After Windies’ strong show against England, Anderson not having any World Cup favourites
"I'd be really disappointed if England don't make the semis."
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A lot of voices are being heard over England’s high chances of winning the upcoming ICC World Cup at home starting next month. The Three Lions have had a magnificent run in the 50-over format since their humiliating exit from the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, winning 30 of the 42 games that they played while losing just nine. England are also ranked No.1 in the ICC’s ODI rankings and that, along with the home advantage, make them a natural favourite from a lot of aspects.
However, veteran English pacer James Anderson is not ready to jump the gun for he thinks all the participating teams have chances of making it to the semi-finals and nobody should be taken for granted. The 36-year-old, who recently faced a backlash over shredding a picture of Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin over the controversial ‘Mankading’ incident in the ongoing Indian Premier League recently, said he had to reassess England’s chances of lifting their maiden world title after their recent ODI series against the Windies.
England and the Windies, two old foes, had an intense five-game series that was drawn 2-2 with one game getting washed out. Both teams came up with some strong performances in a series that was dominated by Chris Gayle’s broad bat and the Windies made England, ranked much higher, toil to earn a draw.
In one of the games, the Caribbeans almost chased down a target of 419, while in the last match, they bowled out Eoin Morgan’s side for just 113 to square the series. Witnessing that, Anderson is of the opinion that any of the 10 teams taking part in the WC can go to the last four.
‘Will be disappointed if England don’t make semis’
“I’d be really disappointed if England don’t make the semis,” Anderson, who last played in a ODI in the 2015 WC, was quoted as saying at Lancashire’s media day, Sportsmole.co.uk reported.
“Before the one-day series against the West Indies my head was nailed on and thinking ‘we’re definitely winning it’. But then 2-2 against the West Indies, I know slightly different conditions, but it not necessarily tell me that England weren’t up to it but just showed the West Indies, who had to qualify for the World Cup, are still a threat.” He nevertheless hoped that England, three-time finalists, will go all the way.
England will face South Africa in the first match of the tournament at the Oval on May 30.