Cricket World Cup: Joe Root says England must trust they are still 'best team in the world'

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport

Joe Root says England must trust that they are still "the best team in the world" in order to get their World Cup campaign back on track.

Back-to-back losses mean they may have to beat both India and New Zealand to avoid going out.

"We have to stay calm, look at the things we know will make us a better team and will put us back to our best," Root told BBC Sport.

"We must trust that when we do that, we are the best team in the world."

England have dominated in 50-over cricket since the last World Cup, beginning this tournament as favourites and the top-ranked team.

But Tuesday's 64-run defeat by Australia at Lord's followed a shock 20-run reverse against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.

Those results, along with a loss to Pakistan earlier in the tournament, have left England fourth in the 10-team group.

They are under pressure from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for a place in the semi-finals and, depending on results of matches involving those teams, will have to win one or both of their games against India on Sunday and New Zealand next Wednesday.

With the destiny still in their own hands, Root says that believing they are four wins from being world champions is a "great way" of viewing their current situation.

"If we win these last two games, you could argue that we'll be in the best possible position when the semi-finals start," he added.

The successive defeats came after a win against Afghanistan in which captain Eoin Morgan hit 17 sixes and England a total of 25, both ODI records.

At that stage, they were top of the table.

"Things change very quickly in tournament cricket. Look at where we were sat a week ago. Now, we're being written off," said Yorkshire batsman Root.

"It's a great opportunity to prove a few people wrong and play in the way we know we can against two strong opposition."

Sunday's game against India will be a challenge both on and off the field for England.

Not only have India been perhaps the most impressive team in the tournament so far, but they are likely to have the majority of the crowd support at Edgbaston.

"It's a tasty one, isn't it?" said Root. "I'm really looking forward to it. With it being ramped up even more, it makes it even more mouth-watering for me.

"We'll have a day to reflect on the Australia game, maybe take some frustration out and be a little bit emotional.

"When we come back together and practise, we'll enjoy the two training days. We'll get revved up for a really big game on Sunday and harness what is now the business end of a very exciting World Cup in England."


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