James Nixon | 11:27am BST 27 May 2019
The hosts of a World Cup, whatever sport it may be, are always in a challenging position when asked about their chances of going all the way on home soil when they are the favourites. Do you go full out on the offensive and robustly justify your claim to the trophy or do you talk down your chances in the hope that actions will speak louder than words?
There’s probably no right or wrong answer but the ultimate goal has to be a mixture of unwavering confidence with a sprinkling of humility as you set out to win the hearts and minds of the neutrals. For England, there really is no better time for them to win their first ever World Cup now that they are on home soil and also in sensational form.
3️⃣ weeks to go! pic.twitter.com/KY5UUSPzEe
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 9, 2019
That was the opinion of Joe Root, at least, as he carried out media duty on behalf of the England team. The 28-year-old told the BBC that the Three Lions are in the best position to lift the World Cup now that they have the strongest squad that they have had in years – you can watch the video at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/cricket/48216455. There’s absolutely nothing to disagree with there, as Root has hit the nail on the head with regards to the English team and the momentum that they have been able to build since the dark days in Australia four years previously.
After a disastrous World Cup campaign in 2015 where England were knocked out in the group stages by Bangladesh, as reported on in an article from The Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/, the ECB decided that a complete overhaul was needed. It started with the sacking of coach Peter Moores which saw England’s conservative and dated approach to ODI cricket also make a timely departure. Since then, the brand of cricket that has been played has seen England move streets ahead of their international competition.
This change of direction since 2015 has Trevor Bayliss’ men currently sitting at the top of the ODI rankings and more than deserving of their tag as favourites heading into the World Cup, something punters can see when they visit https://www.paddypower.com/cricket/icc-cricket-world-cup. Never has an English team gone into a World Cup at odds of 9/4 to win and it has to be said, this is a golden opportunity for the Three Lions to enjoy an unforgettable summer by winning their maiden World Cup title.
Bangladesh’s 2015 victory over England progresses to the final of the @bira91 @cricketworldcup Greatest Moments competition! pic.twitter.com/86nMTJby77
— ICC (@ICC) May 10, 2019
The atmosphere may not reach fever pitch like it did when the men’s football team reached the semifinals of the World Cup in Russia last year, but there will be considerable interest from the English public should Root and co. prove their worth in the tournament.
There’s never been a better time to showcase the game of cricket in England with the host nation in a great position to retain a captive audience even after the tournament ends, thanks to the style of cricket they have adopted. England may be perfectly positioned to win the World Cup according to Joe Root and he is right, but they are also ideally placed to charm the nation over a hot 2019 summer.
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