Cricket World Cup 2015: Michael Vaughan confident over England

Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes
England are in Group A alongside Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland
2015 World Cup
Dates: 13 February - 29 March Hosts: Australia and New Zealand
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on every match on BBC Radio 5 live or sports extra, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app
Full fixtures and group information here

England's recent performances have shown they can go far in the World Cup, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

Eoin Morgan's side beat India twice on their way to reaching the Tri-series final in Australia, and also thrashed West Indies by nine wickets on Monday.

They open their World Cup campaign against Australia on Saturday.

"England are starting to look like they might have a chance in this World Cup - they have got a bit of momentum," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live.

"They've got a settled team which is starting to play more consistently. I really believe that they believe they can cause a few shocks in this World Cup."

On his BBC Radio 5 live Tuffers and Vaughan show, the ex-Yorkshire batsman was joined by Lancashire coach Ashley Giles and former Australia bowler Jason Gillespie in previewing the forthcoming World Cup, and specifically that opening game at the MCG on Saturday.

Taking it to Australia

Eoin Morgan
England skipper Eoin Morgan performs his pre-tournament media duties

Michael Vaughan: "I look at the first two games - against Australia and New Zealand, they are two teams who I think have got everything. They have got quality in the batting power, they have got excellent captains, good options with the ball and if England can win one of those first two games, it will give them a massive boost.

"If England stagger into fourth place in their group and finish playing the top team from the other group - it looks like it might be South Africa - I don't think they can compete. They need confidence from the group stages, they need to beat one of the big teams just to give themselves that feelgood factor."

Jason Gillespie: "The key for England is that first game. They need to go out there and take it to the Aussies. When teams go out there with a positive, aggressive body language and attitude and don't back down, the Aussies start looking for fights on the field just to psyche themselves up and get them going.

"If you do that to the Aussies, you have half a sniff of taking the momentum away. England need to get under the skin of the Aussies."

Ashley Giles: "If England come out and play positively and play with a bit of courage - to win World Cups you have to play that way - they could put the Aussies under pressure in that first game in Melbourne."

Reasons to be cheerful

James Taylor
James Taylor has the fourth highest List A batting average in history

Michael Vaughan: "England's big decision at the start of the tri-series was who was going to open. They went with Ian Bell and he's been brilliant. He has come out of the blocks and played expansively but with that control. He's got all the shots, he's been a revelation at the top of the order.

"He and Moeen Ali complement each other quite nicely, while James Taylor has played two crucial innings so he's established himself in that number three spot.

"I also think Eoin Morgan, as captain, has done really well tactically. I like the way he has manoeuvred the bowlers and the field but I think he'd like a few more runs.

"He really needs a knock in the last warm-up game to give himself that bit of confidence. Getting that hundred in the first game out in Australia was a massive boost for the team."

Feeling the heat

Jason Gillespie: "I think the Aussies are under a little bit of pressure. There's a lot of expectation at this World Cup on them and New Zealand, but England don't have much pressure on them. I don't think anyone in world cricket is really expecting them to win the World Cup. It's the most settled they have looked in quite a while.

"They need to go out there and play with freedom, take the attack to the Aussies and see what happens."

Do Australia need Michael Clarke?

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke has been playing club cricket in his recovery from injury

"If you look at Clarke's one-day record, it's exceptional. And I also put him and Brendon McCullum as the top two tactical captains out there who can make a difference with a field setting. They are very proactive and positive. Australia will be better for Michael Clarke being there."

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