The Cricket World Cup will begin with England vs South Africa in the opening match at The Oval in London today. Here we sharing best performances in the past.
England: A Shot at Glory
Best Performances: Finalists in 1979, 1987, and 1992
With a good batting squad and a better bowling unit, England’s playing 11 looks pretty strong this year. They head into the marquee event as one of the favourites and are eyeing their maiden trophy, at home no less. Even though the English team has participated in every competition since staging the inaugural men’s event in 1975, they have come up short against the best teams in the top competitions. “We can say we were the best ODI side to play for England... but without a trophy, it will be difficult to say that,” said all-rounder Moeen Ali, reports PTI.
“We don’t feel we have to win it, it’s more ‘this is the time to win it’. We are an amazing side, but we know this year is massive for us,” added Moeen.
In fact, the side has a far more dynamic team than normal, and with players such as Joe Root, Adil Rashid, and Moeen Ali, the team won the series against Ireland, Sri Lanka, and India last year. While the powerful wicket keeper batsmen Jos Buttler and the all-rounder Ben Stokes make up a solid middle order, other quality players like Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood boost the bowling attack. And with batsman Alex Hales’ withdrawn from England’s preliminary World Cup squad for recreational drug use, it will be interesting to see how the team performs.
Star power: Eoin Morgan has been at the helm, overseeing the team’s remarkable transformation into a formidable one-day unit, since their heartbreaking exit in the group stage at the 2015 World Cup. As of April 2019, Morgan has led England to 50 wins in 76 ODIs. With a strike rate of 89.7, the left-handed batsman paces his innings with clinical precision and calculation, invoking fear in even the best bowling attacks. Under his leadership, the team have ascended to the top of the pile and are No.1 in the ICC Men’s ODI team rankings.
The Squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler (vc & wk), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
South Africa: A Vision of Victory
Best Performances: Semi-finalists in 1992, 1999, 2007, and 2015
To put it simply, South Africa possesses one of the best-balanced line-ups in the world. Their recent series victory over the Sri Lankan team highlighted that they had the elements for a successful World Cup campaign. The Proteas have great all-rounders, vital strength, and the ability to capitalise on the moments in which they dominate their opponents. They have quite a few big names in the squad, too. The 12th edition is a new opportunity for this extraordinary generation, which is the finest South Africa has produced since its World Cup debut in 1992.
Proteas can rely on the strength of their batsmen, Rassie van der Dussen – whose average is 88.25 and strike rate 75.58% – and Aiden Markram – with a strike rate of 88.40. The squad has also been revamped up the middle with intense players like Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, who all have a devastating attack. With the ball, they have the best modern-day quick bowlers in Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, and Tabraiz Shamsi. Can Plessis help South Africa break the jinx? Only time will tell.
Star power: There are some players who represent the spirit of a team, and skipper Faf du Plessis do just that for the No. 3 side. Perhaps the most feared batsmen in modern cricket, Plessis can change the game in a matter of a few overs. Then there is Kagiso Rabada, who seems to have it all: athleticism, pace, intelligence, aggression, and the ability to bowl at the start of the innings, middle and the death overs. If they can’t win a World Cup for South Africa, noone else can!
The Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (vc & wk), David Miller, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.