2010-10-13 17:47

Captain: Andrew Strauss

Number of World Cup Participations: 9

ODI Ranking (Noevmber 2010): 5th

Coach: Andy Flower

World Cup Champions: Not yet

Once the powerhouse of international cricket along with the West Indies, in the glory days of Beefy Botham, England suffered a lull in its ODI credibility throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, with consistent series losses to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia and Sri Lanka. But since around 2004/2005 a real resurgence, led by players such as Andrew Flintoff (who recently announced his full retirement from all forms), former skipper Nasser Hussain, current captain Andrew Strauss, and allrounder Paul Collingwood as well as a series of fortuitous national acquisitions in superstars like former South Africans Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Craig Kieswetter, and Eoin Morgan (formerly Irish) has sparked renewed interest and success for the national team.

They are currently the World T20 Champions, having seen off the likes of Australia and Pakistan in the shortest form of the game, and have improved their fielding so much that they must be considered one of the best overall outfits in world cricket. The team's early stabs at World Cup success, where they were runners up 3 times between 1979 and 1992, have not been relived in recent times, with their 2007 campaign a real shambles of poor discipline and poor performances resulting in elimination in the Super 8s stage.

Despite this bad run of big competition form, they have had good success in recent ODI series, with successive wins against South Africa in 2009, and Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan in 2010. They will want to use this form as a base for their 2011 World Cup campaign.

Key players for the 2011 World Cup include captain Strauss, whose consistently high-scoring opening partnerships provide a good base for big scores, Kevin Pietersen, whose run of bad form has seen him dropped from the ODI squad but the fans will hope only temporarily, stroke-makers Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott and big hitters Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter.

In the bowling department things are also very positive for the English outfit – seamer James Anderson has a fearsome reputation if the conditions are conducive, and he, along with allrounder Stuart Broad and spinner Graeme Swann were all included in world Test and ODI awards in 2010. They may struggle in third seamer/second spinner departments, but there are options aplenty for coach Andy Flower.

England's cricketers celebrate a wicket. (AFP)


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