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T20 World Cup 2022: England Preview – Predicted XI, Strengths, Weaknesses & More

T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

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The record books will portray England as a team that has not lifted the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup since 2010, but if the other sides were asked which style they are basing their approach on ahead of the 2022 edition of the competition, most might name the Three Lions.

The ‘template setters’ are, quite unsurprisingly, one of the firm favourites to get their hands on the coveted silverware this time around. They have the ammunition, but as highlighted by the defeats in their 23 T20I matches, the fireworks in England’s armoury can often backfire, making their performances range from the most exemplary to the astonishingly baffling.

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In this article, we will take a closer look at the past performances, strengths, weaknesses, and more in the England side:

Past Performances

England’s T20 World Cup performances can be grouped into two eras. The first era comprises the five editions till 2014, where England did manage to win the trophy in 2010, but could not make it out of the Super 8 or Super 10 on all of the other occasions.

They have performed much better in the second era, that is, after 2014 – albeit without a trophy to substantiate the claim. They lost a dramatic final in 2016, before succumbing to a semi-final defeat in 2021.

Strengths

England like to go gung-ho with the bat quite frequently. It is a dangerous manoeuvre, one that comes with a significant risk of failure, but the Three Lions would not have been successful in implementing their ‘methodical madness’ approach, had it not been for their openers.

For a team to keep on firing all cylinders consistently, the men at the top need to possess the right mix of reliability and razzmatazz – something England marvels at.
T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

Jos Buttler and Alex Hales are the leaders of England's batting style.

(Photo: The Quint)

Among the opening batters, Jos Buttler has both the highest strike rate and the highest BASRA (batting average + strike rate aggregate) since the last T20 World Cup.

With Jason Roy’s form not being up to the necessary standards, the English management swiftly replaced him with Alex Hales, and so far, the move has shown all the aspects of becoming a masterstroke. Despite returning to international cricket after a long break, Hales has never looked off-colour since his comeback. Instead, his strike rate of 143.42 since his return is the fifth-highest among the openers over the last eleven months.

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T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

England's batting depth can only be matched by a few teams.

(Photo: The Quint)

Besides a powerful opening pair, the Three Lions also boast of an incredibly deep batting line-up, which doubles up as an exceptional assemblage of all-rounders. Batters between number five to number eight have scored 1185 runs for England since the last T20 World Cup – a figure which sees them second on the list, behind only India.

Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran have combined to score 755 of those runs, while besides helping the team with the bat, they also have picked 39 wickets in these eleven months.

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Weaknesses

While England have been styling their game around the ultimate goal of scoring mammoth totals for a while now, it is gradually becoming more of a compulsion than a conscious choice, owing to their bowling frailties.

The English bowlers have not proven to be as trustworthy as Jos Buttler would ideally want them to be, and to be more specific, it is their death bowling numbers which will be a cause of concern for both the skipper and the coaching staff.

T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

Death bowling has emerged as a significant cause of concern for England.

(Photo: The Quint)

Since the last T20 World Cup, six English bowlers have bowled a minimum of five overs at the death (between overs 16-20), with four of them being a part of the squad for the upcoming event, and one being named on the standby list. None of those six bowlers have been able to record a death overs economy rate of under nine runs per over.

T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

England's 'death overs specialist,' Chris Jordan has not been very reliable of late.

(Photo: Twitter/T20WorldCup)

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Besides that, lack of experience could also haunt the English team, especially their bowling contingent. Australia’s Mitchell Starc, New Zealand’s Tim Southee and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin have all played over 10 matches in the T20 World Cup.

Even the likes of Rashid Khan, Ish Sodhi and Adam Zampa have racked up 10+ caps in this competition. As for England’s bowling department, however, Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan are the only two players who have had a taste of the big platform.

Mark Wood, Reece Topley and Sam Curran are expected to form a formidable pace trio for the Three Lions, but they share a combined four T20 World Cup appearances among them.
T20 World Cup 2022: The 'template setters' have firepower in their armoury, but need to ensure it doesn't backfire.

Inexperience at the big stage could haunt England.

(Photo: The Quint)

Even in the batting department, the likes of Harry Brook and Phil Salt might have been in sublime touch of late, but this experience will be new for them, as it will be their debut T20 World Cup campaign. England are, as the numbers prove, banking on players to deliver who might have impressed in bilateral tours, but whether they will be successful in replicating the same in a multi-nation ICC event or not, remains to be seen.

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X-Factor

Picking X-Factors from the current crop of England’s T20 players should not really be a challenging task for any cricket enthusiast. In Jos Buttler, they have arguably the most intimidating opener in this format. In Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone, they have two outstanding all-rounders.

Stokes and Liam Livingstone, they have two outstanding all-rounders. Yet, if we are to pick one trump card from the pack, it will be Moeen Ali – the tireless worker whose profile might not be as lucrative to the eye, but statistics prove his immense importance.
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Since the last T20 World Cup, only three cricketers have been able to score 300+ runs while picking up a minimum of 10 wickets.

With Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza and India’s Hardik Pandya, Ali completes the list, having recorded a batting average of 32.71 and a bowling average 25.91. Versatility further adds to his strengths, as he can be sent to bat at any given position.

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Predicted Playing XI

Jos Buttler (captain), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Sam Curran/Reece Topley, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid.

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