World Cup Preview #2: England

England may have won the Ashes soundly, but their one-day form has been less than stellar. That expression is pretty stupid in this case - in fact, their form has been the opposite of stellar. I don't know what exactly that is, but it's bad. They're missing two hugely influential players though - Broad and Swann - and having them back in both the batting and bowling ranks will be a huge boost. Anyway, here's the preview in the format I'm using.

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss will do quite well in the World Cup. He will play a total of 147 cuts, but will never cross 35.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior's form indicates that he will succeed in his reinstatement at the top of the order, but, looking for quick starts, he will actually struggle to convert them if he does make them.

Jonathan Trott

Jonathan Trott will continue to perform at #3, and his batting will provide viewers with some relief. Literal relief, that is - you can always take a pee break when Trott's at the crease.

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pieterson will fail against the weaker teams, and there will be (wrong) calls to drop him for Yardy or Wright. He will respond with a hundred (and a couple of wickets) against the West Indies to shut them up. Okay, I could swear I wrote the same stuff for Yuvraj. Weird.

Ian Bell

Ian Bell is in the form of his life, and he looks set to make it count on the biggest stage. Or is he? He is. Is he? Switching the order of words in a sentence is a fun way to complicate things, just like Bell's been doing with the selectors for ages. They just don't know where to put him.

Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan is secure in his position as a finisher, and a bloody good one he is, too. He's a good bet to struggle in the subcontinent, though, because he loves using the pace coming onto the bat, and he may not get it. And also {insert leprechaun joke}.

Paul Collingwood

Paul Collingwood looked like getting in good nick recently, and his nurdling will be extremely important lower down the order for England. His slower-than-a-speeding-bullet bowling will be pretty handy too. How's that for an original phrase describing Colly's bowling?

Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad, if he is fully fit, will be a handful in the tournament, and not in a dirty way (even I don't get that one). But considering his past experiences with Yuvraj in World Cups, I won't be surprised if it's his time of the month when England play India in the group stage. Yes, he's a werewolf.

Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann is England's most important player, and he will perform as per expectations. He will also find his way into a Bollywood movie, making a cameo playing himself. The hero will find himself in trouble outside a cricket stadium, and Swann and Brett Lee will come to his rescue using a bat and a ball. You heard it here first, all right?

Tim Bresnan

Tim Bresnan will keep bowling steadily. Missing pie, he will ask for some at the hotel, but instead will be given a math lesson by the bellhop's 4-year old son. His head will hurt and he will tweet the whole time.

James Anderson

James Anderson might not get the conditions he loves, but he has shown that he can adapt. And he will.

Michael Yardy

Michael Yardy will get to play if Bell/Morgan/Colly struggle, or if it's an especially good pitch for spinners. It's going to be a quiet World Cup for him.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright's medium-pace might be handy. That is all.

Ajmal Shahzad

Ajmal Shahzad will get a new, less grinny picture taken. He's basically injury back-up. He will get one advertisement when he is mistaken for Snoop Dogg.

James Tredwell

James Tredwell, 63, is also just Swann's stunt double. He was only picked because he isn't fat, and makes some mean pasta (one of those isn't true).

England could do pretty well, actually, definitely top 4 material, but the lower middle order needs to fire.
Official-looking prediction: Quarter-finals.