England’s 2019 Cricket World Cup victory over New Zealand was one of the most breathtaking spectacles in modern sport. With Jos Buttler and Jason Roy combining to run out Martin Guptill on the last ball of the super over, it meant that England had won their first ever Cricket World Cup.
Such an achievement was far from an easy task. Whilst England had been favourites to win the tournament, they were nearly knocked out in the group stages. Plus for much of the Cricket World Cup final, it seemed that the Kiwis had the upper hand. But with some astonishing feats of skill and more than a little luck, England finally brought cricket home.
However, England face another gripping challenge later this summer where they entertain Australia in what’s expected to be yet another keenly-fought Ashes tournament. This takes place in little more than two week’s time and it could give England the chance to make 2019 their best ever year.
Test match cricket is a very different game from one-day internationals, and the pressure will be on England to build on their World Cup triumph. So will Joe Root and his team have what it takes to give England just one more reason to celebrate what’s already a very significant summer?
How England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup final
England’s victory over New Zealand could easily be the most exciting game of cricket ever played. Not only did the match end in a tie, but even the first ever super over in a final produced a tie that England won as a result of hitting more boundaries. Whilst New Zealand will be heartbroken at having come so close, it was clear that luck was on England’s side.
From Ben Stokes accidentally turning a run for two into six in the final over, to New Zealand’s Trent Boult standing on the boundary rope to gift another six runs to England, this match constantly served up surprises.
For much of the match, it looks like New Zealand had the upper hand. Whilst their score of 241-8 wasn’t too impressive, by taking key wickets of Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan early on, it looked like England were going to blow it again.
But with Ben Stokes producing an epic 84 not out, and Jofra Archer holding his nerve in the super over, Lords erupted with scenes never before seen in modern cricket.
England’s tricky path to the 2019 World Cup final
England entered the 2019 Cricket World Cup as the favourites. However, there were plenty of wobbles in their campaign, and at times, it looked like England would once again buckle under the pressure. Whilst an early thrashing of South Africa seemed to prove that Eoin Morgan’s team could live up to the hype, this followed by a shocking defeat courtesy of Pakistan.
From here, England managed to hold their nerve by beating Bangladesh, and comfortably walked over a very below-par West Indies. Their win against Afghanistan saw Eoin Morgan enter the record books for the most sixes hit in a match, but trouble lay ahead when England were narrowly beaten by Sri Lanka.
This was followed up by a dismal defeat at the hands of their rivals, Australia, and with tough games against India and New Zealand, it looked like England could be heading for an early exit on home soil.
Thankfully England managed to contain Kohli’s India thanks to match-winning innings from the likes of Jonny Bairstow, and the star was once again in fine form to help his team beat New Zealand in the final match of the group stages to book England a spot in the semi-finals.
A semi-final showdown against Australia beckoned, and this was when England really showed their true colours. England’s bowlers like Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid kept Australia to a low score of 223 all out, and not even Mitchell Starc could contain the batting talents on Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan who comfortably guided England into the 2019 Cricket World Cup final.
When are the Ashes 2019?
2019 sees the 71st edition of the Ashes cricket tournament. This series of test matches takes place every two years in the alternating locations of England and Australia. In these encounters, Australia have the slight upper hand having won the Ashes 33 times compared to England’s 32. Here are the five 2019 Ashes matches where England will try and redress the balance.
- 1 to 5 August – Edgbaston, Birmingham
- 14 to 18 August – Lord’s, London
- 22 to 26 August – Headingley, Leeds
- 4 to 8 September – Old Trafford, Manchester
- 12 to 16 September – The Oval, London
Who won the last Ashes tournament?
Whilst England will probably still be celebrating their World Cup semi-final thrashing of Australia, they could face a much tricker challenge in the upcoming Ashes tournament. This is because Australia destroyed England in the 2017 Ashes and won the competition 4-0.
The first game in Brisbane showed Australia’s dominance with the bat, with the likes of David Warner helping the host nation enjoy a 10-wicket victory. This was followed up by Shaun Marsh’s unbeaten century ensuring that Australia got a 2-0 lead in Adelaide.
England’s bowlers had a particularly torrid time Down Under. This was proven when Steve Smith managed to smash the visitors for 239 and ensure that the Ashes stayed in Australia. Whilst Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 244 was a consolation in helping England get a draw in Melbourne, by the team that England lost the last match by an innings in Sydney, it sealed what was a true sporting nightmare for the England team.
Why England are on course to beat Australia in the Ashes
All of the euphoria surrounding England’s Cricket World Cup triumph should go some way in the host nation’s favour, and home advantage will definitely count for a lot in the Ashes clash against the old enemy.
But whilst England are currently the favourites to win the 2019 Ashes, it’s worth remembering that Test match cricket is very different from one-day matches. Whilst the likes of Jos Buttler can usually be counted on to deliver some big shots, it’s more of a matter of patience and concentration that will help England regain the Ashes.
As such, all eyes will be on who will be in England’s Ashes squad. Jason Roy proved to be a key part of the England batting attack in the Cricket World Cup, and hopes are high that he will feature in the Ashes squad. In addition to this, there is little doubting the fact that Jofra Archer is a hugely promising star in the England bowling line-up and his variety could significantly help them with the ball.
World Cup stars like Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes can be counted on to provide a solid foundation with the bat, whilst bowlers like Mark Wood and Chris Woakes should spearhead the bowling. Plus with Moeen Ali on hand to deliver some deadly spin bowling, it looks like England finally have a well-rounded team who could be capable of bringing back the Ashes.
Australia will be looking to defy the odds
Australia will still be feeling the pain of their semi-final exit against England, but they will be keen to avenge this defeat by reclaiming the Ashes. Australia’s Cricket World Cup campaign could have easily gone much better, and whilst the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner will be forever scarred by the ball-tampering scandal, it looks like they aren’t letting the affair stop them getting runs when it counts.
The provisional 25-man Australia 2019 Ashes squad has just been revealed, and it’s interesting to see how Cameron Bancroft has been included for the first time since he used sandpaper to scuff the ball against South Africa.
Whilst the final 16-man squad won’t be revealed until 26 July, it would be hugely significant if Bancroft was to appear alongside Warner as the opening pair. Other key batsmen to look out for include obvious stars like Steve Smith and Alex Carey, whilst the likes of Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb will have the chance to make up for what were fairly flat World Cup performances.
Mitchell Starc will be a hugely significant part of the Australian bowling attack, and with ample support from the likes of Pat Cummins, it’s clear that England will face plenty of challenges in their Ashes campaign.
But with the first Test match taking place in Edgbaston, England will have plenty of support and this ground has tended to favour the English side. The key thing is that England will have to hold their nerve and not let their recent success go to their heads.
Similarly, Australia will have to prove that the ball-tampering scandal is well and truly behind them so that they can get on with the task of playing some quality cricket. All of which sets 2019 as being one of the best ever years for England cricketing glory.