Limited-overs marauders get set! The clock's ticking for the T20 World Cup, which is set to happen later this year and there are very few opportunities for youngsters to make a case for themselves for a place in the side. In recent years, England have been one of the better limited-overs sides under Eoin Morgan.
They even won their first-ever World Cup trophy in 2019 but that came in the 50-overs format. In the 20-over format, the margin for error is even lesser and anyone can beat any other team on a given day in this format which makes predicting a winner quite a difficult task. But can Morgan and the company go one step ahead and clinch the T20 World Cup for their country?
Here is an attempt to pick a Probable England squad for T20 World Cup 2021, assuming it indeed goes ahead this year and happens either in India or in the United Arab Emirates. It is to be noted that owing to the COVID-19 protocols, teams are travelling with jumbo squads and it is expected to the same scenario for this ICC event.
At the top of England's batting order, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler make for a delightful opening combo. They match each other stroke for stroke and have proved their batting talent around the world. While Buttler has enormous experience of playing in India and has performed well here, even Jason Roy showed glimpses of what he can do during their last tour to the country.
Other than that, there are no questions of the first choice number 3 despite it being a debated place. Dawid Malan is the number 1 batsman in the world for a reason and he is likely to play a key role if the Three Lions want to win their second ICC Trophy in 3 years. In addition, the name of Tom Banton can also be discussed and he could be kept as a reserve option to fit in anywhere in the top order.
One of the major strengths for this England team is their ability to go at the same tempo for the duration of the 20 overs. This means that even if they lose wickets in the middle, the next batter ensures that the momentum does not shift against them. That is where the role of middle-order becomes crucial. Not only to finish the innings set up by the top batters but even to take it forward at times when the other batters have departed trying to score at a brisk pace.
Jonny Bairstow at number 4 would be a perfect option in the preferred XI. Again, he has experience of playing in India and did remarkably well in the white-ball leg of England's recent tour of India. Following him would be the skipper himself Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes both of whom are automated selection choices.
Apart from the first-choice players, Moeen Ali should also find a place in the squad especially after whatever little the world saw of him in IPL 2021 for Chennai Super Kings. Sam Curran and Tom Curran are others, who should find a place in the jumbo squad for the marquee event of the shortest format of the game.
As far as the bowling attack is concerned, the Three Lions would be hoping that pacer Jofra Archer remains fit for the event. If fit, he will walk into the XI along with Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid. The spinner's role will become all more critical based on the venue, conditions and opposition.
Other than the above three bowling options, Mark Wood is also almost certain of securing a place in the side based on the kind of performances he has produced. Wood was also impressive against India during their last tour and that should work in his favour. Among other bowling options, Reece Topley can be considered especially since he gives the left-arm variety bringing in a different weapon in the armoury of the captain.
It is a shame that Joe Root is almost certain of missing out from the squad. Although he is a class player in Tests and ODIs, one hasn't quite seen the best of him in T20Is. In as many as 32 T20Is, he has scored at a healthy average of over 35 but has failed to match the strike rate demands of the shortest format scoring 893 runs at 126.31. In the recent past also, he hasn't done anything to merit a selection ahead of the batters already in the team. It could also be a marginal call for someone like Sam Billings but he is definitely closer to getting a T20I call than Root.
England's Probable Squad for T20 World Cup
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, Mark Wood, David Willey.