Graeme Swann has backed Eoin Morgan’s England to win this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup on the back of their powerful batting line-up.
The off-spinner hailed the likes of top order batsman Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales as integral to any success the national team has in the one-day competition this summer – singling out the depth in batting as key.
Since the group-stage exit at the last World Cup, Morgan’s side have won 51 of 76 one-day internationals, losing 20, with one tie and four no results.
And Swann, who enjoyed success with England in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, believes Morgan’s men have the edge on rivals Australia, India and Pakistan.
He believes England’s chances of success will be boosted by Morgan’s leadership, with Swann describing him as the best one-day captain in the world.
“For the first time in a long time I’m very confident about England’s chances going into a World Cup,” Swann said.
“The sky is the limit when these blokes’ bat – they think 400 is a very distinct possibility rather than a pipe dream. They are feared around the world because of it.
“Anyone who has come to England in the last few years might win the odd game, but you don’t win many series in England in one day cricket.
“They have got a fantastic leader. Eoin Morgan is the most impressive of the world’s one day captains. He is the right man to lead this team and potentially win the whole thing.”
Swann, 39, knows what it’s like to win a limited-overs World Cup, having been part of 2010 side who were victorious at the ICC World Twenty 20.
He grabbed 10 wickets in the competition, the most of any English bowler, including 1-17 in the final as England beat Australia by seven wickets.
Swann backed Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to be crucial to England’s chances when the tournament begins this summer on May 30 before the final on July 14.
“The spin bowling is very strong,” he said.
“Rashid and Ali over the last couple of years – they are happy with the white ball. They are visibly happy.
“As a partnership they have won a lot of matches for England over the last two years. I don’t see many weak areas for England now.”
Swann was speaking at the launch of the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, where Nelson’s Column was transformed into a giant set of wickets as cricket took over Trafalgar Square to mark 100 days until the start of the tournament.
It commences the 100-day tour of England and Wales, where the trophy will be at over 100 locations and events before arriving back in London ready for the opening match – with England play South Africa at The Oval.
“It’s 100 days until it kicks off so it’s a very exciting time,” Swann added.
“The World Cup coming to England is brilliant, with the best teams from all over the world playing. A World Cup in any sport is always a great occasion when it comes to your shores.
“What makes it more exciting this time round is that England are genuine favourites to win in my eyes. If they can play as well as I hope they can we could be seeing an England victory for the first time in a 50-over World Cup.
“With 100 days to go before the World Cup starts I think it’s important we go the length and breadth of the country, getting as many people as possible to see this trophy and spread the word – the World Cup is coming, and England have got a shot of winning it!”
ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, commences 100-day tour of England and Wales and will be at over 100 locations and events before arriving back in London ready for the opening match on May 30