July 24th, 2019. It is the date when the inventors of the game of cricket will host the coveted World Cup Final at the most hallowed ground of the game, Lords.
Currently ranked number 1 in ODIs, the English team have age, expertise, and rankings on their side. But how will the side fare in the World Cup 2019?
One of the biggest advantages that English teams have enjoyed over the years is that they are constantly encouraged to overlook past failures, and only focus on what is to come. The English cricket team is young and bursting with energy, and this will be a huge plus point for them. The summer of 2005 when the Ashes was staged proved that cricket can truly hypnotize the nation. Organizers are expected that with widespread and clever advertising techniques, revenue will be at an all-time high. In addition to this, playing at home in front of a well-educated crowd will always work in their favor, and England will be expected to cash in on it in the World Cup 2019.
With openers Jason Roy and Bairstow, England have nothing to worry about. They form the perfect team, complementing each other successfully while playing long innings. The pair has been responsible for handing the English team with many match-winning opening stands, including a double hundred together. Due to their pairing, the English team has changed their playing tactic. From a policy of holding back and playing calmly, England now follows the route of controlled aggression, which was on full display against West Indies recently, when they chased down 360.
Eoin Morgan buckled under the pressures of the previous management, but Andrew Strauss’ decision to retain him for World Cup 2019 was probably the best ideas in a long time. His team respects his decisions, and he understands which bowler to play, depending on the field conditions. However, the only source of worry for the team is Morgan’s own form. Averaging at 25 the past year, playing at number 4, his future seems shaky. However, he is still more than capable of an attack if England starts strongly. Though inconsistency is an issue with him, Morgan rises to the occasion when need be, like he did against Windies in the first ODI.
Liam Plunkett will be tucking up the bowlers in the middle overs, assisted by Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. England has an ace up their sleeve in the form of Adil Rashid, who can easily be used to null runs and snatch up wickets in the midst of the tournament. However, what England desperately lacks is a bowler like Sunil Narine, who can keep the opposition on their toes at all times. The bowling attack is their biggest worry though, with the pacers often going for a lot of runs throughout the innings. With no variety in the attack and with small grounds, England have struggled to curb runs and have easily allowed opponents to score 300+ runs, which will be a major worry in the tourney.
England has two very mature players in their team, in the form of Jos Buttler and Joe Root. These players have proven, time and again, that they can be depended on to salvage the lower order. Buttler has learned on how to play on more than one way, modeling his on-field mannerisms on MS Dhoni, possibly the coolest player of the game. Furthermore, Alex Hales can mold himself into any batting situation as well, and it is safe to say that the batting unit is one of the most settled ones among all teams that will play the World Cup.
England has a strong team this year, with players who understand the game, who do not stick to their conventional methods of gameplay, and who can model themselves to play on any surface. These requisites are of utmost importance, especially for a home team looking to redeem themselves and clinch the World Cup 2019, and make themselves a team to reckon with, yet again. England does suffer on slow pitches, but if recent matches are anything to go by, England is slowly becoming a master and they would hope to clinch their maiden title this year.