T20 World Cup: Failure not an option for England after 50-over disaster, but defending champions look strong | cricket news

As far as defending the World Cup title goes, it really couldn’t have turned out worse.

England’s over-50s disaster in India last autumn was on par with France’s defense of the 2002 World Cup, when Les Blues were eliminated in the first round without scoring a goal.

The 2023 England Cricket World Cup was full of goals: own goals. He felt as if they were constantly throwing balls into their own goal in some perverse, unconscious act of self-sabotage.

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Captain Jos Buttler says England have learned from their heartbreaking 50-over World Cup title defense in India last year.

Selection confusion reigned before the competition with Jason Roy in the team then out and Harry Brook out then in.

Some mind-blowing decisions were made during the event. The call to play South Africa first in a sweltering Mumbai still sends shivers down the spine when you think about it.

There was also the saga that it became public that all-rounder David Willey would not be given a new central contract despite being in the XI and being one of the few players performing.

Error after error and defeat after defeat.

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Watch the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 live on Sky Sports, culminating in the final in Barbados on June 29.

Six defeats in their first seven matches ended England’s tournament in the group stage and they needed to win their final two matches just to avoid the ignominy of missing out on the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan. In the end it was little consolation.

Not all mistakes should be squarely blamed on coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler, and victory in the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022 meant the duo had credit in the bank.

But if England endure another poor overall tournament, this time in the West Indies in the T20 World Cup (their first match is against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday from 3.30pm UK), then it is difficult to see Mott and Buttler keeping their jobs.

England T20 World Cup schedule

  • vs Scotland (Barbados) – Tuesday, June 4 (3:30 p.m.)
  • against Australia (Barbados) – Saturday, June 8 (6:00 p.m.)
  • vs Oman (Antigua) – Thursday, June 13 (8:00 p.m.)
  • vs Namibia (Ancient) – Saturday, June 15 (6:00 p.m.)

With the playing resources at their disposal, failure, which is likely to amount to something less than the semi-finals, is not an option.

In a summer when decisions will be made about the country’s future leadership (the date of July 4 rings…) Mott and Buttler require a strong campaign.

There is every reason to suggest they will enjoy one after a reasonable build-up in their home constituency with two warm-up T20 victories over Pakistan, the second of them in emphatic style.

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Former England captain Eoin Morgan says there could be changes to the leadership group if the team struggles in the T20 World Cup

Powerful batting and a fit Archer again

That wasn’t always the opinion, mind you.

After two failures in the first three games of the four-match series against Pakistan and the final match at the Kia Oval under threat due to a sudden deluge, the wisdom of taking players out of the IPL to watch the rain was questioned. .

In the end everything went well. The precipitation passed. Mark Wood pitched fast. Adil Rashid played wonderfully. Butler and Phil Salt broke boundaries. England won at a canter in the capital.

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Michael Atherton says England should be considered one of the favorites to win the T20 World Cup

Over the course of that match and the second T20 at Edgbaston, all the key players got runs on the board or overs under their belt.

This buildup feels different than 2023. Better. Softer. Calmer. While T20 cricket is often a vehicle for chaos, England come into this World Cup with a sense of calm, knowing who they will play and how they will play.

The top seven are chosen: Buttler – who is arguably the best white-ball batsman in the world – Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, a slimmer Harry Brook, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone, with the top four on that list fresh from a star turn or more in the IPL.

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Virat Kohli watched in amazement from the other end as England’s Will Jacks smashed a 41-ball century for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the IPL.

Butler crushed two tons. Bairstow and Jacks, one each. Salt scored over 400 runs and four fifties for Kolkata Knight Riders. Stand-in batsman Ben Duckett will only slot into that group in case of injury or if England want another left-hander at some point in addition to Moeen.

Livingstone, Rashid and Moeen will provide the spin bowling, while the seam attack will be bolstered by the already fit Jofra Archer. He makes a big difference, he brings a new dimension. Rhythm, presence, variations, death bowling. The whole thing.

England have the option of pairing him and fellow fast Wood in the same XI – a tempting prospect – but former captain Eoin Morgan said, certainly before Wood’s fiery spell at the Kia Oval last Thursday, that he would not go for that road against Scotland in Bridgetown. on Tuesday.

He chose Reece Topley to join the Barbados-born couple, Archer and Chris Jordan, due to Topley’s extra height.

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Sky Sports pundit Morgan picks his England team to face Scotland in their T20 World Cup opener in Barbados on Tuesday.

Jordan also deserves a mention.

This writer stupidly didn’t even consider him as a World Cup option after he was excluded from December’s T20 tour of the West Indies, but the 35-year-old is back now, providing free hands and a Amazing athleticism in the deep and nous of death bowling.

Jordan, who likely saw a place open up in the team following the ill-timed stress fracture in the back of fellow Surrey all-rounder Jamie Overton, also adds lower-order knocks. With him and Archer in the line-up, England’s batting is deeper than a tighthead’s pockets.

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Watch Chris Jordan’s stunning catch against Pakistan from all angles as he took a blinder off The Kia Ova in the final T20.

Add to that England’s recent experience with Caribbean conditions during the pre-Christmas tour, in which Salt cemented his place with successive centuries; the presence of former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard on the coaching staff; and the fact that their starting group, bar Australia, could have been tougher, and confidence should be high.

How big a mistake will Stokes make for England?

Then what could go wrong?

Well, we have to see how England react if they suffer an early stutter (they were terrible at that in India last year) and how they handle potentially heavy surfaces.

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Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain believe Ben Stokes missing the T20 World Cup to focus on the County Championship is the right decision for him.

Ben Stokes is a master at assessing a situation, figuring out how to complete chases in difficult situations, often on difficult fields.

We only need to go back to the 2019 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s and the 2022 T20 World Cup final at the MCG to see that. He also saw England record a nervous victory over Sri Lanka in the opening rounds in Australia two years ago, when elimination was a real danger.

But Stokes isn’t here this time as he focuses on getting back to full fitness after knee surgery. The Test captain could be a monumental failure if the games get tough.

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Watch highlights from the T20 World Cup 2022 final as England beat Pakistan by five wickets at the MCG

Archer, Wood and Topley also don’t have stellar injury records and one of their potential replacements, Sam Curran, is nowhere near the kind of form he was in two years ago when he was named T20 World Cup Player of the Match and Player of the Match. the final against Pakistan after taking 3-12 in four overs.

However, on the whole, England’s strengths seem to outweigh its weaknesses.

Even in a tournament as volatile as the T20 World Cup, which tends not to follow rankings and recent form like the 50-over World Cup does, Buttler’s team should be seen as one of the favourites, along with India and the tournament’s perennial winners, Australia. .

Success is achievable. And for Buttler and Mott, failure is not an option.

England begin their T20 World Cup title defense against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday (first ball at 3.30pm) and Ireland will play India in New York on Wednesday (also at 3.30pm).

Watch every match of the Men’s T20 World Cup live on Sky Sports from now until June 29. Stream the contract for free with NOW.

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