Chances of Success Rating 7.2/10 (3rd)
England have won the World Cup on three occasions - 1973, 1993 and most recently in Australia in 2009. Three players survive from that 2009 final - Katherine Brunt, Laura Marsh and Sarah Taylor - plus Jenny Gunn, who would have played in Sydney but for a last-minute injury. The reality however is that this feels like a 100% different side from the one which also won the World T20 that year; but which subsequently failed to live up to the hopes at the time, that they were set to dominate women's cricket for the next 10 years.
That the highs of 2009 ultimately proved to be short-lived partly explains why, six years later, Mark Robinson was appointed coach with a brief to shake things up - which he did by sacking Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway in the wake of the team's semi-final elimination in the 2016 World T20, making way for a new generation of talent to come to the fore.
Power batting from the likes of Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield and Nat Sciver drove England to series whitewashes versus Pakistan last summer and away in Sri Lanka over the winter, but in-between in the West Indies last autumn it looked a lot more squeaky, as England suffered two horrendous batting collapses chasing not-huge totals, admittedly on slightly "interesting" pitches, out in Jamaica. Though England came away from the West Indies with a 3-2 series win, the main message they sent to the other top teams in the world was that their batting is fragile, especially when chasing - something that is unlikely to have been lost on anyone that wins a toss against them over the next month!
If England are to progress in this World Cup, then it is with their bowlers that their hopes really rest - in particular the new-ball partnership of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole. Both have had chronic injury issues in the past though, and the backup pace options England have just aren't in the same league, so one of the most important people in the England camp will be the physio charged with keeping the two of them fit for the duration of the tournament - expect them to be rotated for the "easier" games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka!
In the spin department Mark Robinson likes variety, so with no leggies "on the books" he looks likely to go with the left/ right combo of Alex Hartley and one of Laura Marsh or Dani Hazell, with of course Heather Knight also offering an additional option.
Sophie Devine recently told CRICKETher that home advantage meant England were among the favourites; and it is true that familiarity with local conditions can be important, though that could apply equally to New Zealand, several of whose key players have spent much of the last two summers here. But with home advantage comes home pressure, and this will sit heavily on England. Every time Heather Knight opens her mouth to say England "can" win it, the press seem to hear the word "will" instead, and the weight of expectations will be immense for a side who have a bit of a reputation for wilting when the heat is on. Would it be a "shock" if they won it? No - but at this stage in this team's development they are more of an each-way bet, not quite the favourites.