Updated: Feb 20
Led by Eoin Morgan, England have transformed themselves from white ball flops to cream of the crop. The dramatic change of approach and personnel reaped its rewards in July last year, as the team pulled through the final test of it's 4 year journey together by defeating New Zealand in the most dramatic of circumstances to win the World Cup. Looking forward to the title defence of the ODI World Cup in India in 2023, changes could be afoot. When Morgan does decide to call it quits, the captaincy will inevitably fall to Jos Buttler. However, someone still has to take Morgan's spot in the lineup. Can the side repeat their success without Morgan? Is there a return for Alex Hales? This is a potential look for India 2023.
At the top of the order, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow can be rest assured that they are almost-certain to make the squad for India 2023. With no one else realistically able to challenge them for power, placement and destruction at the top of the order, these two are a shoe-in. Tom Banton comes in at 3 in place of Joe Root, who some have questioned his place in the white ball sides. While he is the perfect guy to steady an innings, the most important thing in ODI's is having runs on the board. While Banton is inexperienced internationally, his exploits in the Big Bash stand him in good stead to deal with pressure on the international stage. With his outrageous shot selection, confidence to take bowlers on and the ability to play through 360°, he makes it at number 3. Alex Hales walks straight back into the side at 4, as quite simply there are not a lot of players better in white ball cricket than him. Whilst he may have made mistakes in the past, he's more than served his punishment by having to watch the side win the World Cup from home. This incident now seems to have developed into more of a personal spat with Morgan, and with some teammates saying publicly they would welcome Hales back into the side, it seems a straight forward decision. Of course it would all depend on form and banking on the fact that Hales would not let the side down again, but if they can be met, there seems no reason why he can't have a second chance.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, two of the key reasons why England managed to pull off the World Cup victory make up the middle order. With it being well-known that Buttler will become captain after Morgan leaves, his place is guaranteed. With his ability to take the game away from you with the bat and his flexibility to come in at 4 downwards, he quite simply makes this side tick. Ben Stokes is, well, just Ben Stokes, arguably England's best player in all three formats and the definition of a match winner. Unless injury strikes, these two are the first names on the team sheet.
Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, England's spin twins are an absolute must to take to India, where spinners could well decide the game. However, it is known that Rashid does struggle with shoulder injuries and this could mean that Matty Parkinson partners Ali in the spin department. Parkinson is a thrilling young spin prospect who again needs time to develop at international level, but he won't grow unless he plays, which is why he takes the back-up spin option. Tom Curran can count himself incredibly unlucky to do nothing more than carry the drinks last year, but by the time India 2023 rolls around, he will be entering his prime years as a cricketer. Someone who has a deadly yorker and can whip out the occasional ramp shot is worth their weight in gold in white ball cricket. Curran looks likely to be in a shoot-out with Chris Woakes for this spot in the side, and while Woakes boasts experience over Curran's relative youth in ODI's, a little competition doesn't hurt and could actually spur them both on to become better and better. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood round off the side, provided they can both stay fit. England need their star pacemen fully firing if they want to retain their crown, and these two may need to be carefully managed due to their expected workload with being involved with all 3 sides.
As for potential outsiders, Sam Billings and James Vince spring to mind as immediate back-up choices in the batting department, but will find it very hard to disrupt a very settled top and middle order, while Joe Root would be first choice replacement if Banton or Hales struggle for runs. Sam Curran could come into the bowling attack as a left-arm bowler, but he may be better off just sticking to the Test side as he can be very expensive in the white ball game. Saqib Mahmood could potentially fill in for either Archer or Wood, but again will find it extremely difficult to permanently nail down his place in this side. One thing we can say about the ODI side is there is a lot of depth to be explored, so the worries of not having able replacements can be brushed aside.