T20 World Cup: England have serious strengths but nagging concerns remain ahead of opener vs West Indies

Before the start of England’s campaign at the ICC T20 World Cup, 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 2.30 pm, Saturday live on Sky Sports Cricket

Can Eoin Morgan lead England to the T20 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates?

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

Carlos Brathwaite assured that the tournament of five years ago ended in the anguish of Eoin Morgan’s team, which had exceeded expectations with its 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.

On the eve of the Super 12, we look at England’s reasons for optimism, as well as issues that cause a bit of concern …

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 they would ask the question.

The 35-year-old southpaw scored just 49 runs in four T20 innings against Sri Lanka and Pakistan over the summer and there was no improvement during the latter 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. You will go through spells where each 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, be it for better or for worse, it tends to stay that way for some time.

So the good news for concerned England fans is that if Morgan gets into the rhythm in the upcoming games, history tells us that he is 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’s 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 just 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.

His tactical intelligence and 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.

Morgan has been desperately short of runs in recent months

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 in the England team is threatened.

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

Despite his healthy strike rate, Malan is something of a slow starter and since he often participates during the power game, even in good times when it seemed like he was racking up half a century every time he hit, there were questions about whether he was consuming too many deliveries during the best time to hit.

When Malan comes in, that scoring rate tends to go up pretty quickly, but when he can’t kick, the downside to his approach becomes very apparent with 18 and 11 of 15 balls in England’s two games. -up matches being prime examples.

Morgan has said Malan has a “great chance” of retaining his spot for the West Indies game, but if the races don’t come back soon, England has little chance of hitting in the top three.

Even with two of the top six battling lately and Stokes unavailable, England still possess a batting lineup with the power to match anywhere in the world, and given what India and the West Indies have at their disposal, that’s no small feat. thing. .

Jos Buttler is one of the world’s leading white ball hitters, averaging 51.47 in T20I since moving to the top of the order, and he showed no problems in his form with an overwhelming 73 against New Zealand, while that Jason Roy is another stalwart of England’s White Ball Revolution since 2015 and looked in good touch in his recent IPL season with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The list of explosive hitters goes on. Jonny Bairstow chose not to participate in the IPL but came back with a typically brutal blow against India, Liam Livingstone is coming from the summer of his life, both for England and in national cricket, while Moeen Ali played a vital role when Chennai Super Kings won the IPL and broke an undefeated 43 of 20 balls in the warm-up against India.

If Malan and Morgan can get back to their best, then an already formidable-looking lineup will need to stop.

At first glance, England really is not lacking in bowling options at the end of the innings. Chris Jordan has earned a reputation for being a highly reliable option at the time of death and was a key part of the race to the finals in 2016, while Chris Woakes also has a lot of experience in the role, albeit more in cricket than 50 years than in T20. on an international level.

Based on the warm-up matches, the two are likely tasked with throwing those crucial overs during the tournament, but neither have succeeded in the run-up, with India able to fight their way to victory with an over to spare and the tail. New Zealand brings them a little closer to their goal than England would have been comfortable with.

This is the area where England misses Archer the most. As shocking as it may be with the new ball, at Woakes, David Willey and Mark Wood, while more likely to use him as a hitter in the middle, have closers well-adapted to perform that task, while on the turning lanes. In the United Arab Emirates, touring is also an up-front option.

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