England have ‘huge target on our back’ at World Cup, warns Mark Wood

Mark Wood has warned England have “a huge target on our back” as they look to get their World Cup campaign back on track against Bangladesh.

England's Mark Wood.
England's Mark Wood.

Defeat to an unfancied Pakistan on Monday shifted the narrative for Eoin Morgan’s world 
No 1s, who had kicked off the tournament with a commanding victory over South Africa.

Their fallibility is now a matter of record, undone on their favourite Trent Bridge pitch by opponents they had just defeated 4-0 only weeks ago.

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Questions abound – over the curiously ragged fielding performance in Nottingham, over the opening pair’s ability to face spin early on and Moeen Ali’s increasingly unreliable batting at No 7.

Yet Wood believes England are still the competition’s biggest scalp and called for them to serve up a performance fitting of that status against the Tigers on Saturday.

“We have a huge target on our back because we are the favourites for the tournament, the home side, and everyone wants to beat us,” he said.

“I think what we have done well over the years is bounce back well and I think we need that going into the next match. We need to bounce back with a bit of authority and say ‘we’re here to win it’, put on a real show.”

Wood is known for his upbeat demeanour, on and off the field, but acknowledged there was no time for smiles after the Pakistan result.

“The mood is not always good,” he admitted.

“We’ve been so used to winning that when you do lose, it’s not a nice feeling. The lads were disappointed in the dressing-room because we lost a game for England which never comes easy.

“The best thing is that the captain is quite calm so he just addressed where we weren’t good enough. When we win, he doesn’t get too high. When we lose, he doesn’t get too low.”

Wood did not play in the win over South Africa, drafted in place of Liam Plunkett as England attempted to exploit perceived pace weaknesses in the Pakistan line-up.

He was comfortably the pick of the England seamers but Plunkett’s trademark ability to make breakthroughs in the middle of the innings ultimately proved a loss.

The 34-year-old looks likely to return at Sophia Gardens but may well line up alongside Wood rather than instead of him.