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ICC World T20 2022: Takeaways from England’s Squad: Opening Woes a cause of concern

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022: Top takeaways from England’s Squad announcement for T20 World Cup: Opening woes a cause of concern. Alex Hales replaces Jonny Bairstow in World cup Squad.

Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow during a Partnership against India | Walking Wicket (Photo: ©Getty Images)
In Bairstow's absence, Buttler might open with Hales or Phil Salt (Photo: ©Getty Images)

England Cricket Board (ECB) recently announced a 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC World T20 2022 starting on October 16 in Australia. England led by their wicketkeeper-batter skipper Jos Buttler will start their campaign on October 26 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) when they take on one of the qualifier teams.

The defending ODI World Cup champions have faced a tough time when it comes to the T20I format of the game losing their last three bilateral series both home and away. After the retirement of former skipper Eoin Morgan, the onus now lies on Jos Buttler and other experienced England batters to take the legacy of this great white-ball team forward.

However, they are sure to face certain hardships in this supposed transition face. One such thing is whether to approach T20Is with a completely new strategy or stick to their tried, tested and successful formula of going hard from ball one. The latter strategy was adapted by England’s red-ball team, and they have been successful.

We will get an indication of how Buttler and his team which is a mixture of experience and youth will fare in the World Cup when they embark on a long 7-match T20I series against Pakistan starting later this month. Since, Jos Buttler is a naturally aggressive player like his predecessor, we can certainly hope that England will likely continue to back their Morgan-era approach in the coming marquee event as well.

England squad for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022

Jos Buttler (C, WK), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Travelling Reserves: Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Tymal Mills

Let's deep dive further into England's T20 World Cup 2022 squad analysis.

Phil Salt could be an opening option for England in T20 World Cup 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Getty Images)
England might tempt to open with Phil Salt in Bairstow's absence (Photo: ©Getty Images)

England's Opening Woes

Coming to the squad, England had headaches in terms of selection especially with their top-order. Jos Buttler being the skipper and one of the best white-ball players selects himself in the playing XI. The second opening slot was a cause of worry for them. Jason Roy has been long out of form and was ultimately dropped after a poor 2022 season (206 runs in 11 T20Is and 51 runs in six Hundred games for Invincibles).

Following Roy’s axe from the squad, Jonny Bairstow was expected to be the opening partner for Buttler. But Bairstow suffered a freak injury playing golf and was subsequently ruled out of the World T20. Phil Salt, the 26-year-old top-order wicketkeeper batter has been picked in the team and will most likely be a reserve opener. Salt was the second-highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Hundred competition scoring 353 runs with a strike rate of over 153.

But the big talking point has to be the inclusion of out of favour opener Alex Hales. He has not been in the scheme of things since he got infamously dropped from the team just before ICC World Cup 2019 due to being tested positive for a banned substance. Despite his rich run of form, selectors opted not to select him for the more than three years. In The Hundred 2022, Hales made 259 runs at a strike rate of over 152.

Jos Buttler has not been in the same form he was in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is recovering from an injury. So, this inconsistency is a little cause of worry for England in an otherwise belligerent batting line-up.

Dawid Malan  (©Getty Images)
Dawid Malan (©Getty Images)

Established Middle-Order

With Dawid Malan in form who was also the leading run-scorer in The Hundred 2022 with 377 runs in 9 Matches, England find a solid number 3 or 4 depending on the balance of the side. Malan is followed by Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone, which makes England's middle order one of the most feared middle order in world cricket. With youngster like Harry Brook waiting in the wings, who is considered to be a potential T20 specialist for England, England look in safe hands.

With most of them capable of chipping in with a few overs at any stage of the game, England find themselves in a comfortable position as far as the middle-order riddle goes.

Chris Woakes is back in England Squad for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Getty Images)
Chris Woakes is back in England Squad for T20 World Cup (Photo: ©Getty Images)

Genuine All-Rounders & Strong Bowling Attack

England have fast bowling all-rounders in Sam Curran who can hit the ball long, David Willey and Chris Jordan, a brilliant death overs bowler. Chris Woakes, another genuine all-rounder in his own right, will be a like-to-like replacement for either of them.

Reece Topley who had a great white-ball series against India and South Africa will be a great asset for England with the new ball along with express fast bowler Mark Wood who is returning from an injury. Adil Rashid, the lone specialist spinner, has been one of the best going around the world for quite some time. So, the current England crop of players are more or less settled and match-winners in their own right despite a change in leadership.

The only drawback is their pacers, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, don’t have games under their belt. Also, they will dearly miss Jofra Archer who made his name in the Big Bash League (BBL) and will be quite a threat for oppositions on the fast and bouncy Australian tracks.


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