England have a chance at the World Cup; they have to improve

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May 16 2010, Barbados, Paul Collingwood smashes it through mid-wicket to make England the World T20 Champions!" Remember that day?

That historical day in English cricket when Collingwood's England were crowned the kings of the shortest version after no one gave them a cat in a hell's chance?.

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Bad times

This time around, I see an even worse build-up. The former cricketers are talking in condescending tones about how rubbish Cook's team is, the fans have lost all faith and so forth.

Rightly so, especially after witnessing the horror shows against India on home turf. Even I have, on numerous occasions, subjected the team to extreme criticism, but that doesn't mean I have ever doubted their capability and never probably would but because the capability isn't matching their performances.

The issues have to be addressed for sure, something which I don't think has been done as of now. 

ECB issues

I'm not a big fan of how the ECB managed to ignore Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Adil Rashid, James Vince, Jonathan Trott and Samit Patel, neither am I in favour of Joe Root and Alastair Cook (who is all about survival at the crease these days), Ian Bell or Gary Ballance being a part of the ODIs because firstly, the format doesn't suit them and secondly, they are of extreme importance to the test squad.

However, as they have chosen otherwise, the path to the Brits' World Cup glory becomes longer and harder; the easier way being picking the ones born for shorter formats. Obviously, the crop of batsmen featuring in the pink coloured clothes aren't the ones who could send shivers down Dale Steyn or Saeed Ajmal.

No fear factor

Simply put, the fear factor amounts to nothing for Chef's England in either department, batting or bowling (fear factor in the bowling won't make a difference anyway in this format).

I understand we are not here to impart fear like Harold Larwood, Sid Barnes or Viv Richards, but to play cricket, disciplined cricket, in accordance with which, sticking to the basics and being aggressive with the mindset does a world of good, if not win a County Championship like Yorkshire, who play the same way. 

The worry for this team has been that the bowlers leak runs in the middle overs, the batsmen find it boring to rotate the strikes, play with a defensive mindset against most of the spinners, lack any kind of intent.


What if they all dust themselves in the nets, work hard on the rotation of strikes (basics), stay aggressive against the slower bowlers (basics), bat with intent (basics) and the older ball bowlers focus more on sticking to the right lengths (basics)?

Suddenly, this England team, with their unpredictability (which is their biggest strength), starts to look better. Indeed it is easier said than done but surely it is possible in the amount of time left.

All in all, the World Cup chances for the former World T20 Champions depend on how quickly do they make the improvements and the adjustments. If they do so in the time left, who knows?

Pros for England

They do have a determined skipper, they do have a capable team, they do have confidence, they do have faith and they do believe in themselves which is enough as long as they are willing to improve.

If James Anderson could hit 81, then England winning the World Cup is a far bigger possibility. Enough said I think? 

England cricket

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