England stars in line to make history against New Zealand.

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Chris Woakes and Jason Roy are closing in on teammate Joe Root at the top of the PCA’s England ODI Most Valuable Player Rankings, as the squad aim to claim a maiden World Cup title at Lord’s on Sunday.

Test skipper Root is currently in pole position to succeed one-day counterpart Eoin Morgan as ODI MVP, after the latter claimed the 2018/19 crown following a series of stunning performances against Sri Lanka and West Indies throughout the winter.

Root has been a revelation throughout the World Cup and the ODI series agaist Pakistan that preceded it, accumulating a combined 752 runs at an average of 62.7. Only three players have scored more runs at the World Cup than Root’s 549, and the 28-year-old will have the opportunity to move past India’s Rohit Sharma, Australia’s David Warner and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan on Sunday.

The Yorkshireman also holds the impressive distinction of sitting on more MVP fielding points than any other player except for wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. He has taken 15 catches across ODIs this summer, helping him to accumulate six more MVP fielding points than the next most impactful outfielder in Jonny Bairstow.

The latter stat has no doubt assisted Root in his rise to the summit of the ODI MVP, as has his number of games played. No England player has more ODI appearances than Root’s 16 this summer.

Taking that into account, opening batsman Jason Roy has the highest average points-per-game of any player who has played at least five ODIs.

The Surrey man’s scintillating form has seen him claim 16.45 MVP points per appearance, and has helped him into third in the Rankings, despite having played at least four games fewer than every other member of the current top five.

Roy’s importance to England in this World Cup has been highlighted by his absence: the side went down to Sri Lanka and Australia in two of the three games he missed through a hamstring injury. He has accrued 426 runs in his six innings during the tournament, his 71 average the highest of any English player.

That, combined with Roy’s 277 runs at 92.33 during the Pakistan series, have seen him accumulate more MVP batting points than any other member of the England side this summer, with 153.55.

Conversely, Warwickshire man Chris Woakes has been flying the flag for English bowlers this year.

The 30-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding 2019 so far, regularly taking top order wickets at the top of the innings, including in the crunch semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston. His 3-20 from eight overs set the tone for that match, and helped Woakes to claim the MVP award for the game with 28.95 points.

He has the most bowling points of any player in the squad, thanks largely to his 23 wickets in 14 appearances during the World Cup and against Pakistan.

Woakes also sits second in terms of points-per-game, averaging nearly a point more in every appearance than ODI MVP leader Root. He has played two games fewer than Root, though, meaning he currently sits second in the Ranking behind his teammate.

Bairstow currently occupies fourth position after successive World Cup centuries against India and New Zealand, and Ben Stokes is in fifth having enjoyed a stellar all-round campaign.

Skipper Eoin Morgan and fast bowler Jofra Archer are level on points in sixth and seventh, and realistically the 35-point gap between them and Bairstow means they are unlikely to have an impact on the top four.

A big performance from either in the final, however, could see them sneak into the top five at the expense of the aforementioned Stokes.

Archer in particular might be feeling particularly hard done by. He has the most wickets (19) and lowest average (22.05) of any English bowler at the World Cup. Only Australia’s Mitchell Starc and Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman have claimed more scalps in the tournament.

Indeed, if only points earned during the World Cup counted, Archer would move up to fourth place in the ODI MVP and Woakes would drop out of the top five altogether.

The former has also found his chances to make an impact with the bat limited, thanks largely to the prowess of some of those who are sitting above him in the MVP. However, Archer will be hoping that it’s only his bowling that will need to be called upon on Sunday, as England attempt to overcome New Zealand.

The historic fixture is England’s last One Day International of the summer, meaning the 2019 ODI MVP will be crowned following the conclusion of the Three Lions’ World Cup campaign.

View the England ODI MVP Rankings here.

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


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