With cricket’s showpiece event set to be inaugurated in their home condition, England have earned the best chance this time to win the most coveted ICC trophy. Despite being the parent nation of cricket, they are yet to have their hands at the World Cup and their fate might turn around in this summer. Leading to the tournament, they hold the numero uno spot at the ICC ODI rankings. They have not lost any bilateral series in the last two years and will start their quest in the 10-nation tournament as the foremost contender to win it, for the first time. Flying high with confidence after whitewashing Pakistan, England will initiate their campaign in the tournament-opener on May 30 against South Africa.
The main strength of the ‘Three Lions’ lies in their batting line-up, which is unequivocally the most vigorous in international cricket right now. It’s not only about the mighty names that fill the list but the kind of touch they are in. With his sustained form of almost two years, Jos Buttler would be the generalissimo of his team’s batting. In the last ODI series against Pakistan, his 110 off 55 deliveries has been asserted by many critics as one of the best displays of one-day batting in recent times. He along with Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy would form the three main pillars of this team. All the three batters have been in prime form in 2019 with Buttler and Morgan scoring at a rate of above 70 and Roy above 80.
Despite failing to pull up any momentous act in the initial months of 2019, Roy’s opening partner Jonny Bairstow has found himself among numbers at the right time, as he scored massively in the recently concluded Indian Premier League. He notched up a total of 445 runs before smashing two centuries against Pakistan in England’s last ODI series, ahead of the mega event. With Joe Root, guarding the middle-order alongside Morgan and Buttler and Ben Stokes following them, the home team enjoy the content of owning the most chasmic batting side of this World Cup.
Notwithstanding their tag of best ODI team right now, this England side do possess one of the most fragile bowling attacks among the favourites. After the departure of Stuart Broad and James Anderson, a void was created in the bowling department. But it’s being overshadowed by the stupendous performance of the batsman, such has been their dominance. Chris Woakes has been a part of international cricket for some time now and might shoulder the management duty of the bowlers for Morgan. However, it has been hard for him to fill in the boots Broad and Anderson as he is yet to emerge as a leading bowler in the international arena. Jofra Archer’s good run at the IPL followed by the series against Pakistan earned him a last minute spot at the team, but he still lacks experience at this stage.
Other than them, the likes of Liam Plunket and Mark Wood can go for plenty if the conditions and pitch do not favour them. Skipper Morgan would hope that his woodworkers continue their feat of fortifying the bowlers and help him lift the title.
Squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, James Vince, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.