Root Urges No Panic

Joe Root has urged England “not to panic” after their 14-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Root became the first man to register a century in the 2019 tournament but was unable to help his side complete the highest successful run-chase in World Cup history. With Jos Buttler he added 130 for England’s fifth wicket but, with only one other man in the top seven reaching 20, Root admitted they left themselves “a little bit too much to do”.
But while he accepted England “definitely weren’t as good” in the field as they should have been, Root called on his team-mates to “stick to the way we go about things” in the remainder of the tournament. England went into the World Cup as the No. 1-ranked ODI side having not lost a bilateral series at home since 2015.
“The most important thing now for us as a group is not to panic,” Root said. “We know what works for us as a formula and as a team, but other sides are allowed to play well. We’ve got to make sure we learn quickly and bounce back at Cardiff
“In the field we definitely weren’t as good as we were in the first game, that’s for sure.”
Root’s call for calm looks pertinent. England did look anxious in the field on Monday. Just as they appeared to suffer a bout of stage-fright in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy in Cardiff in 2017, it seemed the expectation of going into this tournament – and in particular the Pakistan game – as favourites was weighing on their mind. Their fielding was uncharacteristically untidy while there were moments when they appeared tetchy with each other, the opposition and even the crowd.
And given it seems likely that teams will qualify for the semi-finals despite two or even three defeats, the consequences of this result mean that England will have to win at least one of their games against strong-looking New Zealand, Australia and India.
But while Root accepted Monday’s result might spread some tension within the squad, he insisted there were plenty of games left for England to bounce back from the performance and they should stick to the aggressive approach that had served them well in recent times.
“The temptation is to get a little bit tense,” Root said. “But one of our great strengths as a side is sticking to the way we go about things and being as smart as possible.
“And the beauty of this format is that I do believe the best four teams over the tournament will qualify for the semi-finals and we’ve got to make sure we play some good cricket in our remaining games.
“One thing this side doesn’t do very often is to make the same mistake twice and I’m sure the guys will make sure it’s a very different performance against Bangladesh.”

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