Hosts England made as many as three changes to their provisional list of 15 players to zero on their final team. The hosts indeed look good. After my SWOT Analysis of Indian and Aussie teams identifying their internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats, here is my SWOT analysis of the hosts
Let’s take a stab at the English team first;
Batsmen: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Joe Root, Jason Roy and James Vince. It may be mentioned that Vince came in for Alex Hales, who failed two tests for recreational drugs.
Batsmen-Keepers: Jos Buttler and Johnny Bairstow
Allrounders: England has two batting allrounders in Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes. They have four bowling allrounders in Chris Woakes, Liam Dawson, Joffra Archer and Tom Curran. Joe Denly made way for Dawson, while Joffra Archer came in for David Willey.
Bowlers: Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood are the front line quicks while Adil Rashid will handle the spin, along with batsman-spinner Moeen.
Let’s take a deeper stab now and run a SWOT Analysis;
Strengths: Nothing succeeds like success and England, the No.1 ODI side in the world who have won 11 bilateral series in a row are certainly pre-tournament favourites. Their batting firepower is astonishing. They have the ability to chase 350 comfortably, and if they bat first, they are confident of out batting the opposition. They have several bowlers who can consistently bowl at 90mph, and in Moeen and Rashid they have two handy spinners, as they proved by taking a dozen wickets each in the 5-0 demolition of Australia not so long ago.
Weaknesses: No perceptible weaknesses as such with a batting line up which goes right down to Curran who may come in at 10. The only thing is that England have never won the World Cup so far, and in crucial knockout games like the semi-final or final they possibly may falter. At least, opponents will be hoping for the same. Mark Wood, their spearhead is a bit injury prone which could be really worrisome.
Opportunities: Once again, no perceptible external opportunities that offer the opponents to exploit. They will only hope that stroke-makers will self destruct, or T-20 marvel Joffra Archer, with only three ODIs under his belt, will be inexperienced for the world cup or the bowling attack can be exploited as was done recently in West Indies, especially by “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle.
Threats: The only possible threat could be the burden of over expectations. England are certainly favourites but in a multilateral tournament with knockout games in the semi-final and final, funny things have been known to happen earlier. Other teams will also be equally hungry, if not more, to move in for the kill, and at that stage, any of the four semi-finalists can be eventual champions, and in all likelihood, the team which holds nerves better will come up triumphant.
All said and done, however, I feel England will be the 3rd host team in a row to lift the World Cup. What say?
The blogger, Ritesh Misra, is an IRS Officer currently based in Mumbai. He tweets @riteshmisra. His hobbies are sports, films, and music.
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