Captain: Eoin Morgan
Theirs has been a limited-overs team ravaged by egos, insecurities and controversies since the 2011 World Cup. Alastair Cook was finally dropped a month ago, and the ECB has put the Irishman Eoin Morgan, easily England’s best ODI batsman, in charge of an unsettled squad. However, with the tri-series going on in Australia, England are slowly beginning to find their feet and get used to the conditions. The series couldn’t have come at a better time for them, after they’ve lost pretty much everything in 2014—their only good ODI streak coming in the 2013 Champions Trophy at home.
England was a perpetual presence in the finals till the early 90s. They reached the finals of the 1979, 1987 and 1992 World Cups, losing to West Indies, Australia and Pakistan in those matches. But they have never consistently challenged after that, lifted occasionally by streaks that have invariably occurred between World Cups. They flopped in 1999 at home, and failed to reach the semis of the 2003, 2007 and 2011 World Cup, the last in which they were mauled by the Lankans in the quarterfinals. Their test team has achieved the no. 1 ranking (2011-12), but the last Ashes tour left them in tatters during the 5-0 spanking Down Under. Swann retired mid-series, Trott quit with a mental ailment, and Pieterson—their best batsman—was dropped unceremoniously due to politics. They never recovered, and will even remember the losses to Ireland and Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup as they find themselves in a group in which they are destined to fight it out with Bangladesh for a quarterfinal spot. Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are favorites to beat them in their group.
Best player: Joe Root