Cricket

Can England really win the World Cup next year?

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England begin their current ODI series against India with preparation for next year's 50-over World Cup firmly on their minds. Alastair Cook's men will hope to build confidence, and a winning side, as they concentrate on ODI cricket from now until the World Cup starts.

However, two of England's former stars, Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann, believe that England stand very little chance of winning the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Progress

At the moment England are probably a long way off from having a side capable of challenging for the trophy next year but there is time, as well as games, for them to develop a well-balanced and winning formula.

A winning formula is not that easy to create and does take time but their itinerary allows that to happen over the next few months.

Firstly England play India in this current five-match series and then they tour Sri Lanka, prior to Christmas, to play a further seven ODIs. During January and February England compete in a triangular series against Australia and India down under, just before the World Cup.

Selection

They have started well in their selection process by adding Alex Hales, the explosive Nottinghamshire opener, to the side. However, there are others who are plying their trade in county cricket who can also be added to give the team that x-factor. England's selectors need to be brave and do so soon if the new players are to adapt to their roles and create that winning formula.

Jason Roy at Surrey has had a fantastic season in the T20 format of the game and can take a game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye. Other such as James Vince and James Taylor are also quality one-day players. With the likes of Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan also in the side England have a batting line-up that could strike the fear into international bowling line-ups.

New look

Ian Bell, despite reinventing himself as a one-day player, and Alastair Cook, are not the explosive cricketers that will destroy opposition bowling attacks.

What England do lack is a world-class spin bowler and a fast bowler who can be trusted at the end of an innings to win a match, such as Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga.

There are other countries who are much further forward in their preparations and who will have serious aspirations about winning the trophy.

Australia, on home soil, will probably be the favourites. They look to have a formidable line-up with players who are match winners in this format of the game. Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and David Warner are three of their star names hoping to light up the tournament.

Champions

India, the current champions, will no doubt be strong in the one-day game despite their Test match troubles recently. South Africa will enter the competition believing they too have a chance of winning particularly with Dale Steyn leading their attack.

Sub-continent teams, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, if they can combat the bouncier wickets down under, could also have a say in the outcome of the trophy.

England will hope they too can be added to this list of potential champions when their preparations for the tournament end next February. To do this England will need an exciting, explosive and clinical side to take the field. Let's hope that England discover this side over the next few months so that Vaughan and Swann can be proved wrong.

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Topics:
ODI World Cup
England cricket
Cricket
Australia cricket
ODI
India cricket
Sri Lanka cricket
Graeme Swann

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