ICC World Cup: Jos Buttler’s England have the firepower to retain trophy

They are the first team in history to hold 50-overs & T20 World Cup titles together

The winner of ICC World Cup 2019, English Cricket Team (photo: Getty Images)
The winner of ICC World Cup 2019, English Cricket Team (photo: Getty Images)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

When Jos Buttler’s England walk into the cavernous Narendra Modi Stadium to take on New Zealand in the opener of the ICC World Cup on October 5, it may be a case of uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. They are the first team to wear the twin hats of being the world champions in both 50-over and 20-over formats. 

The provisional 15-member squad named last week, where the only surprise had been the omission of the senior pro Jason Roy due to a back spasm, looks rich in experience and capable of surviving Indian conditions to be only the third team in history to win back-to-back trophies. West Indies have done it in 1975 & ’79 while Australia made it three in a row in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

The biggest plus for England had been Ben Stokes reversing his decision of retiring from the 50-overs format sometime back with an eye on his workload. The inclusion of 24-year-old Harry Brook, who had an ordinary series against New Zealand (with scores of 25, 2 and 10) but made rapid progress as an international cricketer and has been also a part of the Indian Premier League 2023 – something which saw him force the way into the squad. 

Speaking about the squad, Luke Wright, a member of national selection committee said: “We have selected a squad we are confident can go to India and win the World Cup. We are blessed with an incredibly strong group of white-ball players which was underlined by the performances in the series win against a very good New Zealand team. 

“The strength of the group has meant that we have had to make some tough decisions on world class players with Jason Roy missing out and Harry Brook coming into the squad.” 

Meanwhile, Jofra Archer, the pace ace who is still recovering, will travel with the squad to India as a reserve where he will continue his rehab. 

England squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes. Final squad cut-off on September 28 

Best showing: Winners, 2019; Runners-up: 1979, 1987, 1992.

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