England are currently the No. 1 ranked ODI side © Getty Images
England are currently the No. 1 ranked ODI side © Getty Images

England, the No. 1 ranked ODI side, have been in stellar form since their forgettable 2015 World Cup campaign. Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, England remain the side to beat. Playing in home conditions, they look to match India and Australia, the only sides to lift the trophy at home till date. With the marquee event only months away, England several home ODI series lined up. In June, they will head to Edinburgh for a single ODI against Scotland, followed by 5 moire against Australia before India turn up for three matches, the last two series being at home.

ECB announced separate squads for Scotland and Australia ODIs. They haven’t tinkered much with the squad, sending out the message that they have more or less settled on a core group heading into the World Cup next summer. However, there have been a couple of changes.

Jos Buttler, who recently returned to the Test side, has been rested for the Scotland tie. Sam Billings will fill in for him. Tom Curran will also miss out, but is named for the Australia series. The squad remains more or less similar to the ones that emerged victorious in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

After the squad announcement, skipper Eoin Morgan stated he expects a “young and galvanised” Australia post the infamous ball-tampering scandal. “I think they will, with one eye on the World Cup, they will come with a strong performance. What’s happened to them in the last six months has the potential to galvanise a young, hungry side. So we’re going to have bring our ‘A game’ to this series. It’s going to be a good challenge for us moving forward,’ he added.

Talking about his injury, Morgan opened up and said: “I have a small fracture in the ring finger of my right hand. I got hit in a game on Sunday at Somerset. It’s disappointing, but it’s not the worst news that could have come through. It’s a week-to-10 days to get the swelling down in the finger and then protect it as we go on.”

Morgan was quick to point out that “it is a shame to miss out on World XI versus West Indies T20I”; wherein he was scheduled to lead. “It was my first time being selected in a charitable but also World XI game, it’s very special to be selected. It’s at my (Middlesex) home ground, I’ll definitely be there to watch and support, but it’s a shame to miss out,” he concluded.

England squad for Scotland ODI: Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Moeen Ali, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

England squad for Australia series: Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood