World Cup: Five England players to watch out for

When you search for the highest ODI aggregates, England is right up there. The 481 [against Australia] and 444 [against Pakistan] came in the last two years.

Mark Wood bowls to Ben Stokes during England’s net session ahead of the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup against South Africa at The Oval.   -  Getty Images

 

Host England will go into the World Cup as the No 1 side. There was a process to it. The adventurous and attacking approach helped the Englishmen climb up the ranks. When you search for the highest ODI aggregates, England is right up there. The 481 [against Australia] and 444 [against Pakistan] came in the last two years.

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Jason Roy: Ruthless and destructive up the order. Roy has been a revelation for England in limited-overs cricket. The right-handed batsman, known for free-spirited cricket, found his breathing space under Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss’ ‘attack from ball one’ stance. Familiarity with conditions is a plus for every English batter, the Surrey opener is made for World Cup heroics.

Jonny Bairstow: Batting at a different level as the second opener, Bairstow did the World Cup homework by playing with David Warner in the IPL. A clean-hitter of the ball and an effective wicketkeeper, Bairstow is a package for the host. Roy and Bairstow average over 60 as openers. Out of his seven ODI tons, six came in the last two years.

Moeen Ali: Moeen gives you 10 overs of off-break and mindless slaughter with the bat. The left-hander bats deep and is a fantastic striker of the ball. He can bat anywhere, from No 3 to No 7. In the IPL, he scored 220 runs at a strike-rate of 165.41. That sums up the story.

Moeen Ali.   -  REUTERS

 

Joe Root: The England Test captain is the dependable batsman the side needs to hold the middle order. He can bat for hours and hold one end. Root prepared the classical way for the World Cup. He doesn’t play the IPL. A few good knocks for Yorkshire in first-class cricket should hold him in good shape. The 73-ball 84 against Pakistan at Leeds will give him confidence as he heads into the big event.

Eoin Morgan: Though an Irishman, Morgan imbibed the ethos of English cricket. He instilled fearlessness among the players. The left-handed batsman switched from Ireland to England in 2009. Within a decade, he is the most-capped ODI player (198) for England.

Eoin Morgan.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Most of the matches start at 10.30 am (UK time) and 3 pm (IST). The day-night matches will start at 1.30 pm (UK time) and 6 pm (IST). It will be aired on Star Sports and Hotstar in India.