Ben Stokes backs Hampshire skipper James Vince as World Cup pressure grows on England
Ben Stokes has backed ‘phenomenal’ James Vince to bounce back from his World Cup struggles.
And the all-rounder insisted England will come out fighting as they bid to save their quest for silverware.
The hosts know only victories over India and New Zealand in their remaining group games will make certain of a spot in the semi-finals.
Otherwise they will be sweating on the results of fixtures involving fellow last-four hopefuls Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Vince’s participation in the tournament is in doubt following three failures with the bat – in the victory over Afghanistan and damaging defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia.
The Hampshire skipper, 28, has failed to make his mark at the top of the order following a hamstring injury to Jason Roy.
He was bowled for a second-ball duck by a superb delivery from Aussie swing bowler Jason Behrendorff at Lord’s on Tuesday.
But Stokes, who struck 89 in that defeat, reckons Vince’s ability cannot be questioned.
He said: ‘Obviously, losing a player of Jason’s class and form is tough.
‘But we have great back-up batsmen. James Vince is a phenomenal player.
‘Sometimes, though, you just have to tip your hat to a world-class bowler.’
Stokes acknowledged the pressure is on England as the group stage reaches its climax.
But he believes the number-one ranked team in the world must stick to their strengths.
He added: ‘We have had great support over the past four years and we know how much this tournament means to fans.
‘It’s one of the greatest times to be a cricketer, representing your country at a World Cup.
‘But we are not going to take a backwards step. We have to dig deep.
‘Everybody is obviously disappointed but this is our World Cup and we are going to go about it the way we know best.
‘That’s our mindset and that’s what has made us so successful in the past four years.
‘Back-to-back losses can sometimes make you think differently but we are not going to go away from our method.’
Prior to the reverses against Sri Lanka and Australia, England had not lost back-to-back one-day internationals on home soil since 2015.