England’s Cricket World Cup preliminary squad pen pics
England’s preliminary squad for the tournament has been announced.
Jason Roy (Age 28, Caps 73): Increasingly tipped for Test honours and an Ashes call later this summer, the Surrey man has unfinished business with the white ball first. Roy’s uninhibited hitting sets the tone for the team’s foot-to-the-floor approach and his 180 in Melbourne remains a national record.
Jonny Bairstow (29, 59): England’s leading ODI run-scorer in 2018, and one of only three in world cricket to pass the 1,000 mark alongside Indian duo Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. A voracious worker who thrives when he feels there is a point to prove.
Joe Root (28, 126): The country’s highest-ranked batsman, and surprisingly the only one in the top 20 for 50-over cricket, Root is the glue that often holds the innings together and the batsman most able to move fluidly between the gears. His 14 one-day hundreds are an English record.
Eoin Morgan (32, 217, captain): Arguably England’s most authoritative one-day skipper ever, the Dubliner’s clarity and calmness are a true trump card. Morgan has his side’s complete trust and remains capable of some bruising innings with bat in hand.
Jos Buttler (28, 127, wicketkeeper): When the mood takes him few on the planet can match his dizzying ball-striking ability. A 360-degree hitter, capable of blasting relentlessly down the ground or leaning on his wide array of ramps and scoops. Plenty on his plate as gloveman and vice-captain.
Ben Stokes (27, 79): The beating heart of the England set-up, though his numbers do not always match his value to the side. A muscular batsman, tireless bowler and world-class fielder but will need no reminding of his heartbreak in the final of the T20 World Cup in 2016.
Alex Hales (30, 70): Helped redefine and reboot the team’s batting blueprint but has found himself nudged out of the first XI at the wrong time. Chances are sure to present themselves as the tournament progresses and his willingness to bat anywhere in the top six helps.
Joe Denly (33, 9): Selection for the Kent veteran caps an improbable second act for a man who looked lost to the international stage during a long wilderness period. His last ODI cap came almost a decade ago but as a versatile batsman and belatedly effective leg-spin bowler, he offers useful cover.
Moeen Ali (31, 92): A sound contributor across the formats, the all-rounder’s primary role these days involves using his accurate off-breaks to contain and constrict through the middle overs. Willing and able to chip in with lower-order cameos but no longer a reliable run-getter.
Chris Woakes (30, 84): Has established himself as the go-to powerplay bowler and de facto leader of the attack over the past four years. His long-term knee problems made an unwanted reappearance over the winter but the experienced Warwickshire man has bundles of credit in the bank.
Liam Plunkett (34, 78): A remarkable 14 years on from his England debut, the elder statesman of the side faces renewed competition for his starting spot. To keep it he will need to prove he is still able to finding the top end of his pace range but who would adequately fill his niche of operating effectively through the middle of the innings?
Adil Rashid (31, 83): Whisper it, but if England are to lift the trophy for the first time the softly-spoken, oft-misunderstood leg-spinner could be the likeliest hero of the hour. Rashid’s tally of 125 make him the most prolific wicket-taker since the last World Cup and his googly has never been in better order.
Mark Wood (29, 40): Fearing for his England future after a flat tour of Sri Lanka, the Durham quick roared back with a career-making trip in the West Indies. Wood has rediscovered his searing pace and reverse swing as well as finally locating real confidence.
David Willey (29, 42): One of those who might have feared for their place with Jofra Archer knocking on the door, the seamer was deemed unique enough to make the cut. The allure of a left-arm option can never be underestimated and Willey’s peerless knack of swinging the white Kookaburra could do damage.
Tom Curran (24, 13): Never a first-draft pick during his time around the Three Lions squad, but his variations and nerve at the death make him an attractive squad man. Elevated by his man of the tournament showing during a recent Big Bash stint with Sydney Sixers.