Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

England aim to win first ever World Cup title

Mark Wood Mark Wood. England's Wood cleared for Proteas CWC opener 27 May 2019
Shannon Reynolds | 30 May, 2019, 13:07

We are confident with our own game.

"In a lot of the World Cups I've played in - or in which a couple of the guys in the changing room have played in - we've gone in with very little expectation and not done that well".

Leading to the cricket's mega event in England, the home team, riding on their stupendous form in ODI cricket post 2015 World Cup, is stated as the prime favourite to win the tournament this time.

"I'd pick this position over any other", he said, adding that winning the World Cup would mean a huge amount for raising the profile of the game and inspiring younger generations to pick up bat and ball", he said.

"We had people missing, they had people missing. you can't look at it as a defeat with 12 playing and 11 batting".

Southgate related the experiences and insights gathered during the 2018 Football World Cup in Russian Federation, which ended in a two-one defeat to Croatia in the semi-final.

With a round-robin group stage in prospect, Morgan had no time for talk of making a statement against South Africa.

The two teams' journeys are remarkably similar and Morgan believes his side can also inspire the country.

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"Yes, we did a session with Gareth", Morgan said.

The Middlesex batsman is known as an ice-cool leader, not prone to displays of naked emotion, but even he acknowledged the honour of leading out the host nation was a seismic one.

Adil Rashid, who missed Saturday's game with a shoulder injury, also had his first competitive work-out since the Pakistan series, bowling six overs in Afghanistan's innings of 160. "Obviously Woakes has cemented his place as an opening bowler over the years but if we get the chance to bowl together it will be exciting to bowl with Jofra again".

"It's hard to describe (the team's mood) unless you actually hear them say it, but I think there's a lot of belief within the (dressing) room".

But it is the conditions which worry Morgan most, with cloud expected for much of the morning.

We want the World Cup to start as soon as possible.

"We are prepared for that and it is something we will overcome".

Confirmation of Dale Steyn's unavailability for selection came from coach Ottis Gibson shortly after the practice ended on Tuesday.

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