The England cricket team guide looking at strengths and weaknesses and their key players on home soil.
World Ranking: 1
Odds to win: 3.25 with Betfair Sportsbook and Royal Panda
England Cricket team at the Last World Cup
Disastrous. Playing cricket from the late 90s based on batting cautiously and accumulating runs slowly at the end and hoping for an onslaught at the ‘death’ that never came, they got found out and crashed out in the Group Stages.
That said, it was the best thing that ever happened to them. It meant they threw away their dated game plans, started from scratch under Eoin Morgan and went from being batting tortoises to being the most aggressive and adventurous batting line-up in the world.
Champions Trophy performances by England Cricket team
The last two Champions Trophies were both held in England and they should have won both of them. In 2013 they failed to chase India’s 129 in a rain-reduced final that became a T20 match. Well set, they bottled it when it mattered, losing careless wickets.
In 2017 they were strong favourites going into the semis but on a slow wicket in Cardiff they crumbled against Pakistan, posting a low score after being too aggressive rather than playing smart cricket. Pakistan chased it with ease.
England are 3.25 to win the World Cup with Betfair Sportsbook.
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England Cricket World Cup: Strengths and weaknesses
It’s second to none. The Top 7 should be: Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Ali. Any one of those is capable of blasting 70 off 50 balls but crucially, in Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in particular they have players who can patiently build innings rather than just tee off. It’s one of the finest Top 7s ever assembled with the possible exception of that Australian team who won three World Cups in a row.
Given the England cricket team still has Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid and one of Tom Curran/Jofra Archer/David Willey still to come, it doesn’t end at number seven, either.
England are 12/25 to beat South Africa with Unibet in the opening match of the World Cup.
When opening an account with Unibet as a UK customer to bet on the Cricket World Cup, you can claim £40 in free bets if your first-ever bet loses.
Even though the curators at the World Cup are employed by the ICC rather than the ECB, it’s a huge advantage to be at home. More home support, greater knowledge of the grounds, having friends and family around.
It’s not for nothing that the last two World Cups were won by the host nation.
They’re fine in the spin department with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid very capable twirlers but their pace attack is well behind that of India, Australia, Pakistan and arguably South Africa in terms of quality, not to mention, raw pace.
That’s why the Jofra Archer issue gains importance. Stokes, Ali and Rashid will definitely all play so that leaves two more spots. Woakes and Wood is an ok new-ball partnership but no more than that. Then again, Archer has played so little 50-over cricket, and never at international level, that it’s anyone’s guess as to whether he’s their saviour.
The England Cricket team has developed a bad habit of bottling it at major ICC events. There were those two losses in the Champions Trophy already mentioned and in the T20 format, that heart-breaking loss to the Windies in the T20 World Cup final four years ago when Stokes lost it against Carlos Brathwaite.
They need to prove to their fans- and themselves- that they can handle the pressure.
Key player: Ben Stokes
Assuming Root is very unlikely to bowl much, Stokes must be looking at bowling at least seven overs a game. In the tight games against the best teams, how he goes in them could be the difference between winning or losing.
Of course, he also has an extremely important role to play batting at five and is the team’s best fielder. Add all that together and you can see why he’s their most important man.
X-Factor Player: Jos Buttler
You could easily swap the two over and make Buttler the key player and Stokes the X-Factor one here.
The Betting Maestro isn’t entirely sure about the logic behind Stokes batting above Buttler but in any case, in Buttler England have arguably the most destructive middle-order batsman and best finisher in the 50-over game. Perhaps only Glenn Maxwell or Andre Russell can come close.
Like AB de Villiers, Buttler scores 360 degrees, plays every shot in the book and has a great awareness of gaps and scoring areas. If he fires more often than not, England could win the tournament.
Royal Panda is also going 3.25 that England win the World cup.
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Analysis of England’s chances
Justified favourites, yes. A value bet at 3.25? Maybe not. You can read in greater depth what the Betting Maestro makes of their chances of winning here but in a nutshell: they have the players, the captain, the gameplan and the home advantage to win it but there’s just a nagging feeling that it’s just not meant to be again.
And if that’s from a sporting perspective, from a betting perspective they aren’t a value price.
Having said all that, they’re nailed-on to make the semis and should really make the final, at worst.
England Cricket Team Betting:
Prediction: Beaten finalists.
Betting Maestro England Cricket team tip: Jonny Bairstow to be Top Batsman @ 15.0
Bairstow didn’t make the cut as our two top batsmen based on the perfect profile of a World Cup top batsman but it was a close run thing. He did however make our ‘other’ list of Top 5 batsmen to keep an eye on.
He opens, he scores quickly, he has an excellent record in England, he bats long and has an excellent average. That makes him a very decent each-way wager. On Betfair Sportsbook it’s 1/4 odds on the Top 4 places.