The England cricket team named their provisional squad for the ICC ODI World Cup and the upcoming series against the New Zealand national cricket team with the major headline being the inclusion of Ben Stokes who retired just over 12 months ago from the format. At the time Stokes had suggested that playing all three formats was unsustainable as he’s struggled with an ongoing knee injury. It’s unlikely his return will extend beyond the tournament in India which concludes on November 19th but the temptation to end on the biggest stage was too much to turn down.
Straightforward Decision For Coach Holt
It’s understandable that coach Mathew Mott as well as captain Jos Buttler would want to include such a talismanic figure and proven match winner. He was player of the match in England’s 2019 super over victory against New Zealand, and also at the crease when England secured the T20 World Cup last November in Australia. Out of any player in World cricket he’s the one you’d want on your side in the tight moments. It’s hard to see him bowling much so his inclusion is likely to be as a specialist batter only but his experience and ability justifies that.
Other Bowlers Unfortunately Miss Out
As a result of Stokes u-turn somebody has to miss out and that man is the unfortunate Harry Brook who has been a star of the England team since he made his International bow. It’s a testament to England’s depth in white ball cricket that they can leave out a player of Brook’s class. He’s only played three ODI’s so far, and lack of experience in the format could be what has counted against him but it’s more likely down to the balance of the squad after the inclusion of Stokes. It was probably a toss up between Brook and Liam Livingstone but the latter’s ability to bowl handy, and varied spin on Indian pitches probably got him the nod. Also with a busy schedule which includes 9 group matches in 37 days the England cricket team wanted 6 seam bowling options not including Stokes to enable rotation. Jason Roy keeps his place after some indifferent form in recent times, but England continue to back him as he reignites his destructive opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow.
England Missing Star Bowler Jofra Archer
Another notable absence for England is Jofra Archer who has been targeting a return for the tournament as he nears fitness. The quick bowler has been plagued by a chronic elbow injury over the last few years but it appears time has run out for him. He could be still included as a traveling reserve. Instead England have included Surrey fast bowler Gus Atkinson who’s really emerged on the scene in the last year or so and is a bowler capable of bowling over 90MPH.
The defending champions will feel they have all bases covered for the start of the eagerly anticipated tournament which begins in October.
England Provisional World Cup Squad:
Jos Buttler (Captain, Wicket Keeper), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny, Bairtsow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.