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Cricket World Cup 2023: England

England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup in an extraordinary final at Lord's, pipping New Zealand on the boundary count-back rule after a tied Super Over.

Ben Stokes, player of the match in that final, has come out of ODI retirement to help England defend their 50-over crown and, having won the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, they are 3/1 for another triumph in India.

England World Cup squad

Jos Buttler (c), 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.

England World Cup coach

Matthew Mott is not as high-profile a figure as England's Test coach Brendon McCullum, but the Australian has made a positive impression since taking charge of the white-ball teams in May 2022.

The former New South Wales, Glamorgan and Australia Women coach inherited a confident squad and led England's T20 team to World Cup success last November.

England World Cup record

1975 Semi-finals
1979 Runners-up
1983 Semi-finals
1987 Runners-up
1992 Runners-up
1996 Quarter-finals
1999 Group stage
2003 Group stage
2007 Super 8 stage
2011 Quarter-finals
2015 Group stage
2019 Winners

Possible XI

1. Dawid Malan
2. Jonny Bairstow
3. Joe Root
4. Ben Stokes
5. Jos Buttler
6. Liam Livingstone
7. Moeen Ali
8. Sam Curran
9. Chris Woakes
10. Adil Rashid
11. Mark Wood

Strengths

After decades of underachievement in limited-overs cricket, England arrive at the 2023 World Cup as the reigning ODI and Twenty20 World Cup holders.

Their white-ball revolution, inspired by 2019 World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, has extended into Test cricket and they have the talent and experience to succeed in India.

Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler provide a magnificent engine-room in a deep batting unit and the bowling attack is well-balanced with plenty of spin options, the pace of Mark Wood and Gus Atkinson and three left-armers in Sam Curran, David Willey and Reece Topley.

Weaknesses

It is hard to pick holes in England's line-up, even with opener Jason Roy having lost his spot in the squad to Harry Brook.

Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone had been under pressure to impress, but both have done so against New Zealand in recent outings, with the former now all but certain to open the batting with Jonny Bairstow.

England will need key men Stokes and Wood to stay injury-free for the duration of the tournament and their ultra-aggressive batting approach can leave them vulnerable on pitches that offer more assistance to bowlers.

Key Players

Ben Stokes

The hero of the 2019 final also steered England to victory in last year's T20 World Cup final against Pakistan, making 52 not out in a low-scoring game, and he was at the heart of this summer's thrilling Ashes Test series.

Stokes is unlikely to play much of a role with the ball due to ongoing fitness problems, but his batting, fielding and will to win make him a key player for the defending champions.

He has had success in India, where he was named player of the tournament in the 2017 IPL. He has scored three fifties in six ODI innings in India, hitting 10 sixes in a brutal knock of 99 off just 52 balls in Pune in 2021.

Jonny Bairstow

Bairstow's promotion to open the batting was one of the catalysts for England's new era of white-ball success and his back-to-back centuries in crucial league-stage wins over India and New Zealand kept them on course for victory at the 2019 World Cup.

He missed last year's T20 World Cup due to a serious leg injury, but played a couple of devastating innings in September's T20I series against the Kiwis and has excelled in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings.

Bairstow scored 219 runs off just 182 balls in three ODIs in India in 2021 and the onus is on him to power England to fast starts, especially if opening partner Roy is struggling.

Adil Rashid

England have been able to load their 15-man squad with fast bowlers as Root, Livingstone and Moeen Ali are all useful spin options, but Adil Rashid remains a central figure in their attack.

The leg-spinner is one of England's all-time great white-ball bowlers and his wicket-taking threat in the middle overs of the innings means it is difficult for opponents to keep the scoreboard ticking over without taking risks.

A shoulder problem hampered Rashid at the 2019 World Cup, although he still took three wickets in the semi-final win over Australia and bowled tidily in the final. 

The 35-year-old, who is closing in on 200 ODI wickets, has managed his workload well in recent years and was player of the series in March's 2-1 victory in Bangladesh, where he claimed eight wickets - many of them set batters - at an average of just 14.

Odds

To Win Outright - 3/1

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