- England suffered a chastening defeat by New Zealand in World Cup opener
- Jos Buttler’s side face Bangladesh on Tuesday and then Afghanistan on Sunday
- Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here
Mark Wood has called on England to ‘prove people wrong’ after Thursday’s chastening nine-wicket defeat by New Zealand in Ahmedabad – and played down suggestions that the world champions had started to lose their aura.
The result places pressure on Jos Buttler’s side to avoid another early misstep, with only four sides advancing to the knockouts from a 10-team group stage.
The fact that England’s next two opponents are Bangladesh, in the Himalayan town of Dharamshala on Tuesday, and Afghanistan, in Delhi on Sunday, means they have an immediate chance to put the hammering behind them – and to repair some of the damage to their net run-rate inflicted by Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra, who put on 273 in just 35 overs.
And Wood, whose five wicketless overs at the Narendra Modi Stadium disappeared for 55, said England had to draw on their experiences at the 2019 50-over World Cup and the 2022 T20 edition, both of which they won after early stumbles.
Asked if the New Zealand defeat suggested other teams had shed their apprehension of taking on England’s power game, Wood replied: ‘Nah. I think people still still think England’s a good side. We lost the games in other World Cups and still bounced back.’
England’s Mark Wood has issued a rallying cry after Thursday’s defeat by New Zealand
England were outclassed by an exceptional New Zealand side in their nine-wicket defeat
Rachin Ravindra (left) and Devon Conway (right) were sensational as they scored hundreds
The result, he said, could be used as motivation ‘to prove that we want to keep this trophy, to prove people wrong. There’ll be question marks now. But as a group we believe in each other and it’s another chance for us to show how good a side we are.’
In 2019, England lost their second match to Pakistan, before going down to Sri Lanka and Australia, leaving them needing to win their last four games to lift the trophy. Last year, a rain-affected defeat by Ireland in Melbourne left them in a similar situation before Buttler’s team added the T20 title to their collection.
‘We’ll have to draw on that,’ said Wood. ‘A great trait of the group is that resilience and bouncing back and calmness. I trust every member in there. They’ve been through bad times and good times. We know we can do it. I think this result was probably more about New Zealand, who played really well. And we were slightly off.’
England will do everything they can to recreate the spirit of 2019, though back then they did so as the world’s top-ranked ODI team. This time, they are down at fifth, having in the meantime lost series to India (twice), Australia (twice) and South Africa, and often rested their best players.
One of them, Ben Stokes, remains a major doubt for the Bangladesh game after suffering a hip injury that ruled him out against New Zealand, and Wood urged England to stand up in his absence.
‘He’s got strapping round his leg, which is helping. He’ll have to get in the nets and see if the strapping does its job and allows him to move how he wants. It’s not just about batting, it’s in the field. Obviously we want Stokesy back – he’s a huge player.
‘But I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. He’s not Superman. He’s been through tough situations. Other people have to stand up as well. It’s not all just about the Messiah Stokesy coming back and him doing everything. He’s obviously one of our best players, if not our best player, but all the lads have to stand up as well.’