The past couple of years have seen England’s one day side turn into somewhat of a laughing stock. Churning out dismal displays on a far to regular basis. However since Alastair Cook was dropped from the World Cup squad, there has been renewed optimism within the camp.
In the 2013 ICC World Championship, the last major one day tournament, England were unfortunate runners up to India on home soil. A batting collapse in a game disrupted by rain, saw the 3 lions fail to break their ICC duck. They have fallen at the final hurdle 4 times previously and despite winning a T20 World Cup, there is a growing burden on the team to finally win the much coveted one day title.
Since then, England’s form has deteriorated at a fast rate. Captain Cook’s poor form put much unneeded spotlight on the team and dark age tactics have stopped them progressing. However the recent tri series in Australia has provided some hope. Having dropped Cook before the build up to the World Cup started, they have seemingly played under less scrutiny and look a stronger outfit. Things seem to have fallen into place in a few areas at the right time for Peter Moore’s men. Also there is finally continuity in the line up and some key players have found some much needed form.
Ian Bell played superbly at times in the Tri Series and will need to be at his best if England are to stand any chance of going all the way. Chris Woakes and Steven Finn have also started performing with the ball, producing improved figures in recent times. Joe Root is consistent as always and could be a real danger man, whilst James Taylor is beginning to look comfortable on the international stage.
The new captain’s form could be a cause for concern though. Eoin Morgan has really been off colour for quite some time now and an impressive 123 vs Australia in the opening tri series game, only provided false hope that he was regaining his touch. Since then it has been more of the same with the bat and as one of the sides star men, he desperately needs to show some character and start scoring runs once again.
On the bowling front, the conditions will be suited to sides like England. The Australian pitches suit pace bowling and with the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad as well as Steven Finn in the side – the 3 lions will be looking to take advantage. Sub continental teams will most likely struggle, as seen with India’s pitiful performances in the tri Series. However anything England have, Australia and South Africa probably have better within their pace line ups. Broad and Anderson in particular, need to start doing the business for the one day side.
In a nutshell, England will be far from favourites to secure a first one day World Cup. However they are most certainly in a better place now than they have been for the past few months and you simply never know. Some players are finding form and can draw on their run to the final of the ICC World Championship in 2013. Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are probably the most in form teams but on their day England could well cause them problems. Mind you, they would probably settle for a semi final birth given their plight in this particular form of the game in the last couple of years.