England’s T20 International Summer Round-Up and World Cup Preview

Wide angle photo of cricket pitch at night
Vinay Patel

With England’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign getting underway in less than a fortnight, white-ball coach, Matthew Mott, has a lot to ponder after an intense summer of cricket. Vinay Patel gets us up to speed on all things cricket.

The retirement of captain Eoin Morgan in June was symbolic of the Three Lions entering their period of transition in white-ball cricket. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were keen to kickstart this new era by appointing Jos Buttler as Morgan’s successor. Fresh off the back of a successful IPL campaign in the Spring with both bat and gloves, Buttler stands out as one of the more experienced members of the T20 side and looks to be the man to usher England to new heights.

India (home)
Their first opponents were India at the Ageas Bowl. England were swiftly thrashed after responding to India’s total of 198 with 148, in which debut captain Buttler departed for a golden duck.

Struggling Jason Roy […] fell victim to a Bhuvneshwar Kumar golden duck

Looking to bounce back at Edgbaston, 34-year-old debut Richard Gleeson proved himself worthy of selection, taking 3 wickets and only conceding 15 runs. Chris Jordan also claimed a ‘four-for’ to limit India to 170. However, this time it was the struggling Jason Roy who fell victim to a Bhuvneshwar Kumar golden duck. Buttler departed for just 4 runs, while consistent wicket taking from the Indian bowlers meant that England were bowled out for a sorry 121, condemning the hosts to a series loss.

Fortunately, England managed to lift the spirits with a win in the final match at Trent Bridge, with Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Reece Topley the standout players.

South Africa (home)
Next up was South Africa at Bristol, in which a strong batting performance propelled England to a total of 234, with Jonny Bairstow making 90 and Moeen Ali boasting a quickfire 52 from just 18 deliveries. The Proteas tried to muster a response, as seen through Tristan Stubbs’ gallant innings of 72 off 28 deliveries, but an all-round bowling performance gave England a deserved victory.

The second game at Cardiff saw a poor bowling performance result in South Africa setting England a total of 207 to win. However, it seemed that the Three Lions were not up to the task and were quickly bowled out for a tame 149 in just under 17 overs.

Seeing a dismal England bowled out for just 101

With the series level pegging, the winner was to be decided at the Ageas Bowl. Another poor bowling performance from England meant the Proteas posted a total of 191, with David Willey boasting the only impressive spell of 3-25. Ultimately, Buttler’s men fell to Tabraiz Shamsi’s sword, who claimed an impressive 5 wicket haul that rounded off an impressive series comeback, seeing a dismal England bowled out for just 101.

Pakistan (away)
With it being the first time England had toured Pakistan in 17 years, it only seemed fitting for there to be a mammoth 7-game T20 series that featured some big squad changes for both sides. The first game ended in a comfortable 6-wicket victory for England, with both Alex Hales and Harry Brook contributing 53 and 42 respectively, while Luke Wood shone with the ball producing figures of 3-24. The same could not be said for the second game though, as the hosts cruised to a 10-wicket win, chasing down 199.

An all round team performance ensured England comfortably chased down 169

England were quick to bounce back in the third match, as Ben Duckett and Harry Brook’s aggressive totals of 70 and 81 respectively laid a solid foundation. Mark Wood was to then capitalise, with figures of 3-24 as England won by 63 runs. The fourth game was closely contested but Rizwan’s knock of 88 proved vital as Pakistan won by just 3 runs to level the series.

The following game saw the likes of Mark Wood restrict the hosts to just 145, but despite Moeen Ali’s 51, England fell short. The penultimate game saw Phil Salt stand out with a brilliant 88 runs off just 41 deliveries, as an all round team performance ensured England comfortably chased down 169, leaving the series to be decided in the final game. With England put into bat first, the top order all played a hand in their total of 209. Dawid Malan stood out making 78*, alongside Harry Brook’s 46*. Chris Woakes spearheaded the bowling attack, getting figures of 3-26 as England cruised to a series victory over the hosts.

World Cup Preview

So what are the questions that remain for England? An issue quickly established itself in September, as star batsman Jonny Bairstow suffered a lower limb injury while playing golf, which ruled him out of the upcoming tournament. Such a devastating blow for the Three Lions left them scrambling to find his replacement, to wit Alex Hales has been recalled for the first time in over three years after he was excluded from England’s squad for the 2019 World Cup due to failing a drugs test.

Having recently retired from one-day internationals, Ben Stokes still remains committed to T20 internationals and, as one of the most experienced players in the squad, he will no doubt bear the responsibility of guiding newcomers such as Harry Brook and Phil Salt.

England’s strength perhaps lies in the middle order

Issues remain over the inconsistent form of the top order, including skipper Jos Buttler, who will attempt to condition his batsmen in time for the World Cup. England’s strength perhaps lies in the middle order and all-rounders: to be more specific, with Stokes, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and the heavy hitting Liam Livingstone ready to be called upon.

Finally, it seems that Mott and Buttler have opted for experience with the ball, as the likes of Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood all return for England. But one newcomer to look out for is Reece Topley. It remains to be seen where England rank amongst the potential contenders for the World Cup; but one thing that will never falter is the unwavering support they have behind them and the hope that they can find it within themselves.  


The current holders and now hosts of the upcoming tournament, it would be naïve not to label them as favourites. The Kangaroos still boast the likes David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and skipper Aaron Finch, while fast bowlers Michell Starc, Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis will look to exploit the renowned dry pitches they are native to. Notably, the Aussies have made an exciting addition to their squad with big hitter Tim David effectively securing his place in the starting XI, making him a player to look out for.


There is much to look forward to for Indian fans

After a disappointing group stage exit in last year’s tournament, new coach Rahul Dravid will work with Rohit Sharma to ensure a serious trophy charge. Both will be respectively coaching and captaining India in their first major tournament. The Asia Cup and recent T20 internationals indicate that Virat Kohli may be entering form at the right time after a lengthy spell of bad form with the bat.

India have recently suffered a major injury blow however, with star bowler Jasprit Bumrah suffering a back injury, ruling him out of the tournament.  Nonetheless, there is much to look forward to for Indian fans as Suryakumar Yadav will attempt to continue his glittering form in the top order, while youngster Arshdeep Singh aims to fill the gaping boots of Bumrah with the ball.

Last tournament’s semi-finalists certainly have plenty of reasons to believe they can emerge as winners this time round. The imperious opening partnership of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan at the top of the order is enough to frighten any bowler, while the returning Shaheen Afridi is a sure-fire contender for the tournament’s leading wicket taker. However, middle order woes continue to trouble Pakistan, something they will need to resolve quickly if they are to top last year’s run.

New Zealand

The Kiwis will look to regroup, and this time go all the way

After coming agonisingly close to yet another World Cup trophy last tournament, the Kiwis will look to regroup, and this time go all the way. Captain Kane Williamson has ensured his side have quality all round the pitch, starting with the likes of batsmen Martin Guptill and Devon Conway. They also remain more than equipped at the other end, as Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult form what is surely a world class fast bowling unit.

Vinay Patel

Featured image courtesy of Aksh yadav via Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In article image 1 courtesy of @englandcricket via No changes were made to this image. 

In article image 2 courtesy of @englandcricket via No changes were made to this image. 

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