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  1. Cricket

T20 World Cup - Cricket: Who should be in England's side?

England lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals of last year's T20 World Cup, but they are serious contenders to make up for that disappointment in November.

They are 7/2 to win the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia and we assess which players England should select to give them the best chance of glory Down Under, with Eoin Morgan set to step aside before the tournament.

What

T20 World Cup 2022

Where

Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney

When

October 16th-November 13th 2022

How to watch

Sky Sports or Sports Live Streaming

OddsIndia 3/1, Australia 10/3, England 7/2, New Zealand 13/2, Pakistan 7/1 

Brilliant Buttler poses huge threat to rivals

Every Twenty20 team is looking for a destructive opening pair who can get the innings off to a flying start in the Powerplay overs and England are well equipped in that department.

Jos Buttler, who smashed an extraordinary 162 not out off 70 balls in an ODI win over the Netherlands in June, is the first name on the teamsheet for the T20 side after establishing himself as one of the best in the business in this format.

Buttler's international record as a 20-over opener is outstanding, with 11 fifties and a World Cup century against Sri Lanka from just 28 innings, and he also had a superb 2022 Indian Premier League season with Rajasthan Royals.

He hit four centuries on his way to a tally of 863 runs, 247 more than any other batter, and will be the key man for England, keeping wicket as well as opening the batting, while he may also be skippering the team.

Options at the top of the order

Buttler's partner at the top of the order should be Jason Roy, whose 2021 T20 World Cup campaign was cut short by a calf injury.

While Buttler tends to play himself in before exploding in the second half of the innings, Roy has licence to attack from the start and the Surrey man has a career strike-rate of 143 runs per 100 balls in T20 internationals.

Jonny Bairstow, England's ODI opener, is a more than capable understudy for the first-choice top two and the Yorkshire ace has enjoyed great success at the top of the order in the IPL.

Alex Hales, who has a fine record in Australia's Big Bash, remains in the international wilderness, but James Vince's Big Bash pedigree means he should retain his place in the squad.

Vince opened the batting for 2020/2021 champions Sydney Sixers, scoring 95 off 60 balls in the final, and the Hampshire captain has already scored two stunning centuries in the 2022 T20 Blast.

Youngsters Tom Banton and Will Jacks are other opening options, along with Lancashire's Phil Salt, who impressed in the ODI series against the Dutch.

Livingstone proving a middle-order hit

Test captain Ben Stokes should return to the T20 team after missing last year's World Cup, while Liam Livingstone has developed into a crucial member of the side over the past 12 months.

Breaking into England's powerful white-ball set-up is never easy - Joe Root can't get a look-in and Dawid Malan, despite achieving the highest ever rating on the ICC's T20 batting rankings, is not a certainty to make the first XI.

But Livingstone's sensational hitting in the T20 Blast, The Hundred, Big Bash and IPL meant he simply could not be ignored and he smashed England's fastest T20 century, off 42 balls, against Pakistan in July 2021, in only his fifth innings.

The Cumbrian is also a handy white-ball spinner and a terrific fielder and his emergence means England's middle-order will not be dramatically weakened by Morgan's decision to retire from international cricket.

After injury problems and a lean spell with the bat, the 2019 World Cup-winning captain felt it was the right time to step down and Buttler is expected to be named as Morgan's successor.

Sam Billings and Harry Brook, who both played in the Big Bash last winter, are among the talented middle-order players hoping to make the cut.

Experienced spinners have key roles to play

The balance of England's side is boosted by Stokes and Livingstone's all-round talents and Moeen Ali is another player who can make an impact with bat and ball.

Moeen has batted in every position from three to eight during his T20 international career. He top-scored with 51 not out in the World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand, before slamming seven sixes in a 28-ball 63 against the West Indies in January 2022.

The off-spinning all-rounder had a decent 2022 IPL campaign for Chennai, finishing with an economy rate of just 6.62 runs per over, and the 35-year-old, who captained the side when Morgan was injured in the Caribbean, remains a vital member of the squad.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who made his T20 international debut in June 2009, is one of England's most consistent performers, taking wickets regularly and conceding fewer than seven runs per over since the start of 2021.

Hampshire's Liam Dawson was in the squad for last year's World Cup in the UAE, but, with Moeen, Rashid and Livingstone forming a strong spin department, England may opt for more fast bowlers this time around.

Injuries hampering pace-bowling plans

England's pacemen have had a tough time with injuries this year and Jofra Archer, who shot to prominence in the Big Bash in Australia, is likely to miss the T20 World Cup due to a serious back problem.

Promising quick Saqib Mahmood has suffered a similar setback, so England will be desperate to have Mark Wood fit and firing on the pacy pitches in Australia.

Left-armer Tymal Mills had to leave last year's World Cup early with an injury, but has been in fine form for Sussex in the T20 Blast and should make the squad if he stays fit.

Surrey's T20 captain Chris Jordan has struggled as a death bowler recently, particularly in the semi-final defeat to New Zealand, but he has bowled more deliveries than any England player in T20 internationals and that experience could earn him another crack at the World Cup.

Two more Surrey bowlers, Reece Topley and Tom Curran, should be in the mix, but England's management may feel that David Willey, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran lack the pace to be effective in Australia.

While England's batting line-up and spin attack looks to be inked in for the World Cup, fast-bowling spots are up for grabs and the candidates will be hoping to catch the eye in July's three-match Twenty20 series against India.

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