Squad review - England

The good news is that no matter what you feel about England, they will be fun to watch whether they do well or flame out dramatically again.

Squad review - England
Picture Credits - Getty Images

Defending champions England have been one of the best limited-overs teams in the world since 2015. In 2022, they became the first men’s team to hold the World Cups in both formats. They will enter the 2024 T20 World Cup as one of the favourites.

Although their defense (or attack) of the ODI World Cup last year did not go well, they were pretty honest saying they had not prepared well for that tournament. They also seem like a much better T20 team because they are versatile, have plenty of power. With Jofra Archer back, they have a lot more bowling. Ben Stokes will not be around, so they lose their big game energy. 

Captain Jos Buttler has been a key figure in England’s white-ball revolution. He opens the batting with Phil Salt, followed by Will Jacks at three. That is a lot of power at the top. 

Buttler’s IPL form was a bit all over the place, he’s ever made game bending hundreds or looked out of form. But he had a couple of good games against Pakistan in the most recent home series.

A left-field thought could be to have Salt and Jacks open the batting to maximise the powerplay. Buttler is certainly versatile enough to bat at three, given his record in the middle overs. In fact, he has even batted once each at numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 for England in T20Is since the last T20 World Cup.

Although Bairstow opened the batting during the IPL, he is set to bat at number four in the T20 World Cup. Again, he has not looked his best since his injury, except the hundred vs KKR in the IPL.

Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, and Moeen Ali form the rest of their batting unit. They can be flexible with their positions depending on each batter’s ideal entry points. However, Livingstone was not in great form in the ongoing IPL, while Moeen did not have much batting time in the tournament. 

Archer’s comeback strengthens England’s pace attack. Rob Key explained his importance, and said that his progress was being tracked. He is one of the few genuine all-phase bowlers in the world.

In the playing XI against Scotland, Archer will take the new ball along with Moeen Ali or Mark Wood. Adil Rashid will operate through the middle overs along with Livingstone, and they could also bowl their pacers in this phase. Chris Jordan and Archer will round things up at the death. They can also utilize Jacks as a matchup option.

England’s top seven has multiple bowling options and they bat deep, which gives them a lot of flexibility. It will be fun to see how they try and whack the ball on some of the slow West Indian surfaces. 

If they want to go batting heavy, they also have an option to play Sam Curran. The allrounder was the Player of the Tournament in the last T20 World Cup, but he is not in the playing XI in their first match against Scotland. He did not have a great IPL on either side of the ball.

On spin-friendly surfaces, they can call on Tom Hartley to replace one of the quicks. Reece Topley and Ben Duckett are the other two players in the squad. Topley adds value with the new ball, while Duckett is a backup batter.

The good news is that no matter what you feel about England, they will be fun to watch whether they do well or flame out dramatically again. A win for cricket.