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Cricket news - Ready reckoner: England

Football didn't, but can cricket come home to England this year?

Why should you support them?

One of the criticisms directed at England is that their bowlers concede scores in excess of 300 very often. But their batsmen are bullish, play with panache and assert themselves like those of no other team. The fiery batting makes for exciting viewing and they've revamped how they play to give themselves the best possible chance of winning the title. The likes of Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have given a new definition to playing without fear and then there's the impressive pace attack consisting of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett. These players form an exciting team that is bound to produce some exciting cricket this summer.

So what's their gameplan?

England's tactics are simple - score big and hope the bowlers defend the total. The batsmen don't hold back - hammering runs from the get-go - and keep putting the pressure on the opposition. There's tremendous pressure on the bowlers, especially because of the flat tracks they play on, but also have the backing of a gun batting line-up. England will bank heavily on their bowlers to stop the opposition but the batsmen will be expected to produce blinders day in and day out.

Which player should you get excited about?

In a side that boasts of the likes of Bairstow, Buttler, Roy and Eoin Morgan, Jofra Archer is making heads turn. When Virat Kohli talks you up ahead of the tournament, it'll lead to a lot of expectations. Archer has been fast-tracked into this England squad at the expense of David Willey, and there's good reason for that. He's got pace, he's an exceptional fielder and he can tonk a few on his day. Still looking for a reason to watch him? Here's the India captain helping you out. "He's going to be England's x-factor because he holds a skill set which is very different. He can generate a lot of pace which can be intimidating and you don't really expect that from him because of his run-up."

Which of their fixtures should you not miss?

On June 30, the No. 1 ranked side will take on India - the side just below them at the second spot. When India tour England in 2018, they won the T20I series before losing the ODIs. India bank on the spinners to strike in the middle overs and pressure will be on the England batsmen to ensure they keep the runs flowing and not lose wickets. They learnt their lessons from the T20I series loss but showed they can play spin well. If you don't want to watch Bairstow, Roy and Buttler take off, you surely would want to watch Kohli play Archer, right?

England's clash against Australia should also the fans excited, and in the mood for some creative sledging ahead of what is a massive season for the two teams.

England are looking to win the maiden World Cup and five-time champions Australia want to defend their title. David Warner and Steve Smith are back in Australia colours and straightaway England crowd has let them know of their opinion of the sandpaper shenanigans that played out last March. Smith responded with a century in the warm-up game against England and vowed to ignore the 'white noise'

Warner vs Wood. Archer vs Smith. Stokes vs Stoinis. Starc vs Plunkett. There are plenty of match-ups to follow and this clash should be a cracker.

What are their chances?

For the work they've put in, in the last four years, 2019 World Cup represents their best chance to taste glory. The failure to reach the last-four and put themselves in a position to win the title - at home - is bound to leave a scar on this current batch.

England have got the players, the talent, and now it's all about their temperament. They start the tournament as favourites to win the title, and it'll be interesting how they perform when the pitches tire out a bit and the batsmen don't have flat tracks to bully the bowlers. Adapting is going to be key for England and if they have learnt from the 2017 Champions Trophy, they'll be well prepared.


Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson.


May 30: v South Africa at Kennington Oval, London [D]

June 3: v Pakistan at Trent Bridge, Nottingham [D]

June 8: v Bangladesh at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff [D]

June 14: v West Indies at The Rose Bowl, Southampton [D]

June 18: v Afghanistan at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester [D]

June 21: v Sri Lanka at Headingley, Leeds [D]

June 25: v Australia at Lord's, London [D]

June 30: v India at Edgbaston, Birmingham [D]

July 3: v New Zealand at Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street [D]

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