Keenly strategized England have their Plan B, C and D in place
England may or may not go on to win the World Cup but you cannot blame them for not doing their homework, for they have multiple strategies in place for every slot and scenario.
Question mark over Jason Roy
Despite coming up with a clinical display, England suffered two major injury scares in the match against West Indies as both Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan walked off the field and did not come out to bat.
While Morgan put all concerns to rest with a swashbuckling 148-run knock against Afghanistan, which included 17 sixes - he certainly wouldn't have hit them that far with a crooked back, the injury to Jason Roy is a bit more serious. Roy has suffered a hamstring tear and is certain to be out for the following two matches. However, the fact that the English team management is tight-lipped on the extent of his injury seems a bit fishy. Naturally, the team does not want Roy to be ruled out of the tournament straight away and is expecting him to recover.
It would make for an interesting scenario in the case that Roy is ruled out for a month or more, which is the standard time of recovery in case of a grade two or three hamstring tear. The team might then have to reconsider Alex Hales who was recently striked off from the World Cup squad after being found positive of consuming a banned recreational drug.
Seamlessly backed up
The way England coped with the sudden injuries in the game against West Indies showed their depth and how they have strategized for their World Cup campaign. Joe Root came out to open the innings along with Jonny Bairstow, chasing a sub-par total of 213 but these chases could be tricky if you don't get off to a good start. Root, though, looked completely at ease and batted as if he has been opening for ages. Clearly, he is a player of great potential and can bat anywhere, but it also highlights that has been practicing against the new ball and was mentally ready for such a challenge.
Similarly, it was expected that either of Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes will come out to bat at number three in the the absence of Eoin Morgan and after Root was promoted to the top, but Chris Woakes, in fact, came out to the crease and batted like a proper batsman, scoring a fluent 40 from 54 deliveries and showed that he can very well play the role of a number three or four and can churn the strike in the middle overs.
Like for like replacements available
England have selected their 15-member World Cup squad in a manner that they have almost like for like replacement for players within the squad. They have Chris Woakes who is a handful in swinging conditions and have Tom Curran at the same time, who can do a similar job.
James Vince showed in the warm-up matches that he is good enough at this level and can take the place of of Jason Roy, who will not be available for the following couple of matches. Vince can also bat in the middle order if need be.
Likewise, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett are quite similar to each other as both have pace and can be used interchangeably.
Can England soak up pressure?
Quite uncharacteristically, England were very sloppy on the field in the match against Pakistan and as Eoin Morgan conceded in the post-match presentation, the team was almost outfielded by an opposition like Pakistan, who are not very highly recognised for their fielding skills. Morgan went on to say that they gave away 15-20 extra runs in the field, which ultimately proved to be the margin of their defeat.
In the match against West Indies as well, the team dropped both Chris Gayle and Andre Russell and was fortunate that either of the two did not go on to play a match-winning innings. These are all the by-products of pressure and it is pressure which will be the team's biggest adversary in this World Cup.
England certainly have all their bases covered and have plans in place, but if only they can hold their nerves on the big night of the semifinal and the final, they can extract an unprecedented result from this tournament.
© Cricket World