World Cup T20: England have serious strengths, but lingering concerns remain ahead of the opener against the West Indies

Sam Drury


Final Update: 22/10/21 8:30pm

Before the start of England’s ICC T20 World Cup campaign, we looked at some of the strengths of a team aiming to lift the trophy and areas of concern; Watch England vs West Indies from 2.30pm, Saturday live on Sky Sports Cricket

England will begin their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against the West Indies on Saturday in a replay of the 2016 final.

Carlos Brathwaite said that the tournament five years ago ended in the anguish of Eoin Morgan’s team, who had exceeded expectations with their way to the final, but, in the years since, England have established themselves as one of the teams to beat. in white ball cricket. .

After glory at the 50+ World Cup at home in 2019, England are now aiming to become the first team to own the 50+ and T20 titles at the same time.

The absences of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran have made the task very difficult, but England remains one of the favorites to leave the United Arab Emirates in mid-November with the trophy.

Morgan has been desperately short of runs in recent months
Morgan has been desperately short of runs in recent months

It’s not a great sign when the captain has to talk about willingness to retire if necessary before the start of a major tournament, but, such is Morgan’s way with the bat, it was inevitable that he would be asked the question.

The 35-year-old left-hander scored just 49 runs in four T20 innings against Sri Lanka and Pakistan over the summer and there was no improvement during the later stages of the IPL, where he averaged just 11 and recorded four ducks for Kolkata Knight. Riders. It is far from ideal.

Yet over the years, the Irishman has proven to be, perhaps, the best hitter in the feast or hunger. He will go through spells where every race, inning after inning, seems like hard work and then, seemingly out of nowhere, everything will fall into place and the races will flow. Once the tide turns, either for better or for worse, he tends to stay that way for some time.

So the good news for concerned England fans is that if Morgan gets into the groove in the upcoming games, history tells us he’s likely to stick with it throughout the tournament and beyond.

Of course, the meager returns can continue, but it’s hard to see England lose their World Cup winning patron. Whether he is scoring runs or not, Morgan is one of the best white ball captains in world cricket and he has proven it time and time again. He only has to go back to the recently concluded IPL to get the final tests, he barely scored a run and yet managed to lead KKR to the final.

Dawid Malan is the No 1-ranked T20 batter in the world but is under pressure for his place at No 3
Dawid Malan is the No 1-ranked T20 batter in the world but is under pressure for his place at No 3

His tactical intelligence and his composure on the field are enough to guarantee a place in XI, but a return to form with the bat would still be a huge boost for England.

Drop the world’s number one hitter?
Dawid Malan averages 43.19 with a century, 11 fifties and a strike rate of a fraction below 140 in T20 international matches. He is also the number one T20 hitter on the planet and yet his place on the England team is threatened.

That speaks to the hitting talent England has at his disposal, we’ll get to that shortly, but also a premature drop in form that has put his focus on sharp focus.

Past success may not guarantee anything, but having that lived experience of what it takes is a very valuable commodity. They have the talent and if, as they hope, England are at the sharpest end of the competition, it could be that knowledge of previous triumphs on the world stage that pushes them to the limit.

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