England have made notable changes to their 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup that starts on May 30. The hosts have included fast bowler Jofra Archer in place of David Willey and also added left-arm spinner Liam Dawson along with opener James Vince.
Archer was included in the squad in the series against Pakistan where he showed his potential in the 50-over format. He picked three wickets at an average of 36 and S/R of 44.
One of Tom Curran and Willey were going to have to take the fall to bring in Archer, and the older Curran’s recent performances, nine wickets in four games, helped save his spot.
Chief selector Smith also confirmed that Hampshire’s in-form Liam Dawson, who last played for the national team against Sri Lanka, has replaced Joe Denly, who did not have much of an impact against Pakistan.
A third change from the preliminary squad announced last month sees James Vince take the place of Alex Hales, who was dropped for failing a second recreational drugs test.
The announcement, however, does not close the door on Willey and Denly, who could be introduced in the mix later on in case the hosts need replacements for injured players, subject to sign-off from the ICC’s events committee, although such changes are then permanent and cannot be reversed down the line.
Smith and the selectors have understandably decided not to tinker with the rest of the squad, especially the batting department and the all-rounders who have all shown impeccable form in their recent games against Ireland and Pakistan.
England, who are the top ranked ODI team, are yet to win the title and are hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1999. They have made it to the title clash on three occassions (lost to WI in 1979, lost to AUS in 1987 and lost to PAK in 1992).