Bengaluru, May 22: Despite being the Home of Cricket, England have never won the 50-over World Cup and they would want to correct that anomaly in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, happening in their own backyard for the first time since 1999. And for the first time, perhaps, they have a genuine chance to do that and here MyKhel takes a look at England's squad.
Batting. And a bionic one at that. They have some freak hitters in Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Moeen Ali can too hammer the ball a long distance. Throw in the classy Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Ben Stokes, England line-up can take the wind out of any bowling. They have the bowlers who know the conditions very well and that can be an added bonus on pitches which so far looked benign. England have also added the vastly talented Jofra Archer to their squad and he could be a threat with bat and ball. If all these elements come together, then England will be hard to stop.
They don't have one on the surface. Most of their opponents will be hoping for a slippery day for them considering the firepower in England's ranks. But this time, fans and pundits have placed huge loads of expectations on England and they need to carry that burden and some of the other England teams in the past never experienced that. They will have to be on guard against putting pressure on themselves because of the favourite tag.
3. Key Man 1: Jonny Bairstow
The opener has been in brilliant touch since the IPL 2019 and pounded some quick runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the company of David Warner. In the recent ODIs against Pakistan too, the right-handed opener was in good nick and the start given by him will be vital for England, particularly because early signs tell us that the tournament is going to be a high-scoring one.
4. Key Man 2: Jofra Archer
It may not be clear that whether Archer will walk in to the first 11 from the beginning or whether he will have to wait some more. But it will be wise for England to accommodate him from the beginning because of the match-winning ability he carries. There might have been some clamour around his entry to England team but since he is there, England will be better off to exploit his match-turning abilities to the hilt.
England are definitely a final four contender along with Australia and India. Barring some miraculous upsets, England should be able to enter the semis without much ado.