Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook (above) praised Kumar Sangakkara’s knock against England © Getty Images

London: Jun 14, 2013

England captain Alastair Cook has said that their next ICC Champions Trophy 2013 match against New Zealand is ‘basically a quarter-final’. England need to win their last group match against the Kiwis to ensure they qualify for the semi-finals.

According to the Guardian, the sharp shock of a seven-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in the eight-nation tournament have snapped England out of their complacency, adding that if England lose to New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday, they will be out of a tournament they entered as favourites.

The report further said that after taunting Australia over their misfortunes in the build-up to the Ashes, England will have to focus to win the game against New Zealand to keep their chances alive in the tournament, which they have always insisted is as big a priority for them as anything else on their schedule this summer.

Keen as ever to pick the positives out of a defeat, Cook said that the clash against New Zealand is basically a quarter-final, adding that they now need to win three games to win the Champions Trophy.

“The next match is basically a quarter-final isn’t it?” Cook said. “We’ve got to win three games to win the Champions Trophy.”

Insisting that he was “‘not too disappointed'” with the result in the game against the Lankans, Cook praised Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara, saying that his unbeaten 134 was outstanding and was the difference between both the sides, adding that he does not feel bad as his team have come up short against a player of Sangakkara’s calibre.

Singling out Joe Root, who was punched in the face by Australian opener David Warner at a Birmingham bar after Australia’s defeat to England, Cook said that despite facing such problems the past couple of days, Root has managed to make 68 in the game, adding that the way he handled himself throughout shows that he is made of the right stuff.

(With inputs from ANI)