Captain Andrew Strauss believes England have a great chance of winning the World Cup even though his side are not among the perceived favourites of the tournament.
The Ashes holders arrived in Dhaka last afternoon and immediately after, Strauss said that it would be the co-hosts who would feel the weight of expectations.
“I don’t think there is too much expectation on us. It will be on the Indian and Sri Lankan teams,” said Strauss at Hotel Sheraton yesterday.
“On paper, you have to look at India and Sri Lanka. They’re going to have a lot of expectation on their shoulders, so that’s going to be hard for them to deal with. In my mind, four or five teams can end up winning the World Cup,” he said, adding that England will be vying for their maiden trophy.
“We are here to win it, obviously. We feel we have an excellent chance. The way the tournament is structured, any of the eight teams who make it to the quarterfinals are in with a chance.
“The first step would to get past the group stage and then the team that can handle the pressure best, will walk away with the trophy,” added the left-handed batsman.
Here to play two warm-up games against Canada, on February 16, and Pakistan, February 18, Strauss feels strongly that Bangladesh could make an impact in the tournament.
“Bangladesh are a dangerous side. They have some very talented cricketers, and are going to be comfortable in home conditions. They could be bit of a surprise package in this World Cup and certainly not a team to be taken lightly,” he said.
England’s recent one-day form, however, is a cause for concern. Australia completed a 6-1 series win over them earlier this month but Strauss is adamant that their rooted confidence will come to their rescue. “The 6-1 result is not ideal for our preparation. We can take consolation from the fact that 5 or 6 of us contracted some injuries and had an opportunity to rest for three weeks. But we have a lot of in-built confidence over the successes of the last 18 months in both Test and one-day cricket.”
But in real terms, what Strauss would desperately miss won’t be confidence, but a fellow southpaw.
“I’m very disappointed not to have Eoin Morgan. He is one of our stand-out performers in one-day cricket recently. We have to make do without him,” said Strauss, who also informed that Graeme Swann was attending his pregnant wife and would arrive later.