Pietersen feels ’transformed’ England and India are favourites

England

England were handed a major boost ahead of World Cup 2019

"But if things feel very focused and the guys are raring to go, you normally just try and guide them in the right direction".

"We have not spoken about it yet but for me he is a very unsafe bowler", Bairstow said.

Having won the World Cup five times, Australia are coming into this tournament on the back of eight-match winning streak. The women's game is thriving.

'It would mean a huge amount. "I couldn't imagine what it would do".

South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir has dismissed England opener Jonny Bairstow with the second ball of the World Cup.

The men's football team also gripped the nation with their run to the FIFA World Cup semi-finals last summer and manager Gareth Southgate passed on his words of advice earlier this month. "So it is what it is, and hopefully they can put aside what you guys write about them and just go out there and think about how Morgan leads the team".

Pietersen, whose fallout with the English cricket hierarchy ended his global career, said Morgan's men now had a much better chance of winning the World Cup than when he was playing. "And it was brilliant".

"He got up and talked about his journey with the team in and around the World Cup, but in the build-up as well - how they built bigger expectations and became more together as a group".

"It's hard to describe (the team's mood) unless you actually hear them say it, but I think there's a lot of belief within the (dressing) room".

Morgan said both they and the cricketers had "recognised what had happened in the past, drawn a line under it, tried to do things differently and enjoyed the challenge of that".

'Gareth did brilliantly. They got to the semi-final and everybody said it was great. "We're going in as underdogs, but previously we've been favourites and we didn't get far, so there is less pressure", Morkel said.

Morgan struck the first six in the 26th over and the captain cleared the ropes twice more in a fourth-wicket partnership of 106. "They are a well-rounded team, they are coming into a tournament with confidence".

'The level of expectation and favourite tag are there for a reason. They have not lost a single bilateral ODI seris in last two years.

"The way that they play, they are definitely ranked number one in the world because of the way that they play", he told Press Association Sport at the tournament's opening party. "I would pick this position instead".

"There's a lot of belief within the room". Pietersen, who palyed alongside Morgan in the past, was all praise for the current skipper for rejuvenating and transforming the present day English team.

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