England have the best balanced side among the leading World Cup contenders but keeping their focus and thinking smart will be crucial.

Eoin Morgan's team are still on course and favourites to win the World Cup. Losing an odd game, like they did to Pakistan, is not a bad thing.

A defeat or two stops complacency and keeps players on their toes with everyone playing on the edge.


Players will have already worked out no team can afford to lose more than two matches and be certain of making the semifinals.

Three losses could be okay if your run rate is high.

Everyone needs a bit of luck, too, especially with bad weather around.

If you are unlucky to have a couple of games rained off then you will be sweating over making the last four.

England are the best balanced team in the competition. All they have to do is keep their focus, think smart, assess the pitches well before team selection and bat and bowl according to the conditions and not just assume they need 350 runs each time.

Above all, embrace being favourites. Do not let that tag wear you down. Being the favourites, being the best is a compliment to how you have played over the past couple of years, so just keep a concentrated mind, but relax and enjoy it. That is how you get the best out of yourselves. It has been a pleasure watching England play.

Here's a quick guide to some of the other contenders:

Need to tighten up because teams will target their weak second-string bowlers and they will have to chase bigger totals than they expected.


I always thought India were very talented. They play so much one-day cricket and so many cricketers are queuing up to get in the India ODI squad that there is always lots of talent to choose from. Their seamers are good with Jasprit Bumrah exceptional under pressure.

New Zealand
They go under the radar but punch above their weight. They have plenty of good cricketers who just go about their business, unsung, professional and rarely do they make stupid mistakes. They have started well and are strong candidates for the last four.

West Indies
A dangerous team with plenty of tall seamers who will make it hard work for teams to whack them around. Good batsmen but can fold under pressure.

- Telegraph Group Ltd
The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':