What England’s 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup should be

England Pakistan PA

National selector Ed Smith has to reveal his final 15-man squad for the World Cup at Lord’s on Tuesday, but we’ve saved him the hassle by naming it here.

False arrogance aside, this is not a squad that picks itself at all. England have won all six internationals to begin the summer and all players have contributed in some way or another.

Captain Eoin Morgan made the bold pledge after Sunday’s win over Pakistan at Headingley that all 17 members of the squad for that series would feature at the World Cup in some way or another.

However, that doesn’t reduce the importance of the initial 15 that will be getting the phonecall, so Oli Fisher has had a pop at naming exactly who that will be…


Jason Roy

Some of these picks will need a bit of explaining, some won’t. Jason Roy averages over 40 in ODIs, has a strike rate north of 106 and could be absolutely crucial for England in continuing their trend of explosiveness during the Powerplay.

Jonny Bairstow

Exactly the same as above, really. Bairstow has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the world over the last 12 months, and his 128 off 93 balls at Bristol against Pakistan should be a fitting recent reminder of exactly why he is considered one of the best.

Joe Root

Another man who is correctly considered as one of the best batsmen in the world, with One-Day cricket being no exception for the Yorkshireman. He averages over 50 in ODIs, has 14 hundreds and 30 scores of above 50. He also came away from four innings against Pakistan with over 200 runs amassed.

Eoin Morgan

The fella from Dublin who will be hoping to lead the Three Lions to the ultimate prize. Again needs little introduction: averages a notch under 40 in One-Day Internationals with a healthy strike rate. Provides valuable experience and can seemingly adapt to any situation – and has two scores of 70 or above in his last three ODIs, so his form is good.


Ben Stokes

Arguably one of the biggest double threats in world cricket at the moment, although the fact he didn’t manage to take a single wicket during the Pakistan ODI series will be a tad a worrying. He still amassed 129 runs in his last three innings though, so it’s not all bad.

Jos Buttler

Can very much be the difference between England getting 300 and 360+ on his day. Another of England’s batting core with an average over 40, the thing that sets Buttler aside is his strike rate, which is just a fraction under 120. He strikes fear into every bowler in the world, period.

Moeen Ali

Moeen didn’t have the best series against Pakistan, amassing just one wicket and twice falling for a duck in the four ODIs he featured in, but he’s obviously been a huge part of the core XI that has helped England rise to become the No.1 ODI side in the world.

Adil Rashid

Rashid was actually down to bat number 11 against Pakistan at Headingley, which is bloody frightening in itself as it shows the strength in depth of England’s batting. That aside, the Yorkshireman is fantastic at getting key wickets with his variations and can run through the lower order in no time. Has 132 ODI wickets at an average of just over 30.


Chris Woakes

Woakes recorded his third five-wicket haul in ODIs on Sunday to surely nail down his place in the 15-man squad, and his contributions with both bat and ball make him a very useful player for Morgan to have at his disposal. Also a possible new-ball option, which adds a string to his bow.

Mark Wood

Despite only playing in the Trent Bridge ODI during England’s home summer so far, Mark Wood should be nailed on as England’s opening bowler heading into the tournament. He provides pace and movement that a lot of batsmen can’t seem to fathom, and he would compliment say a Jofra Archer very well in tandem.

Liam Plunkett

Plunkett has taken the most wickets in overs 11-40 of any England bowler since the 2019 Champions Trophy, by a hell of a distance. The use of the short ball will be key, as will taking wickets at regular intervals, and it is for exactly that reason that the Surrey paceman gets in. Can also provide some damaging cameos with the bat late on.

James Vince

Vince has tended to get in and get starts in recent games without kicking on, in fact he has failed to get past 43 in his three ODI innings since his recall. However, the Alex Hales deselection and Joe Denly not really being given much of a crack at the top order, he seems to be the only real candidate as a reserve batsman in that position.


Tom Curran

Despite being just 24 years of age, Tom Curran has already earned a reputation as being a valuable death bowler and one who Morgan can trust to bowl with both control and variety. Not only that, but his batting has been very useful too of late, with scores of 47 not-out, 31 and 29 not-out in his last three ODIs.

Jofra Archer

The fact Archer was not selection for Sunday’s series finale at Headingley on Sunday probably suggests he has done enough to get in. The Barbados-born quick only has three ODI wickets under his belt in three games, but he is England’s fastest and most aggressive option and could form a deadly opening partnership with Mark Wood.


The final spot…


Liam Dawson

This is where the dilemma of form versus trust really comes into play, and Dawson has been braying on the door so hard that he’s just about beaten it down. He hasn’t played for England this year but was meant to be in Sri Lanka, and Trevor Bayliss likes him.

He’s helped Hampshire to the One-Day Cup final by taking 18 wickets at an average of 20.33, and he has the best economy rate in the whole competition at 4.11, and he’s not bad with the bat either (245 runs at an average north of 45). Middle overs are key, and he’s done enough to get in for me.


And those who miss out…


Oli: I am totally aware that David Willey will feel very hard done by if he is left out, but England are seemingly stacked for up-front pace options, of which Willey is for me the worst. The white ball doesn’t seem to swing any more, and if it doesn’t swing then Willey can look very ordinary indeed. The fact he is a left-armer doesn’t necessarily earn him any major points either – you have to bowl tightly and take wickets for that to be viewed at face value.

As for Joe Denly, he seems like the obvious one to miss out given that there doesn’t appear to be an obvious role for him. As a platoon spin option the Kent man is not an ideal candidate having only bowled 11 ODI overs, while the fact he has occupied the No.7 spot in the order for the most part means he can’t be considered top order cover either. A very good cricketer, but sadly there’s no place for him.