The start of the Cricket World Cup today marks the beginning of a great summer of cricket, doesn’t it? It’s what the nation needs.

For cricket lovers and cricket players, it doesn’t get any better than having the World Cup in England and then a home Ashes series in the same year.

England start their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval, and the nice thing there is England will be used to the ground because they play at The Oval regularly. It’s a great pitch and I would rate it as the best one in the country, along with Trent Bridge.

So to have a partisan Oval crowd supporting England in their opening game, hopefully, our fearless batting line-up can go out and get 370, 380 or 390. We have good depth in all areas of the squad.

I think the England players are in such a good place that, people may talk about them being under pressure by being tagged as favourites to win the tournament, but I don’t think that will matter to England right now. For them, they are in such a good space they just need to make sure they execute their skills because they all seem to be playing at a really high level at the moment.

Ahead of the start of the competition, England played warm-up fixtures against Australia on Saturday, losing by 12 runs at The Ageas Bowl, before they beat Afghanistan by nine wickets on Monday. But I wouldn’t read too much into those results.

We rested some players, as well, so I don’t think it means that much.

It’s more about people feeling confident and making sure everybody has a game, so those who could end up on the periphery of the squad get the opportunity to gain some match fitness, just in case there is an injury and they are called into the starting line-up.

It also helps to get the players’ bodies used to playing matches in quite quick succession. If captain Eoin Morgan wins the toss, it will be interesting to see what he wants to do.

Generally, I think it’s good to look to do what you consider to be your strength under pressure, but it will be interesting to see how England approach it.

Against Afghanistan, Jason Roy enjoyed a fantastic knock as he scored 89 not out. So, they could well look to bat first and then, hopefully, there will be a few foot holes around for the likes of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to use to turn the ball in when the pitch is maybe 70 or 80 overs old.

In saying that, South Africa have experienced bowler Imran Tahir as their main spin option. He bowls mostly googlies, rather than leg-spin. England have some good players of spin, though. They can sweep pretty well.

The Oval is usually quite a bouncy pitch which will allow England to play him off the back foot a little bit more than they normally would. You can almost play him as though he is an off-spinner. At The Oval, you can almost go right back on your stumps because the pitch allows you to play off the back foot more than you can on most other pitches.

When bowlers are bowling at a length where it would usually be going on to hit the middle of the wickets, this is hitting the top of the bails - or even going over the top - with the extra bounce. It should be a high-scoring game on that track.

As I have mentioned previously, I think Quinton de Kock is a serious player, he is a world-class cricketer.

If he gets in on a good pitch like the one at The Oval, then good luck England, because he can take the game away from them very, very quickly because he is a dangerous player.

So, we have to be on it because they can get off to a flyer if we are not.