen won the toss and decided to field after the pitch area had been freshened by overnight rain while low cloud cover could help the ball to swing.
Scotland selected top-order batsman Freddie Coleman and pace bowler Alasdair Evans in place of Hamish Gardiner and Rob Taylor.
The English media have been scathing in their criticism of the national team after two defeats in six days following six months devoted to preparing for the tournament.
There have been suggestions that coach Peter Moores and managing director Paul Downton will lose their jobs if England fails to emerge from their slump while Eoin Morgan, a late replacement for Alistair Cook as national captain, is in abysmal form with the bat.
Moores apologised for his team’s performance against New Zealand after arriving in Christchurch.
“It was unacceptable,” he said. “We are not looking for excuses.”
Paul Collingwood, who captained the only England team to win a major one-day tournament in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup and who is now part of the Scotland coaching team, said the current team could be eliminated in the first round.
“England doesn’t look as if they’ll get out of the group at this stage,” he said. “That’s the harsh reality.”