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Final Countdown: How ready can England be to defend their World Cup?

SportsCricketFinal Countdown: How ready can England be to defend their World Cup?
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In six months’ time, England will name a provisional 15-man squad to defend the 50-over World Cup in India. Some of the candidates to be included will play one more one-day game before selection: England’s next ODI is against New Zealand on 8 September, and their domestic List A competition is played parallel to the Hundred, a short-form tournament in which Leading white ball player of the country.

While performances in other formats – especially the upcoming IPL – will have some bearing on who makes the cut, the general profile of the squad is unlikely to change significantly. With room for maneuver over the next six months, here is ESPNcricinfo’s probable England World Cup XV, a squad that includes nine players who featured four years ago.

ODI Career: 95 caps, 3634 runs at 46.58, SR 104.12

Bairstow has only recently started running again after suffering a freak injury six months ago, and the severity of it means that a smooth return to fitness and form is not to be taken lightly. But close to his best when he returns, Bairstow is an automatic selection as England’s opener – not least in India, where his strengths against spin should come to the fore.

ODI Career: 18 caps, 769 runs at 54.92, SR 93.09

Malan has been the biggest beneficiary of England’s sporadic ODI winter, scoring three centuries in nine matches including one count. Match winning innings of 114 not out Last week in Mirpur. He will turn 36 before the start of the World Cup and has made use of his vast experience since making his white-ball debut in England in 2017. As he did in T20Is, he has grabbed almost every opportunity given to him in 50-over cricket. To the extent that he can even be a little ahead of Jason Roy in the order of opening.

ODI Career: 158 caps, 6207 runs at 50.05, SR 86.93

A victim of England’s relentless schedule, Root has batted only a dozen times in ODIs since the 2019 World Cup final, averaging 35.10 without scoring a century. But he remains an automatic selection when available, offering the perfect foil for England’s more destructive players who play a high-pace, low-risk game. Two months with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL should be ideal preparation, whether he plays regularly or not.

ODI Career: 165 caps, 4647 runs at 41.49, SR 117.97

Another automatic selection as captain and wicketkeeper. Buttler has generally batted at No.5 in ODIs over the last four years, but England must ensure that he has enough opportunity to impress in every game he plays in the World Cup, especially in the knockout stages. IN: Unless they lose two early wickets, they should shuffle up to No.4 in India.

ODI Career: 3 caps, 86 runs at 28.66, SR 98.85

Brook’s 50-over record hardly demands inclusion but it would be impossible to ignore him. The three ODIs he played in South Africa were his only List A games at any level since May 2019, but his technique and style have hardly changed between four-day and T20 cricket; The middle format should be ideally suited to that. He has done well on slow, low pitches in Pakistan, and two months into the IPL as a marquee signing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, he will inevitably learn.

ODI Career: 12 caps, 250 runs at 31.25, SR 122.54; 6 wickets at 24.16, ER 5.80

One of the highlights of Livingstone’s budding ODI career so far is a 22-ball cameo against Netherlands, but his versatility with bat and ball makes him an invaluable member of the team. He has at times struggled to pace his innings, but batting at No.6 in a 50-over game – especially in the last 10 overs, when five players are out of the ring – he is more than comfortable in the No.4 T20 role. not far off which he accomplished. For the Punjab Kings in last year’s IPL.

ODI Career: 129 caps, 2212 runs 25.13, SR 99.46; 99 wickets at 49.89, ER 5.28

Moeen’s value to England’s white-ball set-up is often underestimated because of his overall record. His batting and bowling averages were lower and higher than he expected respectively, but reflected the challenges of those roles: attacking at the start of his innings at No. 7, and bowling defensive offbreaks with only four fielders outside the inner ring. Throw in his role as Buttler’s vice-captain, and Moeen is a surefire start in India.

ODI Career: 23 caps, 318 runs at 24.46, SR 96.36; 26 wickets at 36.38, ER 5.86

It is difficult to get Curran out of England’s white-ball team, be it 20 overs or 50. in the second ODI at Mirpur He retains his ability when handed a new ball. Curran adds balance with his useful lower-order hitting, and should thrive in Indian conditions.

ODI Career: 125 caps, 183 wickets at 32.20, ER 5.64

After a quiet 2022, Rashid was back to his best in Bangladesh, taking home the Player of the Series award with eight cheap wickets. despite the emergence of rehan ahmedThere is no player whose absence is felt more keenly by England in India; He must ensure that he takes care of his sore shoulder during the summer.

ODI Career: 21 caps, 42 wickets at 21.73, ER 4.80

Archer has taken 12 wickets in four ODIs since returning from injury, and has regularly breached 90 mph/145 kph over the last two months. Careful management will be key in 2023: he will lead the Mumbai Indians attack in the IPL in the likely absence of Jasprit Bumrah, then feature in the Ashes ahead of the World Cup. England would love to see him in both the series but need to make sure he has plenty in the tank when it comes to India.

ODI Career: 59 caps, 71 wickets at 37.88, ER 5.42

Wood returned to England’s ODI set-up after a two-year absence in Bangladesh, and the sight of him charging and slamming the ball across the pitch at Mirpur underlined his value. As with Archer, Wood’s fitness record suggests he is unlikely to play every game across formats this summer; England need him more in India than in the Ashes, so his workload should be molded accordingly.

ODI Career: 116 caps, 4271 runs at 39.91, SR 105.53

Roy looked like a blazing flush in the summer of 2022 when he endured a run of form so bad that he lost his place in England’s T20 World Cup squad. But he has re-established his well-deserved credentials this year with centuries against South Africa and Bangladesh and it will take another lean summer for him to miss out entirely. However, if Roy is likely to start on the bench behind Malan, England could consider bringing in a more versatile player – such as Will Jacks or Phil Salt – as their back-up batsman.

ODI Career: 112 caps, 1386 runs at 24.75, SR 89.82; 160 wickets at 30.23, ER 5.45

There is a justifiable case that Woakes has been England’s most reliable white-ball cricketer over the past eight years, and if fully fit he is a certainty in the World Cup squad. England will have to rotate their fast bowlers for six or seven weeks in India; Even if Woakes starts on the bench, he will definitely play a role at some stage.

ODI Career: 8 caps, 8 wickets at 39.62, ER 5.98

Another player with little 50-over experience, Stone impressed in the role of middle-overs enforcer in South Africa and provided a difference with his high pace. He has been around the England team across formats – and continents – this winter, and could form part of a varied fast-bowling arsenal in India.

ODI Career: 22 caps, 33 wickets at 27.03, ER 5.29

Topley struggled in South Africa and was not selected in Bangladesh – reportedly due to a minor injury – but was England’s most prolific ODI wicket-taker in the 2022 home summer. His upcoming stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore will double up as two months of training for white-ball bowling in India.

notably absent

it is widely believed Ben Stokes He will reverse his ODI retirement when Buttler and Matthew Mott are called up later this year, but his long-standing knee complaint has complicated matters. If available, he will be straight back into the team, but Stokes could see the start of the England winter as the ideal opportunity to heal his injury once and for all, then use the 2024 IPL to prepare himself for the next T20 World Cup. Do to prepare for. Caribbean and US

Many batsmen remain in contention. alex hales Can be brought on at the eleventh hour but hasn’t played a 50-over match in four years; Phil Salt, will jacks And James Vince did nothing to further their cases in Bangladesh; ben duckett struggled in South Africa, but could find pitches in India more suited to his methods; Whereas Sam Billings An impressive record but has still slipped down the pecking order since Mott’s appointment.

Jack’s versatility makes him the most likely player to provide another spin option – he could replace an additional seamer in the team – while rehan ahmed And liam dawson There are further options. matt parkinson It appears to have dropped out of contention altogether.

david wiley, braydon carse And Saqib Mahmood He is among those fast bowlers who look unlikely to be a part of the team at this stage despite having played an ODI recently but could all make strong cases in the next six months of short-form cricket.

Verdict: Can England go back to back?

England’s recent ODI form has been poor, But reports of his demise in the format are exaggerated. Since lifting the World Cup at Lord’s in 2019, he has rarely – if ever – taken the field at full strength, yet remains at the helm of the ODI Super League, and deeply believes in the team that delivered the trophy four years ago Have you done

India will be favorites in October-November, looking to become the fourth consecutive host nation to win the 50-over World Cup, but England will not be far behind. They are well poised to meet the minimum expectations of making it through the preliminary round-robin stage – at which point, they will suddenly be two wins away from defending their title.

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