Chris Woakes was adamant England’s surprise World Cup defeat by Pakistan was “no car crash” but accepted they would have to raise their fielding standards after a sloppy display contributed to a 14-run loss at Trent Bridge. England, the world’s top-ranked one-day side, came into the World Cup on the back of a 4-0 series thrashing of Pakistan.
But it was a different story in Nottingham on Monday as Pakistan complied a challenging total of 348 for eight. Even though Joe Root and Jos Buttler made hundreds, England could only reach 334 for nine in reply. Warwickshire paceman Woakes, fast bowler Jofra Archer and leg-spinner Adil Rashid were all expensive they were not helped by a poor fielding effort that saw numerous runs given away in mis-fields and over throws
Jason Roy’s extraordinary drop that reprieved Mohammad Hafeez on 14 pretty much summed up England’s fielding. The batsman went on to top-score with 84.
Woakes, who showed England the way with four catches, was at a loss to explain the decline in England’s performance just days after launching their quest to win the World Cup with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa at the Oval. He accepted England would need to raise their fielding against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday.
“By no means was it a car crash but it was the difference in the game,” said Woakes. “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.
“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 said the round-robin nature of the 10-team tournament meant it would be tough to win the World Cup without losing a group match. “It’s unlikely any team will go through the tournament unbeaten and if they do it’s a hell of an effort,” he said. “You’re going to have ups and downs form-wise. Sometimes it’s about how you bounce back.
Roy was fined 15 percent of his match fee for uttering an audible obscenity following a fielding error. Archer incurred the same penalty after his reaction when a bouncer was called wide was deemed dissent at an umpire’s decision.
Woakes escaped censure from the match referee for raising his finger to his lips and then pointing to some Pakistan supporters after taking a fine catch on the boundary.
“I was copping a bit of abuse, as you do from the opposition, but it was quite friendly,” he said.
“A little ‘shhh’ is just a bit of banter. I always do it with a smile on my face.”