The angst and pain of missing out on another T20 World Cup title at the final hurdle five years back will be fresh within the England camp. The three lions will be desperate to go an extra mile this time and reclaim the coveted crown.
England have been a resurgent white-ball side in the last six years and are entering the tournament as one of the favourites. They look set to make the top 4 from Super 12 Group 1 and could very well be lifting the prestigious title on November 14 in Dubai.
At the Super 12 stage, England will be taking on the mighty West Indies in their opening game on October 23 in Dubai. They’ll also be locking horns with arch-rivals Australia on October 30 at the same ground. Either side of that, the three lions will face preliminary qualifier B2 in Abu Dhabi (Oct 27) and A1 (November 1, Sharjah). They’ll round-off the Super 12s with a fixture against darkhorse South Africa (Nov 4, Sharjah).
Captain: Eoin Morgan
Head coach: Chris Silverwood
Claim To Fame: champions (2010), runners-up (2016)
England Squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (vc & wk), Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Reserves: Liam Dawson, James Vince, Reece Topley
Strengths: A powerpacked batting unit with great depth and multiple all-rounders in the first-choice XI are two of England’s biggest strengths. While the availability of Bairstow, Roy, Buttler within a top 6 poses a scary challenge for opposition attacks, the presence of Moeen, Willey, Woakes gives England’s lower middle-order the level of robustness that other teams would envy. Also, Adil Rashid is a solid wristspin option to have for the Super 12 oppositions that England will be bowling to.
Area of Concern: There are two actually. The middle-order and fast-bowling. The extended rough patch with the bat that captain Morgan has gone through has led to question marks over his place in the side from certain corners, which doesn’t make it the best of times for him to be a leading a side at the T20 World Cup. Malan and Livingstone can be two key players if they get going for England but while the former has often been a slow, uncertain starter, the latter is yet to really settle into the side.
With Ben Stokes missing, both the departments don’t look as strong as they could be for England. Stokes’ presence would’ve helped to not just cover up for some of the middle-order chinks but also the flaws on the bowling front.
England have tried to make up for all stages of the innings by selecting Woakes, Willey, Wood and giving Mills a comeback. But with Stokes and more pertinently, Jofra Archer, not being there, each of those will be feeling extra pressure to deliver the goods. Morgan doesn’t have too many four-over banks up his sleeves.
Key England Players
1. Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow is heading into the T20 World Cup as one of the world’s best contemporary white-ball openers. The aggressive right-hander has been scoring truckloads of runs for England at brisk pace at the top of the order. Since the end of the last edition of the T20 World Cup, Bairstow has made 948 T20I runs for England at a strike-rate of 145.17. He was also in amazing form during the Indian leg of IPL 2021 and the home international summer versus Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
2. Jos Buttler
Buttler, the star wicketkeeper-batter, will be feeling refreshed heading into the T20 World Cup after skipping the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Buttler is easily one of the most dangerous willow-holders around in limited-overs cricket. The right-hander is England’s second-highest run-scorer in the five-year span since the last T20 World Cup with 1,032 runs at an average of 38.22 and strike-rate of 139.45. Be it at the top or the middle-order, with Buttler around, bowlers can never feel safe and secured ahead of a game against England.
3. Moeen Ali
In spin-friendly conditions, Moeen Ali the all-rounder and the utility he provides becomes that much more important. Moeen can powerhit the ball from the middle-order and back that up with a tight four-over spell, which makes him a great package to have when in form and feeling confident. Moeen has a T20 career strike-rate of 140.28 and an economy rate of 7.60.
Probable England Playing XI for T20 World Cup 2021
Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (vc & wk), Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Tymal Mills