At the 2015 World Cup, England experienced an embarrassing tournament. Playing an outdated method of one-day cricket, the team, under Peter Moores, made an early exit following a humiliating defeat at the hands of Bangladesh.
Moores paid the price but it’s fair to say that the 2019 England squad is a far more potent bunch. Playing an explosive brand of 50-over cricket, they have broken the record for highest team total on two occasions in the last four years and are hotly fancied to lift their first-ever World Cup trophy in this format.
With less than two weeks to go until England opens the tournament against South Africa, captain Eoin Morgan and his men are outright favorites at odds of +210. They’ve come a long way in four years and will go into the 2019 Cricket World Cup as the No. 1-ranked ODI side in the game.
England also has the benefit of home advantage but can they convert that and claim their first title this summer?
England’s strength lies in a powerful batting lineup: Much has been made about the deselection of Alex Hales but it should be remembered that the Notts Outlaw and former Sunrisers Hyderabad man is likely to have started the tournament as the reserve batter.
Since the emergence of Jonny Bairstow as a world-class opening batsman in the limited overs formats, the current Sunrisers man has formed a prolific partnership with Jason Roy at the top of the order. Joe Root is a steadier batter at No. 3 but he will be followed by Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. It’s an explosive top six and it’s why England is the world record holder with a colossal team total of 481/6 — made against Australia in 2018.
Bowlers Under Pressure
If there is a weakness in this England side, it may lie in the bowling department. This team certainly isn’t invincible and the 2019 World Cup hosts recently suffered an embarrassing loss to Scotland after conceding heavily with the ball.
As recently as February 2019, this current England squad conceded 389 to the West Indies at St. George’s so the men with the white ball will be under pressure. There are additional injury concerns over Chris Woakes so we may yet see the exciting Jofra Archer included in the final squad.
Archer is fresh from another impressive IPL tournament with Rajasthan Royals where he’s become known for his economical bowling, both at the start of an innings and in the death overs. He wasn’t named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad but Archer has the chance to impress during May’s ODI series with Pakistan and few would be surprised if he makes the final cut.
If we were to name one player on whom England hopes rest, then it would be Jos Buttler. In a top order full of power hitters, Buttler is the most explosive and he stands as the best example of England’s new approach to the game.
The Lancashire Lightning and Rajasthan Royals man made his highest ODI score against the West Indies in 2019, blasting 150 from just 77 deliveries. At the end of that series, Buttler had made 3,387 runs in 50 over international cricket with seven centuries and a strike rate above 40.
He’s a versatile player who can open the batting but England likes to use Buttler from the middle overs onwards, letting him power the side up to and beyond that 400 mark.
England’s World Cup Verdict
England may never have a better chance to win its first-ever major 50 over trophy. The English are the No. 1 side on merit with that fearless batting order that keeps attacking, no matter what the match situation might be. It would be a huge surprise if the home nation failed to make the semifinals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup but once we reach the knockouts, anything can happen.
At the very least, England should be getting out of the groups but we have a suspicion that they may succumb in the semis when the pressure is on.
As for individual performers, we feel that Jonny Bairstow is a reasonable bet to finish as the tournament’s leading run scorer. The Yorkshireman is a +1400 shot, just behind teammate Joe Root at +1100 and ahead of Jos Buttler at a generous +2800.
England may not trouble the award for top bowler: There are no odds available on this market at the time of writing, but it will be interesting to see what the sportsbooks make of Jofra Archer’s chances should he make the final squad.
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ICC World Cup News
Odds Shark Staff Thu, Feb 17, 9:14amICC World Cup