It’s Coming Home : England to Be the World Champion ?
England to Be the World Champion ? The biggest mega event of cricket gets underway on 30th May. For the first time in the history since 1975 the group stage will be ten teams round robin tournament with each team playing the other nine teams once. The top four books itself to the semi-final to be played on 9th and 12th July. Finals will be to be played at Mecca of cricket -Lords on 14th July. In 11 stadiums, a total of 48 matches will be played over the course of 46 days! It is going to be one crazy ride in this cricket frenzy nation and one to remember for the next four years.
History is with England
The last two 50 over World Cup was won by the home team starting with India in 2011 followed by Australia in 2015. India, Australia were no doubt odds on favorite to lift the World Cup trophy at home back then, but this England team given their record of 8 consecutive series victory at home against top nations look overwhelming favorites to lift their maiden fifty-over trophy this year. There by proving England to Be the World Champion .
England’s Number in ODI cricket
Since 2016, in-home ODIs England has played 37 matches winning 29 losing four games of which 2 were a dead rubber.
Such has been the England dominance that they haven’t lost an ODI series since losing to Pakistan in Champions Trophy semi-final. From that point till now, they have beaten Windies at home & drawn away recently, decimated Australian, Sri Lankan home and away, and edged out series against India despite losing the opening match quite comprehensively last year. New Zealand gave them a tough fight in their backyard but ultimately three lions prevailed over well-knit Kiwis. So this has what made them No.1 side coming into the World Cup. Thus, if past form is anything to go by then none can stop England to Be the World Champion
English World Cup Squad
Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
England’s batting lineup
A look at England batting lineup: Jason Roy- Jonny Bairstow both average above 40 and strike of over 100. The number 3,4,5 all have a strike rate in the late 80s or 90s. At no.6 they have an X-factor in Jos Butler or even Moeen Ali who can strike it big in last few overs.
Best finisher’s in the team?
Jos Butler in fact in previous 61 innings since WC 2015 has scored 2251 runs in 61 matches striking at 125. When it comes to last ten overs Jos Butler strikes at 10.86 runs per over. The next best current cricketer is Eoin Morgan who scores 9.36 runs per over.
England’s tail in recent year
The striking feature of England is never ending batting lineup as the Three Lion’s No. 8-11 batsman average 22.03 with a run rate per over of 6.10 better than No. 2 ranked Indian team where the lower order averages mere 13.74 at 4.75 RPO. So clearly a massive edge in that department over any team.
England habit of posting mammoth total and close to creating history
In 56 ODIs played in England, 300 or more score has been chased down 18 times. Also since 2015, 400 plus scores has been posted five times, with England doing the honors four times including three times at home while they posted the highest score of 444/3 in 2016 at Nottingham against Pakistan which was topped by another herculean effort against Australia in 2018 at the same venue when they posted 481-6. English team also made a record of successful chases 16 times only bettered by West Indies of 1980s who had successful chases of 18 wins. Standing above rest of the team in this department, the young English team is heading towards making a history and one cannot ignore the fact England to be the World Champion .
England’s has Best Win-Loss ratio
As far as batting goes, England gets a big tick over any other teams in the World Cup. Their win-loss ratio of 2.5, which makes them the most successful ODI team.
England fielding in good hand’s
The average age of the England team Is 29.50 when the tournament starts. The young team under the supervision of England’s best ODI fielder, Paul Collingwood has one of the best fielding in the international cricketing world.
England’s bowling lineup
Despite the gung-ho style of batting along with flat tracks and bigger, meaty bats the World Cup could well be decided by the team who bowls the better on the given day. Until recently, England lacked a quick bowler who can tear apart opposition with his sheer pace. However, with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood getting fit, the English side has bettered its bowling lineup too.
The pace attack of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett will be lethal. Woakes doesn’t look like a bowler who can run through the opposition but he is deceptive with his change of pace. The swing in pitch helps him take good number of wicket. He has one of the most number of four-wicket haul similar to that of Darren Gough (12) and just one behind English legend James Anderson(13)
Rashid has been the England partnership breaker for the opposition. In 83 matches since 2015 WC, he has taken 129 wickets @5.6 per over .
English bowlers went at 8.5 RPO in the recently concluded series against Pakistan and overall since WC 2015 the team had 7.66 RPO from 41-50 overs topped by Indian team having an economic rate of 6.25 mainly thanks to Jasprit Bumrah who picked up 44 wickets at 5.76 RPO. However most of the time, Indian bowling succumbed under pressure, example being against Pakistan in Champions Trophy finals.
England though falls in the bottom half of the table when it comes to bowling, they have excellent bowler like Mark Wood who has economy rate of 6.48 in the death overs. However, due to poor fitness, Mark Wood had played a comparatively less number of matches. With Mark Wood, English team has Jofra Archer, a young pacer on whom captain can rely at any stage of the game. He can bowl and more importantly bowl at 90 mph. In combination with Mark Wood both can do considerable damage. Virat Kohli hailed Archer as England’s X-factor in the upcoming World Cup. Moreover, with a strike rate of above 120 in both List-A and T-20 career, England won’t be ever out of a game as long as he is on the ground. He may in fact make the dream ” England to be World Champion ” come true.
England’s captain cool
Eoin Morgan has been an effective player for English side in last 10 years. However, his biggest achievement has been providing the leadership to the team. Liam Plunkett said, “Eoin Morgan is best captain he’s played under. Being calm, cool under pressure, backing boy’s to deliver under pressure and more importantly being honest with his players.” One example as recently was against WEST INDIES when Windies looked like chasing 418 against till 47 over, Morgan handed the ball to Rashid despite going for 83 in 9 overs on that day. The result 4 WICKETS in 5 balls and England Won. His cool approach is followed by courageous captaincy when he took a call to restructure the way England play cricket post 2015 World Cup debacle. Remember the Indian captain who did that and what he went on to achieve?
Factor beyond statistics
One that that we may not be able to predict through statistics is how England team reacts to the pressure of “tag of favorites.” Team India has always been under pressure due to the immense amount of expectation from of Indian cricket fans. Australia had always fared under pressure. However, England certainly should be one of the top 4 sides to make it to semis and if they can manage to hold on to their nerves who knows they could better their best of previous World Cup.
Statistics: ESPN Cricinfo
Title: It’s Coming Home : England to Be the World Champion ?
Pic Courtesy: ICC