Why England Are Favourites for ICC Champions Trophy 2013
Home Record: Unbeaten at home in a bilateral ODI series for 8 series in a row. They are an in form outfit who are tough to get past on home shores.
Home Advantage: This has been crucial in world events in recent times. The hosting nation has not disappointed. We live in an era where home advantage is paramount. Many sides are a dominant force at home. England is one of them. Barring South Africa in the previous 3 summers in white or red ball cricket, no side has managed to beat them in the two longest forms of the game.
New Playing Regulations suiting them the Most: Skilful swing bowlers and stodgy risk free top order batsmen to benefit the most of 2 new white balls at each end. They have the type of bowlers who bowl a full length and can test the batsmen on the 4th stump channel consistently and regularly get the early breakthroughs and bring the slips and LBW into the equation by shaping it away or nipping it back such as Jimmy Anderson and Steve Finn. Cook, Bell, Trott are orthodox traditional battlers at the crease who are unworried about biding their time, reigning themselves in, judging movement watchfully and backing their calm resolve at all costs. They can combat the new ball, play themselves in conventionally & overcome the opening exchanges unharmed. Additionally, 5 men in the ring at all times including in non power play overs ably suit a player like Jonathan Trott who is a worker and builder through churning out singles. He is able to knock the ball around, pierce the gap and cope with the pressures of a more attacking field set. As Nasser Hussain and Nick Knight have repeatedly emphasised, ODIs are more like a mini test match now and this is where England have the upper hand. They can almost field their test match XI. Big hitting, power and innovation, unorthodox spinners, crafty death bowlers are still useful to have, but they are not imperative and those are areas why England have not done well in ODIs for the last decade. They do not need to rely on them as much anymore as conventional old fashioned line and length and steady accumulation does the trick, particularly at home.
ODI Record under Cook: The Essex man has captained against Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand in bilateral series and has only been defeated by India & that too in India when they were fielding a 2nd string squad and resting many of their best players. They did beat them at home in the year the men in blue triumphed at the World Cup, though.
2004 ICC Champions Trophy: Last time it was held in England they reached the final and lost it from the jaws of victory at the Oval and will be determined to get over the line this time more than ever.
Due to win one: They are the only team not to have won a 50 over world event. Surely they are due one, especially when they have been building up to this global trophy with an impressive form guide.
Prioritising the event: They have been focussing on this for a year and are well aware of their golden chance to win an ICC 50 overs event in front of their home supporters. After the quarter final elimination at the 2011 World Cup, a lot has been made of England in one day cricket and a lot has changed. How far they have come will be examined in the forthcoming mini World Cup. The Captain, Wicket Keeper, Coach have all changed since the 2011 debacle where they were defeated by Bangladesh, Ireland & thumped by Dilshan and company in Colombo during the quarter final.