Top 8 Teams for the ICC World Cup 2015 – England

England 15-man squad for ICC World Cup 2015: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wicket keeper), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

Team England

England enter the World Cup 2015 as one of the dark horses in this tournament. They may have been part of three World Cup finals but a long time has past since those encounters and the game has changed a lot while England failed to evolve accordingly. They were the finalist of the 1979, 1987 and 1992 World Cup tournaments. Their past glory is no more, but just prior to the World Cup England have made a decision that could possibly change what their team can accomplish. Alistair Cook was chosen to lead the team under strict discipline and the same old tactics which resulted in constant failures and finally ECB realized it was time for change. Eoin Morgan was chosen to replace Cook as captain and bring the exciting factor and a fresh approach to the English team. Currently ranked 5th in the world, the English team will enter the World Cup in high spirits.

The Squad

The major change with English World Cup squad is the new Captain. Morgan replaces Cook as captain and Cook has also been dropped from the one-day side. Gary Ballance was the greatest beneficiary who replaces Cook in the team. He has established himself as England’s No.3 in Test matches and has played only 12 ODIs so far but he sees a comeback after being England teamdropped against Sri Lanka.

Ben Stokes and Harry Gurney have been replaced by Stuart Broad and James Anderson who returned from injury. Ben Stokes was the only positive that England got from the Ashes tour from Australia but ever since that point in his career, he has been struggling. English selectors have confirmed that Ben Stokes is a future talent but he lacks the consistency that is required right now. Gurney failed to prove his worth in the recent series against Sri Lanka and was therefore sidelined for the return of senior bowlers.

Bell’s inclusion was in question but now he is going to compete with Alex Hales as the second opener alongside Moeen Ali in the final XI. In addition, Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes will fight for a spot in XI as the bowling all-rounder.

Key Players

Eoin Morgan is the new captain and an extra-ordinary talent with the bat. He can play the finisher’s role or even carry the burden of their batting in an aggressive style. His unbelievable performances in chases can not be underestimated nor can his ability to decimate the opposition. If he can perform and regain his batting form England key playersnow that he has been promoted to captain of the side, he will be able to provide the inspiration that the English batting needs.

Joe Root has provided great strength to England’s batting. He anchors the inning while constantly keeping the scoreboard ticking. If the English batting has to succeed in achieving big scores, Root will likely be the man to make it happen. His form and performances have made him a reliable player in the side at such a young age in his career.

James Anderson is the most senior bowler in the English side and has been a consistent performer. New Zealand conditions are not much different to English conditions and he will feel right at home over there. He will lead the attack and provide the bowling with strength that has been missing in the recent past due to his injury.

Strengths

English strength lies in their batsmen’s aggression and their ability to take apart bowling attacks. Starting from the Moeen Aliopeners Moeen Ali down to the wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, most of the batsmen have the ability to take the match away from the opposition. While there are these aggressor’s in the side, there are Gary Ballance and Joe Root with Ian Bell as backup to hold the batting together. England do bat deep as well with bowling all-rounders in the team providing the depth to their batting capacity. If most of the batsmen do return to form, England batting can win them most of the matches.

Another X-factor is Morgan’s captaincy itself. Nobody has much idea how he will lead the team and how England plan to go about their matches. By reaching the final of the triangular tournament a few days ago, England have shown the promise that they might be better at handling the foreign conditions than any of the other visitors.

Weakness

England have been worried about death bowling for a long time now and playing Harry Gurney was another attempt at that after Dernbach proved a complete flop for months. England’s worries could be realized in New Zealand where the boundaries are English teamshort and they lack a good death bowler. Another possible problem is the lack of a quality spinner in their side. As good as Moeen Ali has been performing, he can’t be expected to play a specialist spinner’s role in the team and England might end up realising what they are missing.

England batting might have some very exciting characters but they have succumbed to inconsistency several times in the past few months and that’s something that might also worry England.

Morgan is a new captain, yes, but they were not able to win a single match against the home side Australia in the recent triangular tournament down under. They even suffered a humiliating defeat in the final by more than a hundred runs which is a cause of concern.

Conclusion

English side is filled with spirit and can’t be written off just yet. The new captain has a lot to prove so far but it is believed that he can bring England to play at the best of their abilities. England’s stay in new in Australia is still fresh and they performed better than India who have been there for more than a month now. Thus, there is still hope on what they can achieve on their World Cup run. If all goes well and English players regain form, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to clinch victory in this big tournament like they did in the World T20 in 2010.

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