England has had an amazing transformation as an ODI squad since 2016. After a dismal performance in the 2015 World Cup as they faced an exit from the tournament after losing to Bangladesh in the knockouts.
Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, McGrath expressed, “From what I have seen of England’s one-day cricket recently, you would have to make them favorites for next year’s World Cup".
“They have won 19 of their last 22 one-day internationals and if they can continue the way they are going, maintaining that win ratio, keeping the energy with which they play and the same personnel together, they are going to be hard to beat, especially on home soil.”
He added, “But the way this team is developing, you get the impression that is something they will do. Eoin Morgan is doing such a good job as captain. There seems to be a real confidence in the team and a freedom to go out there and just play. That’s exactly the attitude you want in 50-over cricket.”
England's recent performance in the ODI series against Australia was a blueprint of their development in recent times. An all-round team, England have got the necessary arsenal in all departments of the game.
Praising England’s team composition McGrath said “Their batting line-up is so strong and they all know their gameplans. Joe Root is perfectly suited to that No 4 spot, coming in and holding the innings together."
“He is not a blaster like the others in the top order and he can just work the ball round to make sure his team makes a big score. He has the freedom to play without the pressure of captaincy and that’s great for him.”
While McGrath praised England, his words on the Australian cricket team refected the concern he had for them ahead of the World Cup in England.
McGrath said Australia needed a change in their mindset to put behind their poor run in ODI cricket. “And if Australia can change their mindset between now and next year I can see them being the other team in with a chance of winning that World Cup. If they keep heading the way they are at the moment, they won’t be near the top,” he wrote.
“One word of caution, though: if their planning phase has begun, as appears the case, now is not the time to peak. England face a challenge not just to stay at this level but to get better over the next 12 months” concluded the Australian legend reflecting on one lighter aspect of their game.