Team England for ICC World Cup 2011
High on the heels of the recent Ashes win down under, England are considered hot favorites for the upcoming World Cup. Legend has it, England has produced some of the world’s finest players: David Gower, Graham Gooch, Geoffery Boycott, John Emburey, Alex Stuart, Andrew Flintoff and many more. Interestingly, England have played a total of three World Cup finals and lost each one of them. This clearly hurts the Brits’ reputation for a side that marked the start of cricketing history. Similar to their arch rivals, Australia, England have been hit by plenty o injuries that have resulted in expulsion of players from the 15-man squad.
Unfortunate as it may sound, Eoin Morgan, who is one of England’s most influential limited overs performer and would surely have contributed a lot to England’s chances, has been left out of the side due to a broken middle finger. For sure, that takes the elegant and immaculately placed reverse slogs out of England’s game for the time being. Meanwhile, Ravi Bopara and Chris Tremlett avail the chance to play for the England Lions. Nevertheless, England does have players to pull off a win on any given day with a balanced combination of batsmen and bowlers. Only trouble is on paper England’s performance in the subcontinent has been on the lower side. In fact, their last tour to India was disastrous to say the least as the team lost 5-0.
On a more positive note, England are also the new T20 Championship victors which is probably some confidence they can carry into the mega event. The team would definitely need their captain, Andrew Strauss to fire as well as he did on the Ashes tour and his brilliance as an opening batsman would also lay a strong foundation for others to capitalize on. Ian Bell has been among the runs and shown good form in recent times which qualify him to open with the skipper, considering how well he can find his runs in vacant gaps.
Speaking of England’s middle order, Jonathan Trott is the man who has cemented the no. 3 spot and rightly so. The right hand batsman has been in the form of his life and his consistent display of mastery with the bat has made him England’s go-to man. England would need the heroics of Kevin ‘KP’ Pietersen if they are to get on top of the opposition. The South-African born stylist hasn’t been in the best of forms but he will surely be on top of his game once the stage has been set.
Paul Collingwood would add experience to the English side and his ability to perform with both, the bat and ball, provides stability to this team. Ravi Bopara might well be a likely inclusion in the final squad considering his ability to clear boundaries in the death overs and help build on a strong total. England’s wicket keeper batsman, Matt Prior enjoys a secure place in the side with no keepers to challenge him in the final line-up. Do not underestimate his skills though, because due to his ability to place the ball and whack it away in the gaps, Matt Prior can also prove to be a lethal prospect in the death overs.
Micheal Yardy has proven to be very handy, first with the ball and then with the bat in his hands. The left-armer can deceive batsmen with his slow off-spinners and also get some runs from his side when he is needed to perform in the batting department. Graeme Swann, England’s champion off-spinner, would fancy the sort of purchase he would get off the sub-continental pitches. Plus, his ability to pick up quick wickets in any stage of the match coupled with his boundary-hitting ability puts him ahead of most off-spin bowlers in the world.
Ajmal Shahzad’s ability to reverse swing the ball, coupled with Chris Tremlett’s bounce and swing, would pose threat to the opposition’s chances for sure. Of course, James Anderson would be England’s trump card in the bowling department and will play a great hand in helping England get over the line courtesy of his immaculate swing bowling.
England 15-man Squad
Andrew Strauss (captain)