Gary Ballance is expecting England to thrive under the pressure of being tagged as favourites for this summer’s one-day World Cup on home soil.

England are the number one ranked side in ODI cricket, winning 12 of their last 14 series since mid-2016.

Their only defeats have come in India and, last summer, in a solitary fixture against Scotland.

England face the West Indies in the Caribbean as their preparations increase for the late May start to the World Cup. The first of five matches is in Barbados on Wednesday (3pm UK).

Yorkshire batsman Ballance, capped 16 times by England in one-day cricket, said: “They have been playing some really good cricket for quite a few years now.

“They have a really good squad, not just a good eleven. If people are injured or are out of form, they have players who can come in and perform.

“Everyone seems to know their role, and it’s really paid off for them.

“Their balance is ideal. There’s different kinds of batters, spinners who can spin the ball both ways like Rash (Adil Rashid) and significant pace. It’s all there.

“They have players who can perform in all conditions.

“Wherever they’ve been over the last few years, they’ve performed really well, so in home conditions they would be the favourites for the World Cup.

“They have been favourites in pretty much every series for the last few years, and that seems to have brought out the best in them. I’m sure they’ll go into the World Cup with a lot of confidence.”

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