Top-ranked England play like No 2 and we’re chasing somebody: Eoin Morgan
Under Eoin Morgan, England have soared to No 1. © Getty

Against the backdrop of talk of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup being England’s best shot at getting their hands on the trophy for the first time, their skipper Eoin Morgan has chosen to stay grounded with the nature of the home team’s 15-man squad still undecided.

England, ranked No 1 in ODIs under Morgan, have 11 ODI matches left before the World Cup starts on May 30 – five of which are versus West Indies. The series starts on Wednesday and Morgan did not commit to the current squad in the Caribbean being England’s World Cup pick. (READ: England’s best chance to win the World Cup?)

“I don’t think we can say, ‘This is our World Cup squad’ so far out, particularly with bowlers, because people can pick up injuries at any time,” he said. “When you’re so far out it can be detrimental to nail your colours to a mast and say, ‘This is the team’. Then, if one or two drop out, the mood can change. We probably have 17 or 18 who could be in the squad and there are three or four tough decisions to make before April 23.” (READ: England’s fast-bowling competitive ahead of World Cup: Woakes)

England the pioneers of one-day cricket as a professional sport have taken part in every World Cup since staging the inaugural men s event in 1975, but all they have to show for their efforts are runners-up medals from the 1979, 1987 and 1992 finals.

Since England were knocked out of the 2015 World Cup, their resurgence as a strong ODI team has seen them reach No 1 which spans a run of nine bilateral series in a row without defeat. As they seek a tenth against West Indies, Morgan underplayed England’s status at World Cup favourites.

“Just because we’ve become No 1 in the world, we haven’t changed anything. We play like we’re No 2 and we’re chasing somebody,” he said. “We’re always trying to chase and better ourselves. We’ve put a lot of work into where we’re at and we’ve come a long way.

“We’ve got 11 matches between now and that first World Cup game and they are very important, particularly against West Indies because conditions will change quite drastically here and will get us out of our comfort zone. We need to learn as much as we can from this series so by the seventh or eighth game of the tournament when we play in different conditions we are able to adapt.”