Eoin Morgan will lead England’s charge for an elusive World Cup, on home soil. Despite being in the finals thrice, England has never won the title. However, in this edition, being the host and having a formidable team makes it a strong contender.
Sportstar does a SWOT analysis of England, leading to the World Cup.
The three-time finalist starts the tournament as one of the favourites and the reason for that is it has most bases covered. England’s completeness as a team, enabling it to counter the challenges posed by all opposition in different conditions, is its greatest strength.
By Morgan’s own admission, England’s style of batting was “dated” when it was knocked out by Bangladesh at the group stage of the 2015 edition. Since then, the team has undergone changes in personnel and its approach to one-day batting. England’s batsmen throw caution to the wind in the 50-over format, which means no score is safe when it is chasing and can score big while batting first.
England, on paper, doesn’t seem to have any weakness. But spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have been expensive with the ball in one-day cricket this calendar year: leg-break bowler Rashid has an economy rate of 6.70 and averages close to 31 runs per wicket; while Moeen has managed only one wicket and conceded 358 runs at an economy of 7.30. This is a chink in England's bowling attack, which the other teams would look to exploit.
England has had the ideal preparation leading to the World Cup with a one-off ODI against Ireland and a five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Playing those extra six matches has helped England experiment with its XI, and prepared the team well to hit the ground running ahead of the World Cup.
Former captain Mike Gatting had recently said, “England will never have a better opportunity to win the World Cup”, something which Morgan and his men are well aware of.
An India-England final is a distinct possibility if the two teams finish first or second or third or fourth at the end of the league stage. But it’s no secret that India is likely to present the stiffest challenge to England.
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