By Amindha de Alwis
ODI World Champions England with much of the same batting line-up that has terrorized white-ball bowlers over the last five years. They are missing the services of talismanic all-rounder and hero of the 2019 World Cup Final Ben Stokes, but Liam Livingstone’s emergence over the English summer could mean that Stokes’ absence is not felt too strongly.
The big miss for England is fast-bowler Jofra Archer whose elbow injury has rued him out for the rest of the year. They do, however, have Mark Wood in their ranks to provide extra pace while left-arm death bowing specialist Tymal Mills makes a return following an impressive showing in the T20 Blast and The Hundred.
In contrast to other teams in the competition, England has selected just two frontline spinners in their squad in Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. The nature of the pitches on show could require Livingstone to throw down a few of his mixed bad of leg-breaks and off-breaks.
England suffered a last-minute loss to their squad with Sam Curran injuring himself during the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but is replaced by his elder brother Tom who was previously a travelling reserve.
England’s batting is where there real strength lies with Jason Roy and Jos Buttler set to open followed by number one ranked batter Dawid Malan. Jonny Bairstow will fit in at four, followed by skipper Eoin Morgan. Morgan’s form would be the one major concern the team have on the batting front with the left-hander going through a dismal IPL on the same pitches which the tournament will be held on.
England can be expected to go far in the competition and are in with a genuine shout of claiming their second white-ball title in two years. Whether their bowlers can pull together without Jofra Archer in their ranks will be the big question.
Main photo: Tymal Mills is in line for his first T20I for England since 2018