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Moeen admits time's up for England golden generation

James Ross/AAP PHOTOS

Vice-captain Moeen Ali has urged England to rebuild their ageing team after the World Cup, conceding "the writing was on the wall and we just didn't see it".

Moeen was part of a golden generation who became world champions on home soil in 2019 and are likely to go down as the country's best ever white-ball side, but their story is ending in disarray after their dismal World Cup exit in India.

Ashes rivals Australia became the latest side to turn them over on Sunday, finally confirming the early exit that had long been on the cards.

Moeen, the oldest player in the squad at 36, has acknowledged that time has caught up with them.

"I just think everything good comes to an end at some point," he said.

"Maybe the writing was on the wall and we just didn't see it as players because we thought we'd be performing well.

"I think if I was in charge I'd play the younger guys, I'd just start again and I'm sure they're going to do that. It's common sense more than anything. You want that fearless approach and it's a great time to start again."

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are among the stalwarts who have publicly said they want to carry on in 50-over cricket, but Moeen appears ready to step away with no grudges.

"I'm obviously going to speak to Jos Buttler and Motty (head coach Matthew Mott) and see what they want from me, whether they want me around or whatever," he said.

"I don't know. If they say, 'look we're going to go with younger players and start again' then I'm more than happy. I get it, I understand. Everything good comes to an end at some point."

England could choose to start the regeneration process immediately, with Harry Brook (24), Sam Curran (25), Gus Atkinson (25) and Brydon Carse (28) all waiting in the wings in the current squad.

Bringing Brook back into a top six that has repeatedly fallen short appears the most obvious move but England may find it hard to shrug off their conservatism by making wholesale changes against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

The game in Pune is not only a must-win in terms of basic pride but also critical if England are to keep alive their hopes of finishing in the top eight and securing a place in the Champions Trophy in 2025.