Reasons stack up against an England World Cup win
THE 11th World Cup is just five days away, and early predictions are that like the previous 10 tournaments, England will not be the winner.
Sacking captain Alastair Cook just two months before the tournament may have been a bold move, but given the team's appalling recent record it came as no surprise.
Replacement Eoin Morgan's batting record was hardly better than Cook's, but at least he responded by scoring a century against Australia in the triangular series in Sydney in mid-January.
Three losses to Australia in that series, including a 112-run defeat in the final at the WACA, suggest England faces a tough task trying to start the tournament on the right foot by beating the hosts at the MCG on Saturday.
Morgan, however, remains confident his squad is good enough to lift the trophy.
"We're here to win it," he said after arriving in Sydney with his teammates ahead of today's warm-up match against the West Indies.
"That's the bottom line. Like every team, we're here to get the best out of ourselves and, at our best, we can win this World Cup."
Reality suggests otherwise, and here are four reasons why.
ENGLAND has lost 14 of its most recent 16 matches in Australia, with the two wins coming in series it still lost heavily.
It has also lost 26 of its past 31 ODI matches against all opposition, and six of past seven series, including a 5-2 loss to Sri Lanka late last year.
NO LEFT-ARM QUICK:
IT IS no coincidence that in the only global limited-overs tournament England has won - the World Twenty20 Championship in 2010 - one of its main strike weapons was left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom.
Selectors had hoped Harry Gurney might the man to step up, but 11 wickets from 10 matches, including 1-60 from nine overs in the last match of the series against Sri Lanka in December, saw the 28-year-old passed over.
NO BEN STOKES:
ON England's ill-fated tour of Australia a year ago, Stokes was a rare success with both bat and ball. Unfortunately he lost his place in the team after breaking his hand while lashing out at a dressing room locker during a limited-overs match in the West Indies in April.
While he clearly has that X-factor, selectors seem confused about what to do with him, batting him four times at No.3, as well as at five, six, seven and as low as eight in 19 ODIs.
Left out of the squad, Stokes showed his undoubted talent by making 151 not out from 86 balls for the England Lions against South Africa A just last week.
AFTER not playing for a month following the Test series against India, Mitchell Johnson continued his hold over England in the final of the one-day series, taking the key wickets of top-order batsman Moeen Ali, James Taylor and Morgan for a first-ball duck.
The mere sight of Johnson steaming in to bowl seems too much for most of the English batsman.