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England's mental toughness: The key to World Cup glory?

October 05, 2023 11:15 IST
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Jonny Bairstow

Photograph: Kind Courtesy ECB/X

England's mental strength and ability to grind out wins in high-pressure situations will give them the edge in their Cricket World Cup title defence, former captain Michael Vaughan said.

After following up their 2019 ODI title with victory in the Twenty20 World Cup last year, winning in India would mark England's "greatest period of sporting domination", Vaughan wrote in a Telegraph column on Wednesday.


"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this group," he added.

"They can do it because England are very tough mentally. In a difficult situation, one of the players will stand up and do something to drag the team over the line.

"They generally blow teams away but when it gets spicy – such as the 2019 World Cup final and the must-win games in that tournament – they are mentally stronger than the rest."

Vaughan said England have the "perfect" batting line-up, highlighting the even spread of right- and left-handers in their top order, but was worried about how the bowlers will adapt to the conditions.

"The doubt is whether the bowling (can) maximise conditions and take wickets at key times," he added.

"We know the white ball in the UK does a bit early on and the likes of Chris Woakes and Curran are such a threat. But will the wickets nullify those two?"

England begin their World Cup defence later on Thursday when they take on New Zealand in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad.

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