Kars replaces the injured Topley in England’s World Cup squad

 – Gudstory

Kars replaces the injured Topley in England’s World Cup squad – Gudstory

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England are hoping Braydon Carse can replicate Liam Plunkett’s success in midfield after being included in the World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Reece Topley.

Kars will arrive in Bangalore ahead of England’s match against Sri Lanka on Thursday, although he is unlikely to be considered for selection having last played a competitive match four weeks ago. He featured in one of England’s four ODIs against New Zealand last month after impressing in the T20I series, and also played for the second-string side against Ireland.

Kars, 28, was born in South Africa but holds a British passport and plays for Durham and Northern Superchargers in domestic cricket. A tall, powerful seamer who can also contribute with the bat from the lower order, he has won 12 ODIs and three T20Is since making his debut in 2021.

“He’s a great all-around package,” Joe Root said Monday. “He can score some good runs for you, he’s very dynamic on the field and has a unique wicket-taking ability. He’s got that [Ben] Stokes is part of it where sometimes you feel nothing is happening and he will pick up the wicket.”

England quickly and unceremoniously moved on from Plunkett after the last World Cup, when he was 34, and Cars has been the closest substitute England have used in the four years since. “He almost feels like a young Plunkett,” Root said. “It’s very similar. Pudsy.” [Plunkett] He may not like me saying this, but maybe he has more to offer with the bat too.”

Root also expressed his sympathy for Topley, who was officially ruled out of the World Cup on Sunday after scans confirmed a fracture in the index finger of his bowling hand. “Poor boy, it just can’t seem to stop for him,” he said. “Every time he does very well and gets a string of performances together where he plays good cricket, he seems to have a setback.”

England traveled from Mumbai to Bengaluru on Sunday afternoon after being thrashed 229 runs by South Africa. They will train on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon before facing Sri Lanka at Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday, the first of five must-win group games as they aim to reach the semi-finals despite three defeats in their first four matches.

“The situation we find ourselves in now, we have to make sure we are ready and in the best possible place to perform well in the next game,” Root told Sky Sports. “We will look at this as a World Cup final now, and then we will do the same for the match after that, and the match after that. All we have to do is really focus on Sri Lanka.

“I’ve played in a number of different English teams, good and bad,” Root said. “This is one of the best teams. It’s a very united team. We know what we have to do… We have some very simple messages in front of us now: We have to go out and win. In some ways, that liberates us and liberates us to do what we do.”


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