Adil Rashid isn’t reading too much into England’s surprise defeat to Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup; Watch England vs South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 9am on Saturday (first ball 9.30am)
20:44 UK Monday 16 October 2023
Adil Rashid insists England are unfazed by their shock defeat to Afghanistan and still believes they can breathe life into their ailing Cricket World Cup campaign.
The reigning world champions suffered two heavy losses in their first three matches in India before beating New Zealand on the opening night in Ahmedabad before suffering a major upset in Delhi on Sunday as they hammered underdogs Afghanistan home by 69 runs.
An extended group stage means all is not lost, but England’s error rate over the next six games is poor, with South Africa next in form. Sky Sports on Saturday and favorite India yet to come, it probably won’t get any easier.
The precarious nature of their position is sure to raise alarm behind the scenes, but Rashid, one of eight survivors from the 2019 squad who lifted the trophy despite losing three of their nine group matches, did his best to present a calm face to the public.
“It’s part of cricket: you win some, you lose some and you can’t win every match,” Rashid said.
“It’s an integral part of the game. We’re not too worried, it’s just a game we lost. We know we’re going to face tough competition, but I’m confident we can play really well as a unit.” moving forward.
“Hopefully we’ll put in some good performances and get the competition going. We know we’ve got six more games to go, hopefully we can win and get ahead. I’m pretty confident in the squad, in the team. I’m sure we’ll bounce back strongly .”
England fans would be forgiven for hoping for stronger words like those shared in private with issues to be addressed in terms of team selection, game management and mindset.
There is also time to ask challenging questions. England arrived in Mumbai on Monday having not been given a chance to work out their frustrations against South Africa for six days, with the Proteas flying in from the hills of Dharamshala following their clash with the Netherlands.
The team have been given an extra two days off rather than be forced to pay for their trouble with more networking sessions and some families to join the tour.
Head coach Matthew Mott, who has yet to comment publicly on the trip, is expected to address the media on Tuesday.
Rashid was among a minority of England players to produce a near-standard performance in the defeat in Afghanistan, taking a leg-breaking 3-42, but accepted the team’s collective effort was lacking.
The 35-year-old even reiterated concerns that the attacking, proactive approach that once marked his side as trailblazers is not in evidence.
“Hopefully we can put that behind us and play the way we know how, with the ball, with the bat… with that real positive mindset and real aggressive cricket,” Rashid said.
“Obviously, we fell behind with the bat and the ball [against Afghanistan]. I don’t think we were aggressive enough or didn’t take positive options.
“That’s cricket, that happens, it’s not always when you go to smash sixes and fours – you have to judge the wicket and the pitch. It’s the same with the ball.”
“You will have games where players are not fit but I believe we have the team, the team and the mentality to keep being hungry. We want to go as far as we are.” we can, but we have to take it step by step, one game at a time and see where it takes us.”
Watch live England vs South Africa Sky Sports Cricket a Sky Sports Main Event from 9:00 a.m. on Saturday (first ball at 9:30 a.m.). Too stream Cricket World Cup and more with NOW.
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