Our highest ever winning chase in an ODI!! 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 20, 2019
Eoin Morgan’s men were blasted to all parts of the Kensington Oval by Chris Gayle as the Windies broke the ODI record for most sixes scored in an innings – notching 23 in their 50 overs.
However, the Three Lions were able to knock off the runs with eight balls to spare, courtesy of two fine performances at the crease from Jason Roy and Joe Root, who both scored centuries in the six-wicket triumph for the tourists. Although the result was expected, especially for Root to lead the way with a century for his team, it reinforced England’s position as the leading side in ODI cricket, having undergone a complete transformation from four years ago when they endured a humiliating exit from the last World Cup.
England are now the favourites for the competition when they host the tournament later in 2019. Given the standard of their performances, which have not dipped over a four-year period, they’re as a sure option for top cricket tips during the summer to win the trophy as there can be in the 50-over format. As a result, it would be a wise option to follow Morgan’s men for a punt on the competition.
The nature of cricket and the one-off elimination matches can make teams vulnerable on any given day, as the Three Lions’ defeat in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy to Pakistan shows. However, they’re a better option than the other teams in the competition, having seen off India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in recent ODI series, making them the strongest bet.
The ease in which England were able to chase down a score of 360 highlights their ability with the bat. They have the strongest batting unit from top to bottom in the world, and have now displayed the composure to cope with the pressure of a chase. The batting order has been known more for its powerful striking that has seen the Three Lions break the world record twice for the highest ODI score. They came within 19 runs of being the first team to score 500 in 2018 against Australia, putting them further ahead of their rivals at the forefront of the game.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 4, 2016
However, being able to trust in your skills and hold your nerve amid the ultimate pressure is something that England have struggled with even in their resurgence. Ben Stokes blew the chance to win the World T20 Cup in 2016 when he conceded four consecutive sixes to Carlos Brathwaite. England had blitzed their way to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy the following year, only to suffer a similar fate. Their potent batting line-up collapsed in the face of Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali and a slow pitch in Cardiff. The Green Army knocked off the low total to advance to the final where they then defeated India to claim the crown.
Although England’s batting line has developed an aura of invincibility, they will not take for granted their performance. Composure under pressure will be the defining factor of their push for their first World Cup win. There is more than enough talent and their performance against the West Indies has suggested that they are on the right track to hold their nerve amid lofty expectations.
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