NEWS

England tipped for World Cup after ODI hammering of Australia

January 31, 2018

England can "definitely" win the 2019 Cricket World Cup as they have "all the tools" they need to beat the rest of the field, former England star Phil Tufnell has said.

Speaking on the Tuffers and Vaughan show, the former left-arm spinner said the team has shown it is ahead of the pack by thrashing world champions Australia 4-1 in their own backyard. 

Co-presenter and former England captain Michael Vaughan concurred, commenting that in view of the fact England are yet to win a 50-over World Cup, to do so on home soil in 2019 could be an even bigger boost for the game in the UK than winning the Ashes back. 

Both praised the leadership of Eoin Morgan as captain, suggesting that his leadership is so canny that even if he is not making runs, his contribution is more than worthwhile. Vaughan suggested that Morgan's issues with the bat can easily be cured, noting a technical problem involving where he plants his foot leaves him "closed off" and vulnerable to a short ball down the line of his body. 

Fans booking corporate hospitality for England's one-day international series opener against Australia at the Kia Oval on June 13th will certainly be keen to see the team continue its superb form that saw the home side utterly outclassed in their own backyard.

Having won the first three matches to move into an unassailable 3-0 lead, England were stunned in the fourth match at Adelaide when the home side won the toss in seamer-friendly conditions and reduced the tourists to eight for the loss of five wickets. 

However, such was the depth of quality, confidence and spirit of the England side that even from as dire a situation as that, they were able to push Australia all the way. Chris Woakes made 78 to lift the score to 196 all out, and the bowlers made the Aussies sweat before they scraped home by three wickets. 

The final match in the new Perth Stadium brought a different scenario. On a two-paced pitch resembling crazy paving, England were bowled out for 259 and Australia were able to approach their target with confidence.

However, they reckoned without Tom Curran. Finding the swing with a white ball in the dark that he had not found with the red ball by day in the Tests, the Surrey all-rounder took 5-35, clinching a 12-run win by bowling Tim Paine to end the match. 
 
Australia's struggles in the series have left them with many questions to answer. Although Aaron Finch scored centuries in the first two matches and Travis Head made a crucial 96 to help the side sneak its sole victory in Adelaide, the batting often stuttered as key men David Warner and skipper Steve Smith struggled for form. Smith in particular was a shadow of the prolific run-getter of the Ashes series, finding the going particularly tough against legspinner Adil Rashid, who Vaughan described as having the Aussie skipper "on toast" as he floundered trying to pick the Yorkshireman's skilful variations. 

That might be a factor when the selectors come to pick the England Ashes squad for 2019, but Vaughan also suggested it might lead to Australia splitting the captaincy and leaving Smith to do the Test job while someone else takes over the one-day side. 

Image: Mark Nolan/Getty Images from Keith Prowse subscription 

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