Glenn McGrath believes England are favourites for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
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Glenn McGrath believes England are favourites for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Glenn McGrath has termed England as favourites for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, given the side’s remarkable improvement in recent times.

cricket Updated: Feb 05, 2018 12:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Glenn McGrath,England cricket team,ICC World Cup 2019
Glenn McGrath believes the improvement England have made under Trevor Bayliss (L) as a limited-overs side makes them favourites for the ICC World Cup 2019. (Getty Images)

Australian legend Glenn McGrath has termed the England cricket team as favourites for next year’s World Cup, endorsing their revived fortunes in ODI cricket over the past two years.

For a team that had crashed out in the first round of the last edition, England have shown remarkable improvement and have established themselves as firm contenders for the ICC World Cup 2019 which they host next year.

Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, McGrath expressed, “From what I have seen of England’s one-day cricket recently, you would have to make them favourites for next year’s World Cup.

“They have won 19 of their last 22 one-day internationals and if they can continue the way they are going, maintaining that win ratio, keeping the energy with which they play and the same personnel together, they are going to be hard to beat, especially on home soil.”

McGrath, however cautioned England against peaking too early. “One word of caution, though: if their planning phase has begun, as appears the case, now is not the time to peak. England face a challenge not just to stay at this level but to get better over the next 12 months.”

He added, “But the way this team is developing, you get the impression that is something they will do. Eoin Morgan is doing such a good job as captain. There seems to be a real confidence in the team and a freedom to go out there and just play. That’s exactly the attitude you want in 50-over cricket.”

Praising England’s team composition, the Australian cricket team legend said, “Their batting line-up is so strong and they all know their gameplans. Joe Root is perfectly suited to that No 4 spot, coming in and holding the innings together.

“He is not a blaster like the others in the top order and he can just work the ball round to make sure his team makes a big score. He has the freedom to play without the pressure of captaincy and that’s great for him.”

“While England need to change the way they play in the traditional form of the game, though, their template in white-ball cricket is worth copying,” he said of the team that lost the Ashes 2017-18 0-4 but went on to clinch the ODI series against Australia 4-1.

McGrath said Australia needed change in their mindset to put behind their poor run in ODI cricket. “And if Australia can change their mindset between now and next year I can see them being the other team in with a chance of winning that World Cup. If they keep heading the way they are at the moment, they won’t be near the top,” he wrote.

“The Australians play a solid brand of one-day cricket but it’s too similar to how we have always played it. Nowadays it has to be somewhere between the old ODI style and T20,” he added.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 12:52 IST