England warmed up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in grand style as they defeated Pakistan by 54 runs in the fifth and final ODI at Leeds to seal the five-match series 4-0. The ICC Cricket World Cup will be held in England after 20 years and it presents Eoin Morgan’s side a great chance to win the World Cup for the first time with the team already on top of the ODI rankings in the world. The batting was in top form with Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root contributing consistently while the bowling impressed with Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and others.
Woakes was the star in the fifth ODI at Leeds and his haul of 5/54 gave England a good win over Pakistan and the right-arm pacer stated that all the players would be glued to their phone on the day England’s selectors determine the final 15-man squad for the World Cup which will begin on May 30 with the hosts taking on South Africa at The Oval.
“Everyone will be looking at their phones. Everyone will be wary of that phone call. Even if you feel like you've got a good chance to be in the squad, until you hear it from selectors' mouths, it's not quite set in stone. As a player, you're still probably a little bit on edge, particularly with this 16 and 17 players because everyone has performed at some point over the series. In the last couple of years, people have put in strong performances. It's a tricky decision for selectors and I'm glad I'm not having to make that decision, but it has to be done I suppose. It's certainly driven us forward in this series,” Woakes said.
Nine out of the 10 teams have already announced their 15-man squad with the exception of England, who announced a preliminary squad. According to the ICC rules, teams have till May 23 to make changes to the side for the World Cup.
For Pakistan, it was a terrible series as their bowling suffered but coach Mickey Arthur highlighted the fact that their batting had improved leaps and bounds in the series. Arthur stressed that this series has made them ready for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“People, coming to England, said we were a 280 team. We've dispelled that, that's given our batting unit a massive amount of confidence in the dressing room. I know there's not too many teams who will arrive in England as prepared as we are in terms of the competition we've played against and match-fitness," explained Arthur, previously a coach of both his native South Africa and Australia. All I know is the players are very determined to do well. Every time they go out there they play for 210 million people. We'll be ready -- come the first game against the West Indies, we'll be ready,” Arthur said.