The ICC Cricket World Cup is a stage where legends are born, and history is written. As the cricketing world congregates in India for the 2023 edition of the tournament, the home advantage is seen as a significant factor.

Chris Woakes, the seasoned England cricketer, acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead, but he remains undeterred in his quest to topple the Indians on their own turf.

ENG vs AFG Live Streaming Channel- ICC World Cup 2023, Match 13
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

In the last three editions of the Cricket World Cup, the host nations have reigned supreme. India clinched their last global title in Mumbai in 2011, followed by Australia’s triumph in Melbourne in 2015 and England’s glory at Lord’s four years ago.

India, the pre-competition favorites, have further solidified their status with resounding victories over Afghanistan and Australia, setting the stage for a formidable campaign. However, Chris Woakes, a vital part of Eoin Morgan’s victorious squad in 2019, is unyielding in his determination.

Woakes recognizes the significance of home conditions, particularly in India, but he firmly believes that England possesses the squad and the players to compete at the highest level.

India vs Australia: Match Preview– ICC World Cup 2023, Match 5
India vs Australia (Image Credit: Twitter)

He acknowledges the added pressure on England as they have been viewed as a white-ball team to beat across the globe. The competition in India is fierce, but Woakes and his team are prepared to give it their all, taking each game as it comes with their own set of expectations and a target on their back.

England Looking To Spoil India’s Party

“It’s an incredibly tough challenge to win in India. Naturally, I think the sub-continental teams will feel more at home with the conditions,” he said.

“That makes it extremely hard for us to knock them off their perch, so to speak. But we’ve got the squad and the players to be able to compete. People have looked at us for a while and we’ve had a little bit of a target on our back as a white-ball team, around the world.

England Cricket Team
England Cricket Team
(Credits: SkySports)

“It’s a tough competition to win, isn’t it? Especially here. But we’ll give it a good crack. We’re taking each game as it comes. Naturally, people have got expectations of us and we’ve certainly got our own expectations of ourselves.”

England Back On The Track With A Win Against Bangladesh

England’s campaign encountered an early hiccup with an opening defeat to New Zealand, but they roared back to life with a resounding 137-run victory over Bangladesh. Woakes, too, experienced the ebb and flow of a long tournament. After a subdued performance against New Zealand, he bounced back impressively against Bangladesh, accounting for crucial wickets.

England {PC: X}
England {PC: X}

As Woakes rightly points out, the World Cup is a marathon, not a sprint. Peak performance is vital, but pacing oneself is equally crucial. With his experience in building into tournaments and series, Woakes is poised to make a significant contribution to England’s campaign.

“It’s the start of a long tournament,” he said. “I certainly feel that I would’ve liked to have bowled a little bit better but they are long competitions and you don’t want to peak too soon, I suppose.

“I have built into tournaments in the past and into series, which I suppose holds me in good stead moving forward. But you contribute every time you go out in the field so I’ll be working hard in practice to try and make sure that I’m on the money when I get the opportunity.”

In a tournament that promises thrills and drama, England, under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, will continue their relentless pursuit of World Cup glory. The road ahead may be tough, but as Chris Woakes and his teammates demonstrate, they have the resilience and skill to take on the sub-continental giants and script their own chapter in cricketing history.

Bangladesh Playing 11 vs New Zealand– ICC World Cup 2023, Match 11
Photo Credit: (Twitter/ BCB)

England will face Afghanistan on the 15th of October at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi. Last time, when these two teams clashed at the World Cup stage, Eoin Morgan broke the world record of the most sixes in an ODI innings, hitting 17 sixes in his innings of 148. We can hope for some of those fireworks from the English batters given the batting-friendly conditions at Delhi.

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