Pringle backs England to win World Cup despite Oz ODI series rout

Saturday, February 19, 2011

LONDON - Former England cricketer Derek Pringle believes that the national team has the best chance in 20 years of winning the World Cup.

England starts their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on February 22 in Nagpur, before facing possibly tougher games against India, the West Indies and South Africa in Group B.

“Most of the bookmakers have them as fifth favourites, which tallies with their one-day ranking, but they have that ingredient that can enable teams in tournaments like this: self-belief borne of their recent success in the Ashes and Twenty20 World Cup,” Pringle wrote in an article for the Telegraph.

“They will certainly need something to boost them once their campaign gets under way against Holland in Nagpur on Tuesday, for their recent 50-over form and fitness has been poor. Losing 6-1 to Australia, following the hosts’ Ashes drubbing, defied the laws of sporting gravity and will have done little for morale,” he added.

Pringle also backed coach Andy Flower’s decision to shake the team’s dynamics by promoting Kevin Pietersen to open the innings with captain Andrew Strauss.

“Opening with your best all-round batsman and most likely match-winner is an interesting move and one whose ratio of desperation to inspiration will be revealed as the tournament progresses. Pietersen has never opened in international cricket and while the new ball will largely be neutered on the slow Asian pitches, his idiosyncratic technique, based on confidence and eye rather than precision, will make him more susceptible to its caprices than most,” Pringle wrote.

“So far, the move appears to have got off to a promising start following Friday’s 66 in a warm-up game against Pakistan in Fatullah,” he added. (ANI)

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