England ODI captain Eoin Morgan thinks his side will go into next summer’s Men’s Cricket World Cup as favourites, but that a number of teams are “genuine contenders”.
“Next year, at the moment we are favourites, so presuming nothing goes horiffically wrong between now and the start of the World Cup, that will probably stay the same,” Morgan told ESPNcricinfo. “World Cup history suggests that going into the World Cup you have to be ranked in the top three or four in the world in order to be genuine contenders, so you’d probably have to consider the top three or four and then you’d probably throw Pakistan in there, because on their day they can beat any team.”
Morgan knows all too well about the mercurial talents Pakistan possess, with an inspired performance spelling the end of England’s Champions Trophy hopes in 2017. “I think going into the Champions Trophy as favourites was a different aspect of our game that we needed to work with. At that tournament we weren’t good enough, we ran into a very good Pakistan team.”
In general however, Morgan’s time in an England shirt since the last World Cup has been successful. England have now won nine multi-game bilateral series in a row, and are rightly favourites for the World Cup. Somewhat scarily, Morgan feels there is even more improvement to come.
"Some of [England's cricket since 2015] has been mind-blowing and it's full credit to the team," he said. "We've always been a tight unit and the things we've tried to do since our summer of 2015; we've been true to our principles, we've always tried to push our boundaries, we've never let the opposition try and dictate what we're trying to do.
"We aspire to be the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be and guys have stayed really true to that and it has worked, particularly with our batting. I think in the last year and a half our bowling has progressed really nicely and we're almost probably further ahead than anybody thought we would be, even myself, before the 2019 World Cup but it just means we've got more to build on hopefully for next year."
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!