In a game that asks questions constantly of its talents, there’s one that the fan can’t deny or avoid, for its a constant query:
Will England win the Cricket World Cup aka CWC 2019?
In another few hours from now, the first ball of the CWC 2019 shall be bowled.
England open their World Cup campaign against Faf’s Protean army. Root’s got a sorted team, to say the least. In top blokes like vice-captain Joss Buttler, accomplished world-class batsman Joe Root, fiery opening bat Jason Roy, bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes, he’s got a unit of unputdownable men.
But one wonders, how do England fare at home in recent times?
If you see the ODI team records since the 2015 WC you’ll see two teams on the top with England having the edge over India with just a tiny points advantage.
Although they lost to India away from home during 2016/17, England have not lost an ODI series away or at home since then.
This is apart from the one-off match they played against Scotland and the disappointing semi-final defeat in the Champions against Pakistan.
Morgan’s men have appeared almost invincible over the past 2 years or so. Chasing down targets in excess of 350, and on one occasion almost touching the 500 run mark a couple of time is not a joke, and they have been doing it consistently.
For a side, that once commanded the world’s interest for technically correct batsmen such as Sir David Gower and in the nineties, Mike Atherton, England today punch opponents thanks to a reservoir of all-rounders.
Woakes can whack the ball all around after taking a three-for or fifer. Stokes, without doubt, is the best inheritor of the all-round vacancy left behind by the great Freddie Flintoff. Moeen Ali is such an integral part of the unit today that you cannot imagine Her Majesty’s Army of cricketing talents minus the man with the midhas touch.
The unbelievable depth in their batting is one of the big reasons they get such huge scores; almost every bowler in the team can bat well and with all-rounders like Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Tom Curran you can expect the damage they can cause even if they lose some early wickets.
Their top order needs no introduction, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy at the top always ensure the run rate always stays over 6. Next in the line is Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, everybody knows what they can do on their day. After that Jos Buttler comes in, we all know how he can change the course of the match in a few overs.
Their bowling attack is equally efficient and lethal, now with the addition of Jofra Archer, their attack is one of the best bowling attacks in the CWC 2019. Spinners like Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have taken regular wickets in the middle overs and also stop the flow of runs. Adil Rashid has the most number of wickets since 2015 in ODI. Their attack also includes Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes, Tom Curran, Mark Wood, and Liam Plunkett, all of these players had played a couple of cameos down the order. And we all their exploits with the ball.
If you see the recent performances of England at home, they chased down 350 twice without breaking into much of a sweat.
The big do it easy, don’t they? Therefore, all the more reason that any cricket fan anywhere in the world knows that England cannot be taken lightly, that’s unless the Eoin Morgan-led side shot themselves in the foot by playing some poor cricket.
In all the matches they played at home recently they scored comfortably over 300. They’ve even chased down 350.
Who can forget the hammering they offered the Kiwis at Trent Bridge?
That these performances came at their home, one that hosts the CWC 2019, and in effect, a world cup for the fifth time, one can easily say that they are one of the favorites.
It’s about time the side built with the quartet of Morgan, Buttler, Stokes, Woakes did the needful.