Phil Tufnell, who was part of the England side that lost the 1992 World Cup final, has backed Eoin Morgan’s current squad to go one step further and lift the trophy on Sunday (July 14).
The former left-arm spinner has had the best seat in the house for much of England’s historic run to the final on home soil this summer. And after Jason Roy and Chris Woakes inspired an eight-wicket walloping of Australia in the semi-finals, Tufnell can’t see how New Zealand are going to be able to stop this England team.
“We just seem to have all bases covered,” said Tufnell at the ICC World Cup Fanzone at Trafalgar Square on the eve of the final.
“The pace of Archer and Wood, the consistency of Woakes and Plunkett and that little bit of mystery from Rashid.
“Then in the batting line-up we have those two guys at the top who have been outstanding, the glue of Root, the big hitters of Morgan, Stokes and Buttler, I really can’t see a weakness in this team.
“I just think that while New Zealand have three or four world-class performers, England have got seven or eight,” the ICC quoted Tufnell as saying.
Tufnell’s class of 1992 were downed in surprising fashion by Pakistan in the final at the MCG 27 years ago.
And while Tufnell was not part of the eleven that took to the field that day, he knows just how important it is for England to make the most of home comforts if they are to down the Black Caps.
“You are in a bubble in a World Cup. A lot of things can happen, injuries, losses of form, it really is a squad effort. You are all in it together. But the guys know who is playing, it is just a question of taking your mind of things, go and see your friends and family, go to the cinema, try and do something normal,” he said.
“Because tomorrow is going to be anything but normal! A World Cup in anything is the pinnacle, it is what you play for.
“The guys deserve a huge pat on the back for getting to the final, but to then go that extra mile and get over the line and win it will be huge for the country,” he added.
Tufnell said the tournament has already enthused a nation and everywhere in the country and everyone would stop him in the street to ask ‘are England going to win it?’
“This is the first time I’ve seen cricket and I’m loving it!” he said.