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England's In-Form Cricket World Cup XI

Ben Darvill 25 May 2019
Jonny Bairstow (credit:Nigel French/PA Wire/PA Images)

England continued their impressive build-up to the World Cup this year with a 4-0 win over Pakistan, but who is their in-form XI following that series? 

England romped to a 4-0 series win over Pakistan in the build-up to the World Cup as they secured their win to nil on Sunday in impressive style. A strong start in the final match of the series saw England sitting at 222/2 before they had a wobble in the middle of the game as they fell to 272/6. However, Tom Curran’s late salvo of 29 from 15 helped England past the 350 mark which gave the home side a mental boost going going into Pakistan’s chase. For the touring side, things could not have started worse with the side slumping to 6/3. A superb rebuilding job saw Pakistan fire themselves to 152/3, but they once again fell apart as Chris Woakes ended with 5-54 which ultimately saw Pakistan fall to 297 all out. 

The likelihood of victory swung back and forth as England teetered slightly in both their showings with bat and ball, however, they were once again able to show their fighting ability, with the side impressing with bat and ball. That win may have been their most hard-fought of the series so far, and it displays their strength that when things are going very well or they are struggling, they are still able to get the job done. 

Following the victory, England will now have to seriously start contemplating their starting XI to face South Africa in the opening match of the World Cup, if they hadn’t already been doing this. With this in mind, we have compiled our in-form XI going into the tournament, with some names and faces missing if England’s selectors solely picked their team based on who has and has not fired. 

1) Jason Roy

Innings: 3 Runs: 277 Average: 92.33 High Score: 114 

2) Jonny Bairstow 

Innings: 3 Runs: 211 Average: 70.33 High Score: 128 

3) Joe Root 

Innings: 4 Runs: 203 Average: 50.75 High Score: 84 

4) James Vince 

Innings: 2 Runs: 76 Average: 38.00 High Score: 43

5) Eoin Morgan 

Innings: 3 Runs: 164 Average: 164.00 High Score: 76 

6) Jos Buttler 

Innings: 3 Runs: 144 Average: 72.00 High Score: 110*

7) Ben Stokes 

Innings: 3 Runs: 129 Average: 64.50 High Score: 71*

8) Tom Curran 

Innings: 2 Runs: 60 Average: 60.00 High Score: 31

Innings: 3 Wickets: 6 Best Bowling Figures: 4/75 Economy: 7.26 

9) Chris Woakes 

Innings: 4 Wickets: 10 Best Bowling Figures: 5/54 Economy: 6.23 

10) Adil Rashid 

Innings: 4 Wickets: 3 Best Bowling Figures: 2/54 Economy: 7.23

11) Liam Plunkett

Innings: 3 Wickets: 4 Best Bowling Figures: 2/64 Economy: 6.63

The above is a team compiled entirely on their form across the series against Pakistan. Few can argue with the opening pair, with player of the series Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow outstanding across the entire campaign. Bairstow has been elevated to opener over the last year and provided some superb competition to the former partnership which had seen Roy paired with Alex Hales. However, Bairstow’s form quickly saw him become a fixture at the top, with Roy and Hales battling for the other berth, but with Hales dropped from contention to start at the tournament, that quickly solved any selection issues the side might have going into the competition. A superb mix of fluent scoring and big hitting saw Roy and Bairstow average 92.33 and 70.33 respectively across the series, and we are genuinely putting he two out there as the best ODI opening partnership right now. Joe Root is the obvious choice coming in at three and he provides a superb amount of balance and control to the side if one of the openers falls early. Root may not be the most explosive player in the side, but he score so freely, meaning he does not stifle the run rate, although the men coming in after him can often elevate it far more than Root who can be moved down the batting order as necessary. Along with his ability to score runs and provide solidity is his consistency, with Root averaging 50.75 against Pakistan and not failing to get a score once. 

Next in line comes Morgan, who has been in this England ODI side for years and looks like a natural as the captain. Once a player that struggled under the pressure with both bat and the mantle of captaincy, Morgan is now seamlessly able to control the team in the field by making the correct changes to the men with the ball in hand and the fielding positions, while he is awesome with the bat in hand as he is so easily able to come in and score big runs quickly. Next up is James Vince, which is a choice we feel will not come to fruition, although he comes into this one ahead of Moeen Ali as the spinner had a torrid time with bat and ball across the four games. Vince looked good opening in the final two matches without setting the world alight, but we think Ali will start despite his struggles. 

While Jos Buttler may have struggled to get going in his last two games, he is England’s best player and a man that just scores runs with 4’s and 6’s coming so easily off his blade. What makes him even more important is the fact he is a fine wicketkeeper too, with quick thinking and soft hands allowing him to keep Bairstow’s claim to the gloves away. 

Ben Stokes makes it into our form team as a specialist batsman as he struggled to have any kind of impact with the ball across the series. No wickets in five innings saw Stokes bowl just 17 overs, but while his bowling confidence may have suffered, his form with the bat is not something England will need to worry about now, with Stokes top score of 71 not out seeing England to victory in the 4th ODI. Stokes will likely be thrown the ball across the tournament and we think that all it will take is a single wicket to see the fire burning bright one again. 

Tom Curran makes it into our team as a genuine all-rounder after his exploits in the final match of the series. A superb score of 29 not out helped to see England to 351 in their 50 overs, and while this was not a huge individual score, had Curran have fallen earlier, then England probably would not have made it to such a good score, giving Pakistan a big mental boost. With the ball, Curran knocked over six wickets across his three innings including an impressive haul of 4/75 in the 4th ODI and a fairly good economy rate of 7.26 which sees Curran come into this one as a real front line bowler, while an impressive average of 60.00 means England’s batting goes very deep indeed. In the last chance of the series to impress, one player that really shone was the superb Chris Woakes. Woakes came into the match with five wickets across the series prior to the 5th ODI, and he doubled his wicket-taking efforts with a supreme spell of 5/54 including three early wickets to leave Pakistan reeling at 6/3 as he tore through the tourists top order. Along with those five wickets came two invaluable maidens and just 54 runs conceded in 10 overs at 5.40 an over which is something that means he comes into the tournament in great form. The final two places in the XI go to spinner Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett. The pair took seven wickets between them as they did fairly well across the series, but what is most important is the fact the pair have underachieved somewhat as the likes of Woakes and Curran have excelled, with Rashid and Plunkett given slightly more supporting roles. We expect this to chance as the bowlers share the wicket-taking burden across the World Cup. 

This team is one that is made entirely of players that did their jobs against Pakistan which is why Moeen Ali, David Willey and Mark Wood missed out due to a lack of wickets, runs, or both. However, we would still assume that Ali at the very least will make it into the starting team ahead of James Vince who started at the top of the order but appears further down the order here. We would be surprised to see Willey and Wood not given a look in ahead of his one, while our lack of a mention of Jofra Archer is only due to the fact he was only given two games to shine, with the quick taking two wickets. Could Archer, Wood or Willey see our in-form XI broken up ahead of the World Cup? 

Want more 2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Tips? Follow England and every other side across all of the Cricket World Cup with us here at BettingPro.

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