Mark Wood in, Tom Curran out? Our England team for the T20 Cricket World Cup
It wasn’t that long ago when England were a laughing stock when it came to white-ball cricket. Fast forward just a mere five years and we are ODI World Champions, have an abundance of quality limited over players, and will go into next year’s IT20 World Cup as one of the favourites.
On the recent tour in South Africa, the T20 won the three-game series 3-nil. England were playing at a different level to the Proteas, especially with the bat.
World number one Dawid Malan showed why England have no option but to play him. The issue they have is that they need to try and fit Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and captain Eoin Morgan into the top 6. The way they managed this was by playing all of them. It is no doubt the strongest top order ever seen in International T20 cricket.
They then packed the middle order with all-rounders Sam Curran, Chris Jordan and Tom Curran, with Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid batting at 10 and 11 respectively.
This is a lot of batting, and a lot of bowling, and why would you think about changing a team that has just won convincingly abroad? The answer is Mark Wood. The pitches are a lot quicker and flatter in Australia and medium pace bowlers can get heavily punished.
Although his record isn’t great in T20 cricket, some of the bowlers really struggled in South Africa, especially Tom Curran. From not playing much previously, brother Sam has gone ahead of Tom for us. He offers more with the bat and looks far more consistent with the ball.
England seem to like Chris Jordan too. A lot like Tom Curran, when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong. He will, however, save you 10-15 runs in the field. It’s a toss of a coin between the two.
I feel batsman now set themselves up differently in T20 cricket, preparing for a slower delivery every ball so this is no longer the threat it once was. Yorkers are still the best delivery, but if you miss those at under 80mph, it turns into a juicy full-toss or half-volley.
With all that said, there are other players who will try and get into this team. Notably Sam Billings, who has unfortunately played in an era when England are inundated with top-class wicket-keeper batsmen.
So what would our team be for the T20 World Cup? You have probably have guessed.
We would keep the top six batsmen. With this team, England should be confident of chasing any total and setting some huge ones if batting first. They also have two options of raw speed which will be a good weapon Down Under.
The Venatour XI for the T20 Cricket World Cup:
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