Who should stay and go after England's disastrous World Cup showing?

Ben Stokes and Joe Root should call time on their one-day careers after England’s disastrous World Cup showing in India… but captain Jos Buttler can help lead the transition to the 2027 tournament

  • England end their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Kolkata on Saturday 
  • Buttler’s team have endured a miserable defence of their World Cup title in India 
  • Mail Sport assesses who should stay to help prepare for the next World Cup 

As England prepare for the final match of their disastrous World Cup, against Pakistan in Kolkata, Mail Sport looks at who should stay and who should go from the one-day side as they prepare for the next tournament in 2027.

Time’s up

Moeen Ali

England’s vice-captain was honest enough to admit after the defeat by Australia that it was time to pick the youngsters – and said he would cheerfully step aside. Hadn’t taken a wicket all World Cup until snaffling three against the Netherlands.

Jonny Bairstow

One of the Class of 2019 has reached the end of the 50-over road, partly because he will be 37 in four years’ time. But he has also looked diminished without his old opening partner, Jason Roy, and has averaged less than 20 in India.

Dawid Malan

England’s best batsman at this World Cup misses out purely on the grounds of age: he’ll be almost 40 by the next tournament. The fact that he has played only 29 ODIs while averaging 56 suggests England have never really made the most of him.

Adil Rashid

Has approached something close to his best at this tournament, and is England’s meanest bowler, going at 5.13 an over. But Rehan Ahmed will need a good run-in to 2027, by which time Rashid will be 39.

The England team led by Jos Buttler, left, have endured a disastrous World Cup in India

Joe Root will nearly be 37 by the next World Cup so should focus on scoring runs in Tests

Ben Stokes should focus on leading the Bazball revolution when he returns from knee surgery

Joe Root

One of England’s greatest one-day players will be nearly 37 by the time the 2027 tournament begins, and should spend the rest of his career trying to score as many Test runs as possible. After two half-centuries, he has managed just 57 runs off 86 balls in six innings.

Ben Stokes

His century against the Dutch was a reminder of his enduring influence, but no one can say for sure how he will emerge from his knee operation, and the Bazball revolution should be his priority between now and whenever he quits.

David Willey

He made the decision himself by announcing his retirement with three games of the World Cup still to go. At least he has ended his England career strongly.

Chris Woakes

Has recovered well after a dreadful start to the World Cup, and proved his all-round worth against the Netherlands, but time is against him: he’ll be 35 in March.

Mark Wood

England made their offer of a three-year contract – gratefully accepted by Wood – with the 2025-26 Ashes in mind. For a bowler with such a chequered injury record, that should be his only priority.

David Willey has already confirmed his decision to retire from the England one-day team

The Ashes should be Mark Wood’s focus after accepting a three-year deal from the ECB

Please stay

Gus Atkinson

Should have played more than two games here, especially after outbowling most of his colleagues during the massacre in Mumbai against South Africa. Has the pace to step into Wood’s shoes.

Harry Brook

Like Atkinson, Brook’s bit-part status in India has reflected England’s conservative thinking. Yet his 66 against Afghanistan’s spinners said plenty about his class. A good cricket brain means he should be among the candidates to replace Buttler.

Jos Buttler

Despite a World Cup to forget, Buttler can become a world-class white-ball force again if he returns to the ranks. As a white-ball specialist, his age matters less – and England may need a senior or two to manage the transition.

Brydon Carse

Hasn’t played since arriving as Topley’s injury stand-in, but England still haven’t replaced Liam Plunkett in the middle overs, and Carse can bat too.

Reece Topley

If he ever stays fit and injury-free for long enough, Topley can lead the white-ball attack in both formats until the next World Cup. His opening spell against Bangladesh in Dharamshala was England’s best of the tournament.

Harry Brook should be among the candidates to succeed Buttler as England’s one-day captain

Buttler has had a World Cup to forget but should stay around to help ease England’s transition 

Jury’s out

Sam Curran

The player of the tournament at the last T20 World Cup, Curran has fallen out of favour in the 50-over side after three games here produced batting and bowling averages of 11 and 70. But, at 25, he has time to improve.

Liam Livingstone

Like Curran, Livingstone has not translated T20 prowess into 50-over effectiveness, failing to pass 27 with the bat and only once – against Afghanistan – pulling his weight with the ball. But the potential is tempting.

Liam Livingstone has failed to translate T20 form to the one-day game but has clear potential 

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