England’s best XI for the T20 World Cup

England have a stronger squad than the one which made the T20 World Cup semi-finals last year so they deserve to be one of the favourites in Australia next month.

Alongside Australia and New Zealand in Group 1 of the Super 12, they will be hoping to go all the way on enemy soil.

Jos Buttler comes into the World Cup leading England at a major tournament for the first time, having been the deputy to the now retired England skipper Eoin Morgan.

England T20 World Cup squad: Jos Buttler (captain and wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Alex Hales. Standby Players: Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Tymal Mills.

My England XI: Jos Buttler (captain and wicketkeeper), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.

Buttler shouldn’t let his responsibilities dictate his batting style, as he will be required to take advantage of the field restrictions and kick on.

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Following a three-year hiatus, Hales is back in the England squad at the expense of Jason Roy’s poor form. With a strong showing in the BBL as a Sydney Thunder player, Hales’ experience in Australian conditions will be huge for the Poms this T20 World Cup.

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Malan has struggled for England since the last T20 World Cup, but England are still backing him to get the job done Down Under next month. Stokes plays more as a batter in T20 cricket nowadays, and batting Stokes below four in a T20 is criminal – especially in the absence of Morgan.

Brook is a big hitter of the cricket ball, striking it over 150 in T20 cricket (156.17 in T20I games and 151.07 across all T20s). England’s version of Tim David, Brook has shown in England’s current tour of Pakistan that he can give the ball a good whack and change the momentum of games quickly.

Livingstone provides firepower with the bat and provides a rare skill – the ability to bowl handy right arm off and right arm leg spin. England have plenty of impact players in their T20 side, but none at the level Livingstone can have in all three facets during the World Cup.

Moeen Ali bats

Moeen Ali of England plays a shot. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Ali is a victim of circumstance, as he has to go down the order with Stokes back in the England line-up. Someone has to bat at No.7 as the finisher, and that role will likely go to Ali for the World Cup.

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The bowling attack was mostly self explanatory when making the XI. Willey’s competition is Chris Woakes – who hasn’t played a T20 game since England’s semi-final exit to New Zealand in the 2021 World Cup edition. Thus, Willey walks into the England team as the new ball bowler who could possibly bowl out within the seventh over.

Rashid is one of the best T20I spinners of all time, and the leg spinner will be hoping he could take his 100th T20I scalp by the end of the tournament.

With Saqib Mahmood and Jofra Archer unavailable to injury, England will need Wood’s extra pace to rile up batters and not make England’s seam attack too one dimensional.

Topley rounds off the England XI that I would pick. A left-arm seamer, Topley gets steep bounce and creates awkward angles. Topley did pull out of the Hundred to be fit for the World Cup, having had a horrid run with injuries. For the sake of England, they’ll be hoping a lack of recent cricket doesn’t cost Topley’s performances with the ball.

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