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Cricket World Cup: England team guide

Andrew Strauss with the ICC World Cup trophy
Strauss is hoping to be the first England captain to win the World Cup

By Phil Dawkes

England go into the World Cup having made three of the nine finals played but still waiting to land the trophy for the first time.

The optimism resulting from success in the 2010 World Twenty20 and the recent Ashes series in Australia has been tempered by a hugely disappointing one-day series down under, which saw a depleted and out-of-form side stumble to a 6-1 defeat.

However, with injured players to return, coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss remain confident that their 15-man squad is capable of challenging for the top limited-overs prize.

Strauss (capt) Anderson Bell Bopara Bresnan Broad Collingwood Pietersen Prior (wk) Shahzad Swann Tredwell Trott Wright Yardy



Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss (capt)
Age: 33
County: Middlesex
ODIs: 120
Batting: Left-hand
Runs: 3871
Average: 34.87
Bowling: Left-arm medium
Wickets: -
Average: -

Strauss established himself as only the third England captain to win an Ashes series both home and abroad over the winter and he is now aiming to become the first England skipper to win the 50-over World Cup. As with the Test side, Strauss has proved a uniting force for the national one-day team - albeit with less success than in the five-day arena - since succeeding Kevin Pietersen as captain in early 2009. A record of 20 wins from 42 matches since taking on the job full time is a modest one but should not be used as a means of undermining the importance his cool, calm captaincy brings to the side. As little as a year ago, Strauss' critics were suggesting his batting at the top of the order was outmoded and did not warrant him a place in the side (possibly fuelled by the World Twenty20 success in which Strauss did not feature), but he has since proved his worth, scoring 985 runs since June 2010 at just over 46. Like much of the rest of the side, Strauss did not enjoy a good one-day series against Australia with 63 in Sydney his only real contribution with the bat.


James Anderson

James Anderson
Age: 28
County: Lancashire
ODIs: 137
Batting: Left-hand
Runs: 183
Average: 6.53
Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium
Wickets: 186
Average: 30.46

The stand-out bowler of the recent Ashes success, Anderson's worth to the England bowling attack can be illustrated by the difference he made to the side upon his return from a rest period for the fourth one-day international of the recent one-day series. With England 3-0 down, Anderson's pace and control gave the tourists a renewed edge and helped them register their first and only victory of the series. However, he could not replicate this display in the remaining games and went at nine an over in Sydney. Frustratingly inconsistent earlier in his career, Anderson has not always been held in such high regard. But a switch of focus from the flawed constant pursuit of wicket-taking deliveries in favour of solid line-and-length have transformed him into a world-class bowler who can also contribute on wickets that do not assist him. Seam bowling in the subcontinent requires patience and discipline, but Anderson has the ability to be a potent weapon for England.


Ian Bell

Ian Bell
Age: 28
County: Warwickshire
ODIs: 90
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 2776
Average: 35.13
Bowling: Right-arm medium
Wickets: 6
Average: 14.66

His one-day record leaves a lot to be desired, but there can be no doubting the talent Bell possesses. At his best the Warwickshire right-hander makes batting look effortless. He had a superb recent Ashes series, but has failed to quite meet these heights regularly in the one-dayers against Australia, where he has been guilty of some soft dismissals. Many feel Bell's ability to score quick runs without resorting to forced and risky strokes would be best utilised opening the batting for the one-day side, as he did at the last World Cup in the West Indies - this was further fuelled by him scoring a superb 124 not out batting at the top of the order in a recent tour victory over the Prime Minister's XI - but England have persisted with him at five, where he has the freedom to be more aggressive. Unlike some of his team-mates, Bell has played throughout the whole Australia tour and was not given a break prior to the World Cup, so fatigue could be a factor.


Ravi Bopara

Ravi Bopara
Age: 25
County: Essex
ODIs: 54
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 1140
Average: 28.50
Bowling: Right-arm medium
Wickets: 10
Average: 33.10

The withdrawal of Eoin Morgan because of a fractured hand was a big blow to England, as the inventive and explosive Irishman has been one of the country's top-performers in the middle order of late. His absence gives an opportunity to Essex all-rounder Bopara, who has significant one-day experience but played only four matches in 2010 and had not featured for England in 2011 ahead of the World Cup warm-ups. Bopara lacks the power of the man he replaced, but has it in his arsenal to provide rapid runs on his day. His best batting performances have come in his brief Test career, where he scored three successive centuries against the West Indies in 2009. On the negative side, he has yet to score a one-day century and is too often guilty of failing to build on good starts. But one significant positive is the option he also provides with the ball. Should he be selected, his medium pace affords Strauss an extra option he would not have had with Morgan in the side.


Tim Bresnan

Tim Bresnan
Age: 25
County: Yorkshire
ODIs: 35
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 455
Average: 25.27
Bowling: Right-arm medium-fast
Wickets: 40
Average: 38.07

Bresnan propelled himself into the Test limelight during the recent Ashes victory with superb bowling displays in Melbourne and Sydney, which included taking the wicket that ensured England retained the urn. However, he has been a member of the one-day squad since 2006, and a regular for the last two years, where his abilities with both bat and ball were long-seen as more suitable to a limited-overs format. As his stats bear out, Bresnan remains a bowler who bats a bit, although his average of about 25 in the latter, usually at number eight, is a handy bonus for the side. If England are to adopt the expected bowling unit of three quick bowlers and two spinners, a fit-again Stuart Broad and James Anderson will form two-thirds of the pace attack. Bresnan's experience, control of swing and added batting prowess puts him in pole position to take the final place. Bresnan was a fitness doubt going into the tournament but he'll have to hit the ground running if he is selected for the first game against the Netherlands.


Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad
Age: 24
County: Nottinghamshire
ODIs: 73
Batting: Left-hand
Runs: 372
Average: 12.82
Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium
Wickets: 124
Average: 25.70

A stomach injury denied Broad the chance to participate in the lions' share of the recent Ashes series and subsequent one-dayers, but when fit - as he is expected to be for the World Cup - he remains an automatic pick for England in every format of the game. England remain hopeful that he will develop into a genuine international all-rounder, but at present his bowling is superior to his batting, particularly in one-day cricket where he has a respectable bowling average of just over 25, but an underwhelming batting average of under 13. However, the latter figure belies his true batting talent and there are mitigating circumstances. For the majority of his innings he has batted at nine, when more often than not he is required to take risks and hit out to either set or pursue a total - an approach that clashes with his naturally more considered style. However, it is with the ball that England will be expecting Broad to shine. His right-arm fast medium can be relied upon to keep runs down and take wickets, and he is improving all the time. It is easy to forget from the amount of cricket he has played that he is still only 24, but his ranking of eighth in the ICC one-day bowling rankings is no anomaly.

Broad was ruled out of the tournament with injury on 8 March and replaced by Chris Tremlett


Paul Collingwood

Paul Collingwood
Age: 34
County: Durham
ODIs: 193
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 5031
Average: 35.68
Bowling: Right-arm medium
Wickets: 110
Average: 37.98

Collingwood was the focus of much debate ahead of the World Cup campaign because of his severe lack of form with the bat throughout the tour of Australia. He made only 83 runs during the Ashes, which prompted his retirement from Test cricket immediately after the series. He fared little better in the limited overs matches with 27 in the Adelaide game his highest score. However, he remains an experienced and intelligent deputy to captain Andrew Strauss and one of the world's best fielders, who sets the standards for the team. In addition, his medium-pace bowling - which can incorporate off-cutters that may prove effective in the subcontinent - would provide an extra option. Strauss though has admitted it would be too risky to rely on Collingwood as the fifth bowler on many surfaces and as such it is the Durham man's batting form that will dictate his selection. With batting spots at a real premium, the form of Jonathan Trott has prompted a dilemma for Flower. Something has to give way, and it may well be Collingwood.


Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen
Age: 30
County: Surrey
ODIs: 110
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 3517
Average: 41.37
Bowling: Right-arm off-break
Wickets: 7
Average: 41.28

England's batting talisman. The most naturally gifted player at the country's disposal, South African-born Pietersen is a true match-winner who combines a great eye with an explosive power that is capable of putting any bowling attack to the sword. His first 1,000 one-day international runs were made in only 21 matches, which equalled the great West Indian Viv Richards's record. He has continued to make runs on a regular basis, but it has not always been an easy ride for Pietersen in England colours. His stint as unified England captain two years ago was a short-lived one because of a falling out with then coach Peter Moores, which saw both lose their respective roles. And he was recently dropped from the one-day side for the series with Pakistan, which the player ill-advisedly announced to the world on Twitter. This omission was as a result of poor one-day form, which had seen him fail to pass 50 in 17 innings. However, a typically aggressive 78 in the first one-day match of the recent series with Australia provides optimism for hoping the Surrey man is heading back to form. England need Pietersen to perform, and Pietersen needs a stage on which to do it. Maybe the World Cup can be just that.

Pietersen was ruled out of the tournament with injury on 7 March and replaced by Eoin Morgan


Matt Prior

Matt Prior (wk)
Age: 28
County: Sussex
ODIs: 61
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 1204
Average: 25.08
Bowling: N/A
Wickets: N/A
Average: N/A

Prior's selection in the 15-man squad was greeted with surprise, as the Sussex keeper had not played a one-day international for his country since March 2010, with Surrey's Steve Davies preferred. However, despite playing in the opening one-day match of the Australia series and scoring 42 from 35 balls, Davies was omitted in favour of the Prior, who Andy Flower feels is better suited to perform on the subcontinent pitches. Flower also cited Prior's liveliness and aggression in the field as a factor and it is hard to disagree. The 28-year-old has established himself as one of the best wicketkeepers in the world, which he demonstrated with aplomb during the Ashes. His average with the bat is modest but this should not disguise that he is more than capable of big runs in rapid time. A run-a-ball 118 in the final Ashes Test in Sydney and 67 in 58 balls in the victorious fourth one-day match in Adelaide are testimony to this. It looks likely that Prior will begin the tournament opening the batting with Strauss, although he has looked uneasy there previously and may well find himself dropping down the order to make way for Bell or Bopara.


Ajmal Shahzad

Ajmal Shahzad
Age: 25
County: Yorkshire
ODIs: 9
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 32
Average: 6.40
Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium
Wickets: 14
Average: 28.14

Shahzad's England career has thus far been advanced by the absence of front-line bowler Stuart Broad; firstly when the Nottinghamshire man was rested for the series with Bangladesh in 2010, and then when he was injured during the recent tour of Australia. There are certainly similarities between the two: both offer pace and movement with their bowling, while they are each useful late-order batsmen. Broad remains first-choice, but should his fitness problems continue Shahzad is a useful replacement, albeit one who is still adjusting to the step up from county cricket and who missed the final two Australia one-dayers himself through injury. In that series he did not look out of his depth, bowling with pace and precision to provide a quota of economical overs. In Hobart he took three wickets, including the early dismissals of the in-form Shane Watson and Brad Haddin.

Shahzad was ruled out of the tournament with injury on 18 March and replaced by Jade Dernbach


Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann
Age: 31
County: Nottinghamshire
ODIs: 44
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 299
Average: 12.45
Bowling: Right-arm off-break
Wickets: 60
Average: 24.63

A top-class spinner is a vital component of any side hoping to succeed on sub-continent pitches, and in Swann England officially have the world's best at their disposal. Since 2008, Swann has been a major weapon for the England Test side, but his international career began some eight years earlier with a one-day appearance against South Africa in Bloemfontein at the age of 20. His inexperience and a self-confidence some mistook for arrogance meant he was jettisoned immediately after and did not play again until 2007, but he has since established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet. A superb economy rate of under five is a testimony to his ability to shackle teams, not least through the handy knack of taking big wickets at key times. He has not demonstrated it too often, but he is also a handy source of runs late in the order. As his social networking presence and 2011 Ashes videos prove he is also a popular and morale-boosting character in and around the camp. England will be desperately hoping that a knee injury picked up against Australia will not hamper his involvement in the World Cup.


James Tredwell

James Tredwell
Age: 28
County: Kent
ODIs: 3
Batting: Left-hand
Runs: 18
Average: 18.00
Bowling: Right-arm off-break
Wickets: -
Average: -

Very much an unknown quantity in the England squad and a selection that clearly hinges on the nature of the pitches England will play on during the World Cup. Tredwell has barely figured at full international level with only one Test and three ODIs to his name. The right-arm off-spinner has failed to take a wicket in his three one-dayers to date but has over 260 in the bank in county cricket and demonstrated sufficient control during his brief international exposure to suggest he can provide adequate back-up for the first-choice spin-pair of Swann and Michael Yardy. He is also handy with the bat, having made over 3,000 first-class runs for Kent for whom he has opened the batting on occasion. England have certainly invested enough time and effort in his development to suggest they have faith in his ability, with the 28-year-old having captained the under-19 side before going on to be a regular presence in the performance squad and representing the Lions.


Jonathan Trott

Jonathan Trott
Age: 29
County: Warwickshire
ODIs: 18
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 858
Average: 53.62
Bowling: Right-arm medium
Wickets: 2
Average: 76.00

South African-born Trott was an obvious selection for the squad considering his superb form with the bat during the 2011 Ashes series, but he was by no means guaranteed selection for the side come 22 February. However, the sheer weight of his runs during the one-day series with Australia - 375 in total at 62.5 - makes him undroppable. He hasn't always convinced as a one-day batsman, largely due to the more slow-paced and methodical nature of his run-making, but with three centuries to his name in 17 matches during which he demonstrated his renowned impeccable temperament, Trott has shown he is the perfect man to come in at three and shoulder the responsibility of productively occupying one end while the rest of the team bats around him. He also provides an option with the ball through his gentle but proficient medium pace, which may be required if his selection comes at Paul Collingwood's expense.


Luke Wright

Luke Wright
Age: 25
County: Sussex
ODIs: 44
Batting: Right-hand
Runs: 656
Average: 21.86
Bowling: Right-arm medium
Wickets: 15
Average: 55.20

Wright's international career has been limited to the limited overs arena thus far; a testimony to the all-rounder's ability to make fast runs and provide effective medium-fast bowling. He featured regularly in the one-day side during 2009 and 2010 but has seen his chances limited of late as England favoured the middle-order batting of Morgan and a five-strong specialist bowling attack. However, Morgan's injury may well give Wright his chance to prove his one-day credentials. He has demonstrated his qualities in Twenty20 cricket - a format in which he has made the majority of his England appearances - where he has excelled. During the 2007 World Twenty20 he was leading run scorer with 346 runs and he played a crucial role in the same event three years later with some key innings and impressive late bowling as England triumphed in the West Indies.


Michael Yardy

Michael Yardy
Age: 30
County: Sussex
ODIs: 25
Batting: Left-hand
Runs: 307
Average: 23.61
Bowling: Left-arm off-break
Wickets: 19
Average: 48.21

Sussex captain Yardy is largely utilised as the spin foil to Swann, often bowling in tandem with his Nottinghamshire counterpart to superb effect in the middle overs. The two showed enough with this approach during the 2010 World Twenty20 to prompt Flower to replicate the tactic in 50-over cricket. Yardy's left-arm spin is his chief weapon, primarily in its ability to restrict the opposition from scoring, to which an overall economy rate of just over 4.60 testifies. However, he is also a skilled batsman, which his current international record belies. Two half-centuries from 24 matches does not adequately represent a talent that has enabled him to score over 7,500 first-class runs, including a top score of 257. His importance is increased by the nature of the pitches for the World Cup, where he will likely form one-fifth of a potentially powerful England bowling unit.



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see also
England out to win Cup - Strauss
13 Feb 11 |  England
Spinner Swann steps up recovery
07 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss retains World Cup hopes
06 Feb 11 |  England
Injured Morgan replaced by Bopara
08 Feb 11 |  England
England tour ends in heavy defeat
06 Feb 11 |  England
Shahzad and Tremlett to fly home
02 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss upbeat ahead of World Cup
02 Feb 11 |  England
Key backing England at World Cup
31 Jan 11 |  Kent
England collapse to series defeat
30 Jan 11 |  England
Flintoff warning for England team
25 Jan 11 |  England
Injury forces Bresnan to fly home
23 Jan 11 |  England
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket


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