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Defending Champions England Need to Step Up for the Ultimate Challenge of Defending their T20 WC Title

No team has managed to successfully defend the Twenty20 World Cup title, and England doesn’t have to delve far into the history books to grasp the enormity of the challenge awaiting them in the tournament in the West Indies and the United States. Just seven months ago, Jos Buttler’s team embarked on their quest to […]

Defending Champions England Need to Step Up for the Ultimate Challenge of Defending their T20 WC Title
Defending Champions England Need to Step Up for the Ultimate Challenge of Defending their T20 WC Title

No team has managed to successfully defend the Twenty20 World Cup title, and England doesn’t have to delve far into the history books to grasp the enormity of the challenge awaiting them in the tournament in the West Indies and the United States.

Just seven months ago, Jos Buttler’s team embarked on their quest to retain the 50-over world crown they clinched on home soil, only to endure a dismal tournament in India. They won just three out of nine group games, ending up in seventh place in the standings.

“That pride was obviously dented, and it was a really disappointing competition,” remarked Buttler. “But life moves on; it’s a chapter in the book, and there are lessons you learn. But we’re presented with a new opportunity, a different format.”

Buttler, at 33, showcased his prowess with two centuries for Rajasthan Royals in this year’s Indian Premier League. However, England’s recent T20 track record paints a grim picture. Since their triumph over Pakistan in the 2022 final, they’ve suffered defeats in series against Bangladesh and West Indies, eventually settling for a 2-2 draw at home with New Zealand, slipping to third in the world rankings behind India and Australia.

Grouped in Group B with Australia, Namibia, Oman, and Scotland, England appears poised to sail through to the Super Eight stage of the tournament. However, their real challenge lies in recapturing the dominant form that led them to victory in 2022.

With Ben Stokes absent from the squad, the responsibility of providing top-order firepower and consistency falls on Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Phil Salt, Ben Duckett, and Harry Brook.

The return of Jofra Archer after significant injury setbacks provides a significant boost for England. Nonetheless, concerns loom over the fitness of Mark Wood and Reece Topley, the other genuine fast bowlers in the squad.

This could place a heavy burden on seamers Sam Curran and Chris Jordan, while England will heavily rely on seasoned spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to stem the scoring rate during the middle overs of the innings.

Curran has faced struggles over the past year, managing only seven wickets in his last eight T20 internationals. Buttler will be banking on the feisty all-rounder to rediscover the form that earned him the player of the tournament award in 2022.

Curran recently showcased his potential with a match-winning performance for Punjab Kings in the IPL, where he delivered impressive bowling figures of 2-24 before scoring an unbeaten 63. The 25-year-old’s contribution will be crucial if England aims to lift the T20 World Cup trophy for the third time.

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EnglandT20 World Cup 2024TDGThe Daily GuardianUSAWest Indies