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  5. 'Just because we've lost a game to Afghanistan...' - Jonny Bairstow predicts comeback from confident England

'Just because we've lost a game to Afghanistan...' - Jonny Bairstow predicts comeback from confident England

"We (England) lost to Sri Lanka in 2019. We lost to Pakistan in 2019. We still went through it. There were similar things that I'm sure you guys [the press] wrote in 2019 at the home World Cup," Jonny Bairstow said while speaking to Cricinfo.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: October 19, 2023 0:45 IST
England against Afghanistan in World Cup 2023 match on Oct
Image Source : GETTY England against Afghanistan in World Cup 2023 match on Oct 15

England's star batter Jonny Bairstow has predicted a strong comeback from the Three Lions after the team's shocking defeat to Afghanistan on October 15. England were stunned by Afghanistan in their third World Cup 2023 game and found themselves under pressure to defend their title.

The defending champions were tipped to make it into the final four but their recent performances raise questions about the team's confidence. England suffered a huge loss in the tournament opener against England and then made a quick comeback against Bangladesh with a dominant win.

But a shock defeat against Afghanistan raises questions about the team's lack of efforts to defend the title. Bairstow slashed down these talks and termed Afghanistan as a big enough team to cause a World Cup upset. He also added that a defeat doesn't reflect English players as bad cricketers.

"There's a reason why the guys won the T20 World Cup last year; there's a reason why the guys won the 2019 World Cup, and we're the defending champions," Bairstow was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "Just because we've lost a game to Afghanistan doesn't make us bad cricketers or anything like that.

"You look at [Fazalhaq] Farooqi, his record in the IPL; you look at the three spinners that they've got and their records. Just because they play for Afghanistan, they're no slouches. They've actually got some of the world's best in there and they've got match-winners. We lost that game, we didn't play well enough, and we've accepted that and moved on from that."

Bairstow highlighted England's stunning comeback after losing three group-stage games during the previous edition of the World Cup in 2019. England finished third in the points table with just six points from nine games but went on to win their first-ever ODI World Cup. 

"The group remains calm within it. Belief and confidence isn't something that's been questioned one bit. That's something that you're able to call upon when you do lose a game. We lost to Sri Lanka in 2019. We lost to Pakistan in 2019. We still went through. There were similar things that I'm sure you guys [the press] wrote in 2019 at the home World Cup," Bairstow added.

Jos Buttler side faces a tough challenge when they clash against South Africa in their next game at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, October 21.

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