Weakened, but strong enough
|Matches: 32 Won: 15 Lost: 16 Tied: 0 No Result: 1|
Heading into the T20 World Cup as the number one side in the format, England will definitely be one of the contenders for the title. The Eoin Morgan-led side -- who finished as runners-up in the last T20 World Cup after West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite's last-over carnage in the final in Kolkata -- will look to go a step further this time around. Interestingly, in their pursuit of a second T20 World Cup title, the first hurdle they need to cross will be defending champions West Indies, with their opener set for October 23 in Dubai. England will dearly miss the services of pacer Jofra Archer, who has been sidelined for the rest of the year with an elbow injury, and all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is still on an indefinite break from cricket as he prioritises his mental health. Nevertheless, England boast a dynamic batting attack and a well-rounded bowling department, including leggie Adil Rashid, currently number four in the ICC T20I bowling rankings. It will not be a surprise to see England add another piece of silverware alongside the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 in their trophy cabinet.
In Jos Buttler, one of the most dependable and feared T20I players around the globe, and number-one ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan alongside in-form Liam Livingstone, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and skipper Eoin Morgan, England's batting order emboldens English fans and neutrals who wish to witness thrilling high-scoring contests. To complement that with all-rounders like Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali, who can add more firepower down the order when necessary, makes England's formidable batting line-up all the more enviable.
Although it seems like England have what it could take to go all the way, the absence of pacer Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes could see their boat capsize at some point. If nothing, Archer and Stokes' unavailability has undoubtedly diminished the prowess of their pace bowling unit, which now features Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, Tom Curran, all-rounder Chris Woakes and the less experienced Tymal Mills.
THE BUTTLER SUPREMACY
In the eight T20Is that Jos Buttler played for England in 2021, the wicketkeeper-batsman scored 320 runs at an average of 53.33 and 137.33 strike rate. He remained the highest-run getter for England this year.
SURPRISE INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
The inclusion of left-arm quick Tymal Mills was the biggest surprise. Mills has not donned England's blue since his appearance in a T20I against India in February 2017. However, it was his performances in the latest T20 Blast and the inaugural season of The Hundred, in which he conceded 1.14 runs per ball and scalped eight wickets to help Southern Brave win the championship, that helped his cause.
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Reece Topley, Liam Dawson, James Vince