The favourites to lift the World Cup did actually ended up lifting the trophy at Lord’s on 14th July. Winning by the slimmest of margins, England were crowned as the World ODI champions. The final ended in a tie and after another tie in the Super Over, England won by the virtue of hitting more boundaries in the game. The victory was perhaps an ode to the approach that Eoin Morgan’s team had adopted.
After the debacle in the 2015 World Cup, England changed the way they played ODI cricket. They packed their side with batsmen till the end and optimised the use of all-rounders. Although they were not the most impressive side in the league stage, the team remained favourites to win the World Cup. It was an up-and-down journey that ultimately ended with England’s first-ever championship victory.
What went right?
The much-hyped English batting line-up did stay true to its reputation on most occasions. In the current World Cup, England was the only team that went past 380 runs and they did so twice. All of their top six batsmen enjoyed a good campaign and scored more than 300 individual runs.
Joe Root finished as the team’s highest run-getter with 556 runs while Jonny Bairstow added 532 runs. Jason Roy scored his 443 runs in only seven knocks and his success at the top was instrumental in England’s revival. Ben Stokes emerged as a saviour of the side with his five half-centuries.
Even England’s bowling attack delivered when needed. With five of their bowlers taking more than 10 wickets in the tournament, there was always someone who put their hand up in crisis.
What went wrong?
One of the known weaknesses of this English team was their inability to change their batting style on bowling-friendly tracks. On slow pitches, they were not the same force and this problem caught up with them in this World Cup. England’s most shocking loss came against Sri Lanka in the group stage where they failed to chase down 233 runs. New Zealand in the final exposed England’s issues once again as the home side failed to reach the target of 242 runs.
Find of the tournament
Head to his twitter account if you don’t know this. It is, of course, the ‘Jofradamus‘ – Jofra Archer. The 24-year-old fast bowler from Barbados qualified to play for England in May 2019 and impressed on his debut. There was some resentment towards his selection in the World Cup squad but by the end of the tournament, everyone had to appreciate his talent. Archer finished the competition with 20 wickets, highest for his team, and bowled the decisive Super Over for England.
Areas for improvement
In terms of personnel, this English side is complete. They have all the bases covered except a left-arm seam bowler. The addition of a southpaw will add variety to their bowling attack and make them an even more dangerous team.
The batting unit also needs to find a way to adapt better on tracks that are conducive to the bowlers. They have been frequently exposed in low-scoring chases.