June 5, 2013
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Can England lift the trophy at Edgbaston?
England played host to the first limited overs World Cup in 1975 and here we are 38 years later and still they have not won a major ICC trophy in the 50 over format of the game. However, there is a growing sense of anticipation across the Shires of England, that this could be their year. It’s fair to say, the hosts are due.
The tournament takes centre stage in early June and conditions should favour England after another wet start to the great British summer. England’s leader Alastair Cook will be determined to prove himself as a great England captain, and what better way to put down a marker to Australia then to win this prestigious ICC event.
Despite missing star attraction Kevin Pietersen with a knee injury, England appear to have unearthed another gem in their middle order. Jos Butter the 22 year old from Taunton has shown glimpses that he is ready to take the world by storm. In List A cricket for Somerset the wicket-keeper averages over 55 with the bat, at an astonishing strike rate just below 125 per 100 balls. His ability to hit towering sixes, combined with finding gaps in the field and playing the most audacious scoop shots sets him apart from other players.
England should build good platforms at the top of their innings with experienced Test players in Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, and Jonathan Trott who will play key roles in negotiating the two new balls that are now being used in this format. If this goes to plan then expect to see some fireworks down the order with the likes of Buttler, and of course Eoin Morgan fresh from his IPL stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
New ball bowling will be key, and if Steven Finn, James Anderson, Stuart Broad can continue their exciting form from the Test series against New Zealand we can expect England to restrict their opponents to attainable totals. England also have a key man up their sleeve in off-spinner Graeme Swann who appears to be back at his best following surgery to his elbow.
England have all areas covered in a strong looking squad and it would come as no great surprise to see Alastair Cook lifting the trophy on Sunday 23rd June at Edgbaston.