We take at look at the hosts of this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup, England, who will be looking to win the competition for the first-ever time.
ODI ranking: 1
World Cup wins: 0
Final appearances: 3
World Cup record
Tournament appearances: 11
Ways they can win it
Plenty. Terrifyingly fluid batting line-up. Monomaniacally attacking top seven. The most consistently destructive opening partnership in the competition. A genius called Jos. A match-winning leg-spinner and a sense that this time, finally, it might just happen.
That they encounter a stodgy pitch for the semi-final akin to the Cardiff track rolled out for Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy and come a cropper through blind faith in the chosen way. That, or they meet Australia in the final.
Team professor: Jos Buttler
A free-thinking theorist whose ability to absorb new ideas into his own constantly evolving game has seen him acquire the vice-captaincy in all formats and a Yoda-like glow of hard-won wisdom. He averages 57 at a strike rate of 123.76 since the start of last year.
Mad dog: Mark Wood
Wood’s return from a series of demoralising injuries, complete with a lengthened run-up, is a truly feel-good story. Extreme pace and new-ball potency may be his speciality, but it doesn’t end there: expect imaginary horses to accompany wickets, tales of handing out Labour Party leaflets in his spare time, footage of iffy guitar lessons with Joe Root, and all delivered with an accent that leaves even hardened Geordies flummoxed. All assuming he’s not the player to drop out for Jofra Archer.
Your next favourite player: Adil Rashid
England’s most successful one-day spinner has quietly constructed an immense record in the short formats but has only recently begun to get the recognition his feats deserve. Now a confident presence in the England set-up, a proven wicket-taking option in the middle and death overs, the Bradford Bosanquet has become indispensable to Morgan’s strategy. A working-class British-Asian leg-spinner could yet hold the key to ending England’s 44-year wait for a world title. What’s not to love?
Weak link (by CricViz)
Death bowling. Since the 2017 Champions Trophy, England have gone at 7.8rpo in the last 10 overs of the innings – of teams at the World Cup, only Sri Lanka and West Indies have a worse record*.
*As of May 2, 2019
Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, James Vince
Betfair Exchange odds: 3.0
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