Knocked out of the 2014 World T20 at the group stage and bowled out for just 88 by the Netherlands in their final outing, Stuart Broad’s men, as they were back then, summed up the cluelessness of English limited-overs cricket.
Astonishingly, the selectors prepare to announce their squad for the 2016 competition in arguably the healthiest white-ball position of recent memory.
Eoin Morgan is now the undisputed leader of the limited-over revolution and oversees a group of fearless, aggressive young cricketers that have improved immeasurably over a short space of time.
Short really is the operative word here, as England have played just seven T20Is since that Dutch humiliation. That’s the fewest of all the Test-playing nations.
24 players have featured in those seven games, but only 15 can be selected to travel to India. Some are certain of a place, others hold a 50-50 chance while there could even be a surprise or two.
Here’s Ladbrokes News’ prediction:
Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, David Willey, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali
All eight of these players have featured in four or more of the T20s since 2014 and are established coloured-kit performers.
Should Be There
Ben Stokes, Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Reece Topley, James Vince
Despite developing into an uber-aggressive version of Ian Botham in the Test side, Stokes only has nine T20I caps to his name. Just two of those have come since the end of the 2014 World Cup, but it would be a huge shock if he wasn’t included.
Billings has been picked as Buttler’s wicket-keeping understudy of late and should retain that job, while Jordan, Topley and Vince are all more than handy squad players.
Out Of The Blue Picks
Luke Wright, Stephen Parry
Chris Woakes, Steven Finn, Liam Plunkett and Broad all rate as more likely inclusions to bolster the bowling attack, but with the tournament being held in India, the selectors may plump for another spinner.
Parry was the third-choice tweaker on the recent tour of Pakistan and has been playing with the England Lions this winter.
Wright hasn’t played for England since just prior to the 2014 World T20 but is now a sought after hitter around the format’s domestic scene.
The Sussex man is in form, having enjoyed a fruitful Big Bash campaign before playing for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League. Kevin Pietersen’s endorsing his case for inclusion isn’t likely to help though.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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