File photo: England's captain Jos Buttler (C) along with his teammate
File photo: England's captain Jos Buttler (C) along with his teammates, prepare to field during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup ODI match against Afghanistan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 15, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Mumbai: England can still breathe life back into their Cricket World Cup campaign, red-ball coach Brendon McCullum said as he urged the defending champions to stick with their style of play despite suffering a 69-run defeat by Afghanistan.

The loss to Afghanistan was England's second loss of the tournament, after they were beaten by nine wickets in their opening game against New Zealand earlier this month.

"They will get there. It is still early days and this tournament is a slow burn, so there is plenty of time and matches for them to catch up," McCullum told the Mirror in an interview published on Wednesday.

"It is a World Cup, so there is going to be the odd upset and that is what you want in a tournament like this." England, holders of both the 50-overs title and the Twenty20 World Cup, are fifth in the standings with one win from three games.

"Of course the boys would have liked to be 3 and 0, but sport doesn't work like that and sometimes you have to cope with challenges and then show how good you are," McCullum said.

"One thing is for sure, there are good reasons why England have won two World Cups recently. It is the quality of the players and the manner with which they play the game that makes them a world class side.

"They just need to stay true to their method and their style which has brought them so much success and not get shaken by the odd bad day at the office." England take on South Africa in Mumbai on Saturday.