@Ben_Wisden 4 minute read
Ben Gardner ranks England’s 2019 World Cup-winning squad by how likely each is to play a part in their title defence in India in 2023.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and in cricket that’s especially true, because you spend the whole time you do have a player in their prime worrying about what will happen when they go. But as England begin their road to India in 2023, they’ve stuck, largely, with the same group that carried them to glory in 2019. Still, that’s no guarantee that they’ll all actually stick around until then. Here’s a gaze into the crystal ball, which churned out some very specific percentages.
Liam Plunkett – 2023 chances: 1.7 per cent
England’s middle-overs maestro was unceremoniously dumped after taking 3-42 on that golden day at Lord’s, with not even a break-up text for his comforts. Aged 34 at the time of the World Cup win, making it to India was always going to be a long shot anyway. His best chance now looks to be getting a US passport and trying to drag the Stars and Stripes through the maze of ICC qualification.
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James Vince – 2023 chances: 7.8 per cent
The cordon-bothering dreamboat played three games in England’s World Cup win, making 26 against Afghanistan (caught at fine leg), 14 against Sri Lanka (caught at slip), and a duck against Australia (bowled by Jason Behrendorff). It’s a sequence that summed up Vince’s England career, and, after three sort-of failures against Ireland, it seems Eoin Morgan and co. might now have lost patience. He remains a domestic titan, but with Tom Banton the coming man and Sam Billings coming of age, Vince may well have played his last game for England.
Moeen Ali – 2023 chances: 22.0 per cent
A destructive player of spin and a canny bowler of it too, England’s gracious all-rounder would, in a perfect world, play a key part in a World Cup defence in India. But he has looked a shell of his former self in ODIs for a while now, and the decline is beginning to look terminal. With a heavy heart, Wisden.com have no choice but to slot him in third from bottom here.
Mark Wood – 2023 chances: 41.6 per cent
It’s finger in the air stuff now, but the Geordie tearaway is justifiably this low because of his chequered injury record. If Wood remains fit, he might be the most likely to take over Plunkett’s middle-overs mantle. It’s a very big if though, and if Wood is only half-fit, England may be forced to look elsewhere.
Tom Curran – 2023 chances: 52.4 per cent
The fringe fast bowler hasn’t quite delivered on the promise he showed at Perth in 2018, when his five-wicket haul and death-overs masterclass kept the Aussies on the mat, but there are signs, with bat and ball, that he is becoming a limited-overs all-rounder to be reckoned with. Still, as the man least crucial in England’s World Cup win, and with England’s seam cupboard well-stocked, there’s a reasonable chance Curran just isn’t in England’s best 15 when 2023 rolls around.
Adil Rashid – 2023 chances: 59.8 per cent
The Bosanquet of Bradford has never bowled better than he has done in 2020, and is now rightly regarded as one of the best wrist-spinners in the world. If the shoulder injury that limited his effectiveness at the 2019 World Cup has truly been dealt with, then his most fruitful years could yet be ahead, with, who knows, maybe a joyous Test comeback to come to. But there is a chance that that rotary joint could yet flare up again and keep Rashid from going to India.
Eoin Morgan – 2023 chances: 62.1 per cent
OK, so he’s old, ish. The sea-hopping ice-man just turned 34, and will be 37 when the next World Cup kicks off. But the assumption that he won’t make it to that event ignores plenty that’s now clear. Morgan has never batted better, never looked like he’s enjoying the job more than right now, and has never said when he plans to pack it in. Maybe the years will catch up with him, or some T20 heartbreaks will necessitate a change in skipper, but Wisden.com are backing him to build a proper dynasty.
Jason Roy – 2023 chances: 69.3 per cent
Another we’re questioning only tenuously on matters of form, and, potentially, fitness. Roy has flirted with both through his career, and India is one of those places he might be less suited to, although he does have three fifties in three hits there.
Chris Woakes – 2023 chances: 76.2 per cent
Maybe, when James Anderson does eventually retire, the Warwickshire wizard will become so crucial to England’s Test team that he’ll be pensioned off in the shorter stuff? But actually, he’s one of the most underappreciated members of the white-ball side, and Anderson being saved for Test cricket was as much about breaking from the horrors of 2015 as anything else.
Jonny Bairstow – 2023 chances: 82.9 per cent
The highly-charged red-head is one of the best ODI openers there’s ever been, an IPL demon, and always has a point to prove. You have to really stretch to think what would see him moved on by 2023. Another technique change to try and crack Test cricket perhaps? Celebrating a ton so vigorously he spontaneously combusts?
Ben Stokes – 2023 chances: 86.7 per cent
Well, something’s got to give eventually. England’s all-rounder can’t keep doing everything all the time, can he? But even if he were just a batsman, say, he’d still be worth his place in the side.
Jofra Archer – 2023 chances: 88.3 per cent
Barring Tom Curran, Jofra Archer is the youngest of this group by a distance and freakishly talented, with his best still yet to come. But it’s been a turbulent career despite all the success, and maybe there’ll come a point when he’ll look at the riches and adoration available in the franchise leagues around the world and decide the hassle isn’t worth it. But Wisden.com fancies he likes the big stage too much, and if a crunch point does come, it will be after 2023.
Joe Root – 2023 chances: 90.1 per cent
He might be out of form for England right now, but the only reason that’s notable is it’s basically the first time he’s not been in nick since he made his debut in 2012. The Test skipper is an ODI machine, one of a select few to average more than 50 in the format, and will surely be back churning out tons before long. The only nagging worry is tours of India and Australia could prove so harrowing that Root packs in the England stuff altogether, but they can’t be that bad, can they?
Jos Buttler – 2023 chances: 95.6 per cent
The greatest white-ball batsman England have ever had is only getting better, and that he might finally have cracked Test cricket should end the concern that red-ball woes could bleed into his white-ball exploits. We’re not even going to pretend to try and come up with a reason Universe Jos won’t be there in 2023, but he still only takes second place.
Liam Dawson – 2023 chances: 99.9 per cent
He might not play an ODI between now and 2023, but, like the Doctor, he’ll always be in the background, a blurred bib as Roy carves Bumrah over point or Rashid turns one through Kohli’s gate. Wisden.com has never been more sure of anything.