Cricket World Cup Team Preview: England an unknown ODI quantity
Number of previous appearances: 10
Last appearance: 2011
Best finish: Runners up (1979,1987, 1992)
2014 ODI record: Played 25, Won 9, Lost 16
First 3 fixtures: Australia, New Zealand, Scotland
Coach: Peter Moores
Squad: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan (capt), Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.
Top runscorer: Joe Root. There are plenty of candidates among the dashing crop of batsmen England have at their disposal, but one of the less flashy leads the way. Root is establishing himself as the bedrock of England’s batting order in both Tests and ODIs and scored more runs than any Englishman in 50-over cricket during a sorry 2014. His average of 163.00 in New Zealand, where England play three group games, helps no end too.
Top wicket taker: James Tredwell. In a side full of youth and exuberance it can be quite easy to forget the 32-year-old, bald offspinner that seems at odds with the side’s ethos, but Tredwell has quietly been England’s best ODI bowler for the last two years, playing the most games of any bowler in that time and taking the most wickets too. Moores and Morgan just need to remember to pick him.
Magic man: Jos Buttler. Another category where a few players jostled for selection, but the Lancashire keeper edges out Moeen Ali and Ravi Bopara for his 360° hitting ability, as evidenced by the below highlights package of his so-far only ODI ton, a blistering 121 against Sri Lanka that came off just 74 balls.
Pre-tournament storyline: The ECB’s decision to remove Alastair Cook as captain, and replace him with Morgan, should have been made a long time ago. Has the sudden panic over personnel stunted England’s ability to properly prepare for the World Cup or finally freed the side from their plodding chains? Only time will tell.
Tournament odds: 10/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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