Michael Vaughan has praised Eoin Morgan for turning England into the most feared team in limited overs cricket ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
England go into this summer’s World Cup on home soil as one of the favourites to win the tournament – a far cry from the how they exited the tournament in New Zealand and Australia four years ago.
England have lost three World Cup finals in their history –1979, 1987 and 1992 – never winning the tournament and crashed out in the pool stages in 2015 following defeat by Bangladesh.
They are now the No. 1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, but this time former captain Vaughan believes that England have got it right in every department heading into this summer’s tournament.
The fearless approach to the ODI game was shown in England’s recent series in the West Indies, which despite drawing, highlighted the skills of Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root with the bat as they comfortably chased down 360 as well as going past 400, while Adil Rashid showed his control and wicket-taking ability with the ball.
“Morgan is a tremendous leader and the way that he has managed the ODI set up for the last four years has been great," said Vaughan at the launch of the 'Wickets' mural in Bristol, which gives fans a chance to win a pair of CWC19 tickets.
“If you think about the way England played in the last World Cup, it was pre-historic and we went with the wrong personnel.
“He has ripped that up as soon as got back to English shores and it has really been him that I look at and think he has changed the way we play and the culture around the ODI team.
“They’ve got a fearless approach they go out and play with now and sometimes it is too fearless so I think they could play smarter and when they have the quality that they have got I don’t think they need to play so high-risk.
“England are right up there with the best teams in the world and that has been proven to be the case over the last few years but there is a group of teams. Australia look like they might be pulling something together now with their one-day team. India have proved they are going to be a force especially with Virat Kohli so if I had to narrow it down to two - I would say it is between England and India.”
The last two winners of the World Cup – Australia and India – both did so on home soil and now it is England’s turn to play hosts and they will hope the run continues with Morgan lifting the biggest prize in limited-overs cricket on 14 July at Lord’s.
Morgan’s men were one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy in 2017 – also held on home soil - and fell short at the semi-final stage when they were bowled out by Pakistan for 211 in Cardiff, when completely misjudging the conditions. Pakistan subsequently went on to win by eight wickets and beat India in the final.
But, Vaughan believes home advantage should work in England’s favour.
He added: “The home advantage could give us that edge when you look at how important it has been in the last few World Cups.
“In 2011 the hosts were India and they won it and then in 2015 the hosts were Australia and they won it.
“England were the hosts two years ago in the Champions Trophy and got knocked out in the semi-finals so home advantage counts for a lot but it can also bring a lot more pressure.
“You would like to think that knowing the pitches and the venues and having played so well in the past in ODIs - it should give England an advantage.”
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