Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: England face two 'quarter-finals' against India and New Zealand, says Joe Root

England's 64-run loss to Australia left their qualification hopes in the balance with Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka breathing down their necks

Joe Root has called on England to adjust to the slower pitches or risk World Cup elimination. Reuters
Joe Root has called on England to adjust to the slower pitches or risk World Cup elimination. Reuters

England are facing two "quarter-finals" at the Cricket World Cup when they face India and New Zealand in their remaining group stage matches, according to batsman Joe Root, as the tournament hosts look to revive their faltering campaign.

England's 64-run loss to Australia on Tuesday left their qualification hopes in the balance with Bangladesh, Pakistan (both one point behind) and Sri Lanka (two points behind with a game in hand) breathing down their necks.

England have not beaten India or New Zealand in seven attempts at the World Cup since 1992, but Root is confident they can still reach the semi-finals.

"We'll see these two games as quarter-finals ... which in a way when it comes round to the knockout stage should serve you well," Root told reporters.

"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.

"I personally think we've got to be very calm about how we approach the next couple of games. The games themselves might get quite emotional, especially the atmosphere at Edgbaston against India."

Root also said that England have not adapted to the slow pitches at the tournament, having played on batsman-friendly surfaces at the same grounds during one-day international bilateral series in the buildup to the World Cup.

The hosts were criticised for not making most of the conditions against Australia despite winning the toss while their "one-dimensional" approach to batting during the tournament has been slammed by pundits.

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"We've been turning up to some venues and things have been quite different throughout this tournament to when we play one-day series there in the past and we haven't necessarily adapted as well as we could,” Root added.

"You look at some of the par scores and they have been very different to when we have played there in bilateral series."

England play India on Sunday and their final game against New Zealand next Wednesday.

Updated: June 27, 2019 11:50 AM

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