Must keep cool heads, says Root | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, June 28, 2019

Must keep cool heads, says Root

Joe Root expects emotions to run high against India on Sunday in a game England may have to win to reach the World Cup semi-finals in their home tournament.

A heavy defeat by Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday was England’s third defeat of the tournament and leaves their hopes of reaching the knockout stage in the balance.

England are in fourth place in the 10-team table but are now just one point ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan and two clear of Sri Lanka. The top four sides qualify for the semifinals.

Winning their last two group games would secure a semi-final spot but seeing off both India and New Zealand would require a sharp improvement from a side who have lost their way since starting the campaign as clear favourites.

When they walk out at Edgbaston this weekend, swathes of fans from Birmingham’s big British Asian community will be backing India, heaping the pressure on the home side.

“I personally think we have to be very calm about how we approach the next couple of games because the games themselves might get quite emotional, especially with the atmosphere at Edgbaston,” said Test captain Root.

“We believe we’re still more than capable of qualifying for the semi-finals and when that happens, it doesn’t really matter how you got there because that’s when the tournament really starts to kick in,” he added.

“We’ll see these two games as quarterfinals if you like, which in a way when it comes round to the knockout stage should serve you well.

“You’re going to have to win big games at some stage in the tournament if you’re going to go on and win it, so it may be that ours have come just a little bit sooner than we anticipated.”

Root also admitted that England had failed to adapt to the pitches at the tournament, saying that the difference between the pitches at the World Cup and during ODI series were quite different.

“If you look at some of the par scores throughout this tournament, they have been very different to when we have played in bilateral series. We have turned up to some venues in this tournament and things have been quite different to when we have played one-day series there in the past.

“We haven’t necessarily adapted as well as we could have. It is frustrating and very disappointing that we have played in the manner we have in the last two games. There are a number of things we could have done slightly better.

“I just don’t think we have played as well as we can. We have made some basic errors that we want to put right in the next two games. But I strongly believe we are more than capable of qualifying for the semi-finals. We have played both these opposition in the recent past and had huge success. So we have got to look at that, the other stuff we have done well throughout the competition and put it all together.”

Rashid was pragmatic over the prospect of a hostile crowd, at the same ground where his close friend Moeen Ali was booed during an India game in 2014.

“People will enjoy themselves, have some fun and banter,” he said. “We will not be fazed by that.”

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