Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, who had last played an ODI in October 2018, is set to be named in England’s 15-member squad for the World Cup and will replace Joe Denly. Dawson has 18 wickets and 271 runs to his name in the nine Royal London One-Day Cup matches for Hampshire.
Earlier, Denly had trumped Dawson in the English provisional World Cup squad for his ability to bowl leg spin and bat at the top of the order, but he failed to make any telling contribution in the Pakistan series. In the three matches he found a place in the team, one of which was washed out, and he could bowl only six overs while facing just 21 balls in the remaining two. Not picking any wicket in those overs and scoring only 17 runs worked against his favour.
On Sunday, after England wrapped up the ODI series against Pakistan with a 4-0 scoreline at Leeds, head coach Trevor Bayliss talked up Dawson's credentials as "the next best spinner" after Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid. Despite Denly having better credentials as a batsman, Bayliss, captain Eoin Morgan and selectors Ed Smith and James Taylor, collectively decided to reward Dawson’s domestic performances.
Apart from Dawson replacing Denly, there will be two more changes to the preliminary 15 as Jofra Archer will come in for left-arm seamer David Willey and James Vince will be in the squad to replace Alex Hales, who has been banned for his drug code violation.
Archer was too good with the ball in the Pakistan series and his ability to bowl consistently above 90mph was the major reason of his selection ahead of Willey, who is having a tough time in English domestic cricket. There was still an option of bringing in Archer for Denly and having Willey in the team, Bayliss was not a fan of having six quick bowlers and Ben Stokes in the team and keeping the spin department weaker.
Meanwhile, Hales’ second failed drugs test resulted in Vince being drafted into the World Cup squad and his good performance in the Pakistan squad helped him in that count. Vince batted twice for 76 and offers a multi-dimensional role to the team.
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