Graeme Swann: Choosing to chase a 'major mistake' by England - but no need to panic

England's Jonny Bairstow
Graeme Swann says Jonny Bairstow needs to come up with a gameplan to cope with spin

Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann says England's shock defeat to Pakistan on Monday can act as a 'kick up the backside' to Eoin Morgan's men...

"At Trent Bridge in this World Cup I think the best thing to do is bat first and just absolutely destroy it. Had England done that I'm sure they would have got near 400."

A mistake to chase at Trent Bridge

The World Cup delivered a day of drama with England stumbling to defeat against Pakistan but there's absolutely no need to panic as I don't think we will see a performance like that again from the World Cup favourites.

The good news is that the defeat came early. It's a wake-up call and a kick up the backside and they will use this as a positive rather than a negative, and I'm certainly still backing them to go on for World Cup glory this summer.

England's major mistake was deciding to chase. Scoreboard pressure is a lot more palpable in a World Cup game than in a standard series, and especially so for England given the added expectation that comes with being tournament favourites.

At Trent Bridge in this World Cup I think the best thing to do is bat first and just absolutely destroy it. Had England done that I'm sure they would have got near 400.

But they put Pakistan in and they put 350 on the board, surprised us with new tactics of opening with leg spinners and they got their reward with the wickets of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

Openers need not panic

Batting-wise, teams may have worked out the England opening pair a touch and do not be surprised to see every other team taking this option against us throughout the tournament.

Bairstow and Roy are very instinctive players who do like facing the quicks and the ball coming fast onto the bat. Most of the success England have had in recent years has come via the quick starts Bairstow and Roy have made. It's an area to look at but there's no need to panic. Both batsmen are good at playing spin, they're just not quite as explosive as they are against pace.

But like I say, both Jonny and Jason don't need to panic, they just need to come up with a gameplan to deal with a spin attack. If the bowler over-pitches or bowls short they will be punished for four or six. Stay calm and wait for the bad balls, lads, and you'll be scoring at 10 an over!

A bad day in the field but still some positives


It was also a bad day for England on the field. There's a lot of action square of the wicket at Trent Bridge - it's an area which they use for games and net practice, too - and bobbles will happen so those are excusable. Roy's dropped catch is harder to explain as he's usually such a good fielder, so let's put it down as a blip.

Captain Eoin Morgan said the mistakes cost England 15-20 runs but it's possibly more given Hafeez was dropped early on before making his 84 and that could have made the difference in the game. That said, Joe Root really should have been caught behind when on single figures.

On the positive side for England, both Root and Jos Buttler made fine centuries but once Jos was out it didn't even feel that we had a chance after that. No one looked able to hit the boundaries England needed. Chris Woakes made an effort but he is quite a traditional operator and hits into standard areas and death bowlers don't mind that, whereas Buttler is creative and can hit all around the wicket.


Graeme will be back, alongside Ed Hawkins, with his thoughts on the Bangladesh game later in the week

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