Inaugural champions. Defending Champions. A couple more titles in between. England are certainly one of the favourites to lift the trophy in New Zealand.
Champions: (1973, 1993, 2009, 2017)
They have won the title four times and their latest came at home, before the packed Lord’s stadium where the team went on to defeat India from nowhere. Anya Shrubsole had fun running through the Indian batting order as she returned with six wickets. India, on the other hand, faced disappointment as they made a mockery of an easy chase.
England enter this tournament after being rattled by the Australian team in the Ashes. England ended at the wrong side of the result every single time in the white-ball cricket while finding a way to draw the one-off Test.
What happened in the Warm-ups?
England had managed to win both their warm-up matches, which is certainly a good sign going into the World Cup.
England vs Bangladesh-
England had an easy run over Bangladesh in the first match. Batting first, Lauren Winfield-Hill showed some glimpse of form as she crossed her first fifty in a very long time. Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight had cameos but the entire show belonged to Nat Sciver as the all-rounder ended with 101-ball 108. Some late flourish from Emma Lamb helped the team to reach 310 in their 50 overs.
In return, two wickets each from Sciver, Davies and Dean helped the team to reduce Bangladesh to just 201.
Farrant felt discomfort while bowling and had to leave the field at 2.5 overs. Heather Knight completed her over and went on to bowl six more. Emma Lamb and Sophia Dunkley also chipped in for some overs there.
England vs South Africa
As the rain delayed the start, the match was reduced to 35 overs a side. England, who rested Brunt and Shrubsole for the 1st Warm-ups, brought them in and they proved too good for the South African top order. At one point, the team was 47/5. Kapp played a rescue knock of 52 to take the team to 138/9. Except for Dean, everyone had a wicket at least with Ecclestone being the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.
In return, Khaka picked two wickets early but the target was lesser than South Africa would’ve expected as England pulled off an easy win.
This is a good mixture of young as well as experienced candidates.
Brunt, Shrubsole along with Ecclestone are the key here. While a lot depends on the experienced pacers, Ecclestone’s spell is going to be tricky considering the conditions here.
Lauren Winfield-Hill’s struggle to convert starts to big scores has been a concern for a while now but the team has opted to back her for the World Cup and she did play well in the first Warm-up to score a fifty.
Tammy Beaumont, who has been England’s top scorer in the past couple of seasons, couldn’t do much in the recently concluded Ashes and in the Warm-ups, she had starts. It is going to be interesting how she goes here.
Knight did the major part of the scoring in England’s poor run in the Ashes. Knight must lead the team with the bat in order to help the team stand a chance here.
Apart from them, Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones in the lower order could really make a difference here.
Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.
Travelling Reserves: Lauren Bell, Mady Villiers
Player to watch out for: Kate Cross
Appearing in the World Cup for the first time, Kate Cross could be the difference in this England side.
Since the start of 2019, no pacer has had more wickets than Kate Cross in ODIs. She has picked up 39 wickets while giving away just 4.15 runs per over. Overall, only Jess Jonassen has more wickets than Kate Cross in format.
Mind you, she can also chip in for a few runs lower down the order.
Definite Pick in the Fantasy side
Nat Sciver has been the most popular pick when it comes to the fantasy cricket. Sciver’s ability to contribute from both fronts has made her one of the must-have players in the fantasy side. Even during the 1st Warm-up match, she had a ton as well as a couple of wickets to her name.