England’s campaign is a massive success. This is their in a generation. More importantly, they have managed to market their bowling packs, moving from bottom of the economy rankings in the last two years to next. And their scoring pace, despite suggestions that they have been becalmed, is the best in the tournament.
The element that is surprising is their nerve. Or lack of it when chasing gettable totals against Australia Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Jeez, that last defeat was a stinker and if they go on to lift the trophy, it’s hard not to wonder what previous World Cup winners could have done to this Sri Lanka second XI. Ahead of the tournament they had an 85% win rate in the chase. Their warm-up reduction to Australia also currently takes on a different colour.
One suspects, but that if they can defeat a challenging semi-final against Australia then there might be no stopping them. Who knew that Jason Roy was the key to their mojo? Those crushing wins over India and New Zealand (England were enjoying knockout cricket do not forget) have reminded them they’re the best in the world. This column set them for glory only on the association between their price and also the loopholes in the field. We got it wrong and can evisage financing them.
There is, of course, room for advancement. Jos Buttler’s kind is a bit of a stress while it remains to be see if niggles into the likes of Jofra Archer, that has been a feeling, and Adil Rashid have any bearing.
Cost differential pre-tournament: – 0.25
Batting average tournament ranking: 3rd Strike speed: 2nd
Bowling market tournament rank: 5th Strike speed: 2nd
If England have evolved, Australia have, er revolved. It’s been revolutionary material from the Aussies, who have been pretty much hopeless for two decades but have hit upon a formula and, even when beating the favourites at Lord’s, looked World Cup winners in waiting.
David Warner has put a bad record in England behind him, and of course that the ball tampering row, to vie for high tournament runscorer honours, Aaron Finch, also because race, has’merely’ carried on in rich vein and Mitchell Starc gets the top wicket-taker section decked out with 24.
Do they have a weakness? Sure. They should have gone bigger against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England after a stage was built. If it comes to the crunch against rapid runscorers in England and India at a possible final, that may be their undoing. It’s something they have struggled with since the last World Cup.
What you can’t accuse them of is being overly reliant on Warner and Finch. Against West Indies and New Zealand the centre – and lower-order captured them from the mire. ENgland, nevertheless, represent their toughest job yet. .