Chris Woakes backs England to rediscover fielding prowess for Bangladesh game
England’s sloppiness in the field contributed to their shock defeat to Pakistan.
England may be smarting from their momentum-draining defeat by Pakistan but Chris Woakes insists the performance was “no car crash”.
After underlining their status as World Cup favourites with a heavy victory over South Africa. the hosts were brought back to earth by Monday’s 14-run reverse at Trent Bridge.
Not only were they bested by a Pakistan side they had steamrollered 4-0 in the sides’ recent one-day series, but they did so in sloppy fashion.
Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer and Woakes himself were all unusually expensive with the ball and twin hundreds from Joe Root and Jos Buttler papered over an early cluster of soft dismissals. Most concerning, though, was a ragged performance in the field.
Woakes was exemplary, taking four catches, but elsewhere there were fumbles, mis-fields and a horror drop from Jason Roy that allowed Mohammad Hafeez to add another 70 runs to Pakistan’s total.
It was all the more surprising given the immaculate fielding performance against the Proteas – in which Roy played a starring role – and Woakes expects normal service to resume when Bangladesh visit Sophia Gardens on Saturday.
“By no means was it a car crash but it was the difference in the game,” he said.
“We didn’t field as well as we can and probably left 20 runs out there. It was just one of those days where we fumbled a few, probably dived over a couple.
“A few days ago we were putting in an unbelievable performance, so if you drop below that you’re going to be a little bit disappointed. We’re obviously a very good fielding team, we’ve proved that over the past few years, and this was just an off day.
“We proved our standards at the Oval. We’ll meet up in Cardiff, go through our routines and try to meet those same standards.”
Woakes also attempted to draw some of the sting from defeat, suggesting the 10-team round-robin format of the competition did not lend itself to long undefeated streaks.
With Root and Buttler’s fine hundreds factored, England also ensured they went down fighting.
“It’s unlikely any team will go through the tournament unbeaten and if they do it’s a hell of an effort,” the Warwickshire all-rounder said.
“We’re confident coming into every game, we know we can beat any team on our day, but the beauty of this tournament is anyone can.
“You’re going to have ups and downs form-wise. Sometimes it’s about how you bounce back. We’re looking to play our best cricket every game, as much as we can, this wasn’t it but we’re looking to bring it back in Cardiff.
“We saw unbelievable performances from Joe and Jos, two great hundreds deserving of winning the game for England. We just fell short but it’s a good thing that we can get scores like that from the position we were in.”
England, meanwhile, have received a reminder about their on-field conduct after both Roy and Archer were fined 15 per cent of their match fees for incidents in Nottingham.
Roy was penalised for using an audible obscenity following one mistake in the field, while Archer’s theatrical response to having a bouncer called wide was deemed as dissent. Both players earned a demerit point after admitting the charge.
Woakes did not attract the interest of the match referee for raising his finger to his lips then pointing at a section of Pakistan supporters following a fine catch on the boundary.
He explained: “I was copping a bit of abuse, as you do from the opposition, but it was quite friendly. A little ‘shhh’ is just a bit of banter. I always do it with a smile on my face.”