- Durham paceman replaces injured Topley
- Carse could boost struggling England with bat as well as ball
- Lack of 50-over cricket an issue according to Root
England’s World Cup squad has seen a change, with Durham fast bowler Brydon Carse stepping in to replace Reece Topley. Topley, a left-arm seamer, was forced to withdraw from the tournament after sustaining a finger injury during England’s match against South Africa in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Joe Root has highlighted a lack of 50-over cricket in the schedule as a barrier to success in the World Cup.
In-form Carse replaces Topley
Carse, 28, has demonstrated his prowess by claiming 14 wickets in 12 one-day internationals, most recently featuring against Ireland just last month. He also left an impression with an impressive performance, taking four wickets in three T20 matches against New Zealand before the Ireland series.
Batter Joe Root praised Carse, describing him as a “brilliant all-round package” who not only takes wickets but also contributes with the bat and in the field. Root drew a parallel between Carse and Ben Stokes, noting their shared ability to turn the game in England’s favour.
Topley had been England’s leading wicket-taker in the World Cup, securing eight wickets in three matches. Carse, who was on standby in case of injuries before the tournament, is set to join the squad in India, although he may not be ready for England’s upcoming game against Sri Lanka.
England’s bowling lineup faces challenges, with Chris Woakes starting the tournament as the first-choice new-ball bowler but subsequently being dropped due to form concerns. The team, defending champions, is now in a position where they likely need to win all remaining five games to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Lack of 50-over cricket may have been England’s undoing according to Root
One factor impacting England’s performance has been identified as the lack of 50-over cricket in their preparation. In contrast to the 88 one-day internationals played in the run-up to their 2019 World Cup victory, they played only 42 leading up to the current tournament. The scheduling clash between the domestic 50-over competition and The Hundred also posed a challenge.
Root acknowledged the importance of regular exposure to the format, stating that a more consistent run of games would have been beneficial. He emphasised that, despite the challenges, the current squad has the right players, but their performance has not lived up to expectations.
While the One-Day Cup in England now overlaps with The Hundred, and predominantly features fringe players, Root suggested reevaluating the balance between T20 and 50-over cricket. He raised questions about the relevance of the 50-over format in international cricket and proposed considering adjustments in the future.
Holders England went into the tournament as second favourites with the bookies. Now they are on the brink of elimination. At the time of writing, bet365 have England at 1/5 to exit the World Cup at the group stage. Betway currently have England as 25/1 outsiders to win the tournament, with four nations deemed more likely to triumph. Favourites India are currently at evens with Betway.
Punters need to assess whether Carse might just provide the England attack with something a little different as they look to turn things around. Those looking for a speculative punt on an England win may be tempted with odds of 25/1, even given the fact that a place in the semi-finals is looking less and less likely for the holders. All things being equal, England need to win their remaining matches to give themselves a chance of progression.