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Unfamiliarity awaits England in the World T20

Morgan, England, World T20
Morgan is the only member of England’s unit to have played in the Indian Premier League.

England Captain Eoin Morgan has been attempting to temper expectations ahead of the World Twenty tournament in India. In a role reversal since ICC tournaments past, England – on paper at least – have a side filled with players of an aggressive disposition. It’s worth noting that despite an upswing in their limited overs fortunes over the past year, only three of England’s 15-man squad have played more than 15 T20Is.

The aforementioned Morgan is the only member of England’s unit to have played in the Indian Premier League. Only four more of them have ever played International cricket in India previously, and such inexperience is bound to adversely affect the side in crunch situations – a likely scenario the way the World T20 is designed. The ECBs reluctance to provide their players a window for the Indian Premier League since its inception may ultimately decide whether England are in contention for a place in the semi-finals.

With Steven Finn having to withdraw from the tournament due to injury, England are overly reliant on their batsmen to lead them to victory, namely the ever-dependable Joe Root, the explosive Alex Hales and true match-winners in Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. If England’s batting unit exudes confidence, their bowling unit will fill you with dread. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are sub-par spinners on their best days while Chris Jordan seems to be made a bunny in every match he plays. How Jordan has retained his place in the squad, in lieu of the world’s best bowler Stuart Broad, remains a mystery to this day.

What we can expect

One year ago England suffered an ignominious exit to Bangladesh in the 50-over World Cup. With teams qualifying directly from the Super 10s to the semi-finals in the World T20, such an embarrassment seems unlikely. One thing is clear – England will have to bat a lot better than each off South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and a qualifier to have a chance to progress. On current form the Three Lions should ease past the Lankans but would struggle to tackle both South Africa and the Windies. Yet, the experience that their youthful squad will gain will prove invaluable in the years to come.

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