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Friday, March 09, 2007

English team in the World Cup

England is slowly acquiring a sub-continental look to its national team - both in terms of personnel in the team as well as the inconsistency that is dogging them (if not the spate of injuries that has troubled them since the Ashes). They defeated the Aussies thrice in the tri-series and managed to win the Cup (the first non-Aussie team to win this in more than 20 years) - Amazing, considering that they were playing with their third-choice team. Maybe that is what works for them, since the first-choice is not to be seen anyway.

Michael Vaughan - Will he, Wont he? He is the man who has brought about the revolution about the English team, made them think that they can fight the Aussies - but would he be personally able to put in a winning contribution to the win, if it happens? Doubtful. He wouldnt play more than 2-3 matches, if he is lucky.

Andrew Strauss has been getting starts but not the big scores that England expect from his blade. Was good at No.3 but has to open the batting again now.

Ed Joyce is the recent success from the Tri-Series, showed that he can handle the Aussie pace on those wickets. Would be good for the team, if the openers get together and give a good platform for the latter order to build on.

Ian Bell has been in good form in test matches mainly, though some of the form spread over to the ODI scene as well. Good fielder. Should be more consistent.

Paul Collingwood is the star of the English team as of now. Is in top form and must be looking to
continue it further. His bowling would be more than handful, if he can bowl his quota of overs.

Jamie Dalrymple is the spinning allrounder in the English team, who can contribute his bit to the team's cause. But, if everyone is fine, wouldnt get a chance to play in the eleven.

Andrew Flintoff will captain the team for most of the matches, looks like. He will have to motivate the team to perform beyond its potential, once again. Once he scored runs, the team looked a different unit. Needs to get those vital wickets and runs, to get the edge.

Kevin Pietersen will be back from his ribs injury. Must be waiting to perform on the World Cup stage. Will be one of the stars to look out for, in this World Cup.

Ravi Bopara's credit so far has been his dismissal of Hussey in the tri-series, with his off-spin. But, wouldnt get many chances to play.

Paul Nixon is yet another surprise that Duncan Fletcher and the Management has sprung on the rest of the World. No youngster, but does his job decently. Not shown any potential with his bat though.

James Anderson was one of the stars in the 2003 World Cup with his swing, but tapered off with his declining form. Has come back into the limelight thanks to the million injuries that have dogged the team. Inconsistent.

Jon Lewis is returning from injury. Would be a handful on those slow, low wickets - strangling
batsmen for runs. But, will that be enough?

Liam Plunkett is the paceman who replaced the injured in the Tri-series, managing to get the
breakthroughs with his swing. Will be on starting line during the World Cup.

Sajid Mahmood has been in the squad for sometime now, without doing anything spectacular. Looks likely to continue the same form in this World Cup also.

Monty Panesar might turn out to be another star, considering the help that the wickets in West
Indies give to spinners. Maybe England needs another bowler of his quality to win more matches. Has had limited exposure to ODIs, that might prove against him.
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