England squad have at least nine games to move up the Rankings during the global tournament.

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After four years of planning, preparation and putting in world-class performances, England’s much-anticipated home World Cup campaign gets underway against South Africa at the Oval on Thursday.

Although much of the pre-tournament talk has focussed on England’s impressive collective spirit, Eoin Morgan’s men are still likely to be reliant on outstanding individual performances if they are to achieve World Cup glory at Lord’s on 14 July.

England go into the 10-team tournament leading the ICC ODI Rankings and throughout the tournament, the Professional Cricketers’ Association will be keeping track of the standout performers via its purpose-built Most Valuable Player Rankings.

Chris Woakes currently leads the way in the ODI MVP after a stunning performance in the last game of the five-match series against Pakistan saw him usurp Jason Roy at the summit.

The experienced seamer was England’s top wicket-taker in that series with 10 at 21.20. Woakes’ 5-54 in the last game was particularly impressive, seeing as he claimed his first three scalps without so much as conceding a single run. His 53.50 MVP points in the match moved him 22 clear of Roy in the current standings.

Roy is somewhat unfortunate not to find himself in Woakes’ position given his recent outings.

After a stellar series against Pakistan that saw him hit 277 runs at 92.33 in just three appearances, the Surrey man continued his fine form into England’s World Cup warm-up matches against Australia and Afghanistan. Roy hit 32 at the Ageas Bowl before dismantling the Afghan bowling attack with a sparkling 89* off 46 balls at the Oval.

Although the 28-year-old didn’t claim any MVP points in the two unofficial games, his fine form certainly makes him one to watch going into this summer’s tournament.

Completing the current top five are Roy’s opening partner Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Tom Curran and Test skipper Joe Root.

Root’s ODI counterpart Eoin Morgan was the last man to take home the ODI MVP crown.

The Middlesex man enjoyed two phenomenal tours with the bat against Sri Lanka and the West Indies last winter, hitting a series-high 195 runs against the former, and 256 runs in five innings against the latter.

Morgan will also have benefitted from his team’s overall performance as they won five out the eight completed ODIs on those two tours.

The MVP formula is designed to reward match-winning performances, so points are awarded for captaining your side to victory. Players can also earn bonuses for removing top order batsmen, taking catches and hitting a high proportion of their team’s runs.

If Morgan is to enjoy further success as England captain this summer, he’ll almost certainly be forced to rely on the prodigious talents of Jos Buttler at some point during the upcoming World Cup.

Last summer, the Lancashire batsman preceded Morgan as England’s ODI MVP, edging ahead of spin twins Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. Buttler hit more than 1,000 runs across all formats against Pakistan, Australia and India, many of them coming when his team needed them most.

Buttler is arguably at the peak of his powers going into this year’s showpiece tournament, following yet another fine IPL with the Rajasthan Royals franchise.

He’ll be looking to join Woakes, Roy, Bairstow and co. at the top of the ODI MVP Rankings during the biggest summer of English cricket in living memory where any member of the 15-man squad could step up to become their country’s MVP.

View the MVP Rankings here.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.


PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings formula explained in 75 seconds...