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Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review, Quotes, Life Lessons, Release Date, and How to Watch Documentary

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes released today on Amazon Prime Video, the same day the English scored a commanding century against South Africa. This is a story that captures England captain, Ben Stokes’ journey through the ups and downs of his illustrious career.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review: Skip It or Watch It?

I will get straight to the point—The Review. Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review is not necessarily a must watch documentary. However, it is an important one.

It is skippable in the sense that Ben Stokes’ career is an open book—Humble roots in New Zealand, an upcoming youngster in the England circuit, The Bristol brawl incident, eleven-month court trial & media pressure, Carlos Brathwaite 4 sixes in Kolkata, IPL heroics, the 2019 World Cup final and Headingly heist, finger and knee injuries, his father’s terminal brain cancer, mother’s legal suit against The Sun newspaper for exploiting another personal tragedy, global pandemic, mental health break, and captaincy comeback. In a sense, nothing new is revealed about Ben Stokes. In addition, the picturization and flashback sequences are not the most coherent.

However, it is an important film due to the first-person points of view of Stokes & his family as well as Sam Mendes’ interview with Stokes while he was struggling with his mental health. It was courageous for Stokes to explain what he was going through on such a large platform. Appearances of Joe Root, Stuart Broad, manager Neil Fairbrother, and Stokes’ father adds immense value to the documentary.

Watch It For: The Interview, Highlight Packages, Ben Stokes’ cricket practice videos from U-12 & U-15 cricket, Mark Wood’s comic timing, Joe Root’s heartfelt messages

Don’t Watch it for: The overly dramatic background music

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Also Read: 45 Best Sport Movies & Documentaries (Updated 2022) – Hollywood & Bollywood Combined

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Release Date, How to Watch, Director, Actors

Release Date: August 26, 2022

How To Watch: (Amazon Prime Video Link)

Title Name: Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes

Prime Video Summary: A refreshingly honest film about an extraordinary cricketer. Directors Chris Grubb and Luke Mellows were allowed unprecedented access to Ben’s Life with interviews and insights by Sam Mendes.

Protagonist: Ben Stokes

Major Cast:

  • Teammates: Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer
  • Commentators/Ex-Cricketers: Ian Bishop, Isa Guha, Shane Warne
  • Other: Dean Wilson (journalist), Phil Scott (England’s strength & conditioning coach), Neil Fairbrother (Stokes’ Manager), Vithushan Ehantharajah
  • Family: Clare Stokes (Wife), Gerard Stokes (Father), Deborah Stokes (Mother)

Directed By: Chris Grubb, Luke Mellows

Produced By: Sunil Patel, Sam Mendes, Mark Cole

Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Language: English

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7 Life Lessons and Quotes from Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Documentary

Here are some quotes from the documentary that paints a picture of Ben Stokes’ overall personality.

*Spoiler Alert Note: The quotes below are directly from the documentary and related clips in case you are planning to watch the documentary first.

1. Trouble, Trouble, Trouble

Quote: Trouble follows him around

“Trouble follows him around” – Nasser Hussain (clip from old interview)

Context: The Bristol brawl halted Stokes career due to the litigation, investigation, and media tensions that followed. The documentary walks through what Stokes’ family went through at this point. Although he was not found guilty of affray, the media only portrayed the negative side of things. Stokes had already been involved in a few incidents earlier in the England team like punching lockers, getting banned from driving to four speeding tickets, etc., and this incident was almost the nail in the coffin.

Stokes clears up what exactly happened and why he was involved in the incident in the documentary (he was defending his friends from homophobic abuses)

2. Heartbreak at the 2016 T20 World Cup Final

Quotes: That experience would have broken lesser mortals; Makes you even more hungry

“That experience would have broken lesser mortals” – Ian Bishop

“Makes you even more hungry” – Shane Warne

Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup Final would forever be remembered for Ian Bishop’s iconic Remember the Name phrase when describing Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics. On the other end of the spectrum was Stokes, absolutely gutted. How he came back from the lows of 2016 to the highs of 2019s is an inspirational journey for all.

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3. Embrace Failure

Quotes: Setbacks are your biggest teachers; Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it.

“Setbacks are your biggest teachers” – Ben Stokes

“Rather than fearing failure. Embrace it” – Ben Stokes

Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup final was a disappointment. However, it is portrayed in the film that the 2017 Bristol incident was the most impactful turning point in Ben Stokes’ career and life. He became a more mature individual, grew closer to family, and learned which people who could trust. At this point, he almost quit cricket and had to dive deep to figure out what used to drive him to give it his all.

4. Mental Health Awareness

Quote: This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible; I noticed how emotionless I was

“This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible” – Joe Root

“Honestly I could have seen him never play again” – Stuart Broad

“I noticed how emotionless I was” – Ben Stokes

Context: The interview was conducted two weeks after Ben Stokes’ suffered his major panic attack and decided to take a break from cricket. Stokes looked visibly fatigued and recalled a panic attack he suffered which included shortness of breath.

Mental health, especially in sport, is an important topic and can occur to anybody regardless of his or her stature.

5. The Larger-Than-Life Hero

Quote: His life is a story you could not script; Trauma, grief, strength, and defiance

“His life is a story you could not script” – Sam Mendes

“He has a bit that one else has…magic…Not many people see the best side of him…I’m just very grateful that I have” – Joe Root

“The film is about loss in the time of lockdown…it’s about trauma and grief, but also strength and defiance.” – Sam Mendes

Context: Rarely has a cricketer in recent memory suffered the ebbs and flows to the extent as Stokes has. He has touched glory with starring roles in World Cup and Ashes victories. On the other hand, he has had to see his father, a former Rugby league player in New Zealand, pass away after a fight with terminal brain cancer.

Yet, he gives it his all in those tireless bowling spells with injured knees or directs a comeback with the bat when there is no hope or takes a catch that only Ben Stokes can – No Way, You Cannot Do That Ben Stokes! He has flaws, he has magic, he is human, he is greatness.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Trailer

If you have yet to see this documentary, check out the trailer below.

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the director of Ben Stokes – Phoenix from the Ashes documentary?

Chris Grubb & Luke Mellows is the director of Ben Stokes – Phoenix from the Ashes. Sam Mendes, who also interviews Ben Stokes, is the producer alongside Sunil Patel & Mark Cole.

Where can I watch Ben Stokes Phoenix from the Ashes?

Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes is released in Amazon Prime Video on August 26, 2022 worldwide.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 08/26/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

What is Bazball? The Official Definition of Bazball is…

What is Bazball in cricket? Bazball is a fresh aggressive approach coined for England’s new Test coach, Brendon McCullum, whose nickname is ‘Baz.’

Why are we discussing Bazball in cricket in 2022?

Since captain Ben Stokes & McCullum took over, England cricket team’s record in Test match format has been astonishing: WWWWLWWWWW. This includes seven wins at home against New Zealand, India, & South Africa and 3 away wins in Pakistan. The manner of victory has been even more mind boggling—An innings victory and six wins with 5 wickets or more.

When you type ‘Bazball’ in Google Trends, you get this image below. With England’s astonishing consecutive fourth innings chases in Test match cricket, especially with the 378 against India, no wonder that interest in this term has really, really piqued in the last few days.

But what in the world is Bazball? Can someone be Bazballing? Could you become a Bazballer? Is it a noun, verb, adjective, or all of the above?

Don’t worry, be happy.

Today, we will help you out and try to answer this exact answer—The who, what, where, when, and how of Bazball!

Picture of Google Trends for the word, 'Bazball.'

Table of Contents

Definition of Bazball

While writing this unofficially official definition of Bazball, we took inspiration from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. We make an honest attempt here to write this definition similar dictionary format—part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.), phonetic pronunciation, variants, examples, and more!

Bazball
noun | b-aa-zzz-böl
variants: Bazballing, Bazballer, Bazballed, The Bazball Effect
1. The purpose and intent of Bazball is to completely annihilate the opposition, abruptly change the tide of a game, and bring an uneasy calm before a surprising storm, all without sacrificing the inner innocence and amusement of a three-year-old child.
1b. Note, the prerequisite of Bazballing is the existence of a Bairstow and the ability to display aggression without displaying aggression.
1c. The Bazball Effect is largely a cricketing phenomenon but is not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I know, I know. This sounds too complicated. As conveyed in Bollywood’s 3 Idiots in the acclaimed “What is a Machine” scene, sometimes a simple definition does justice.

So, in simple terms, what is Bazball? Brave, Brash, and lots of Bairstow.

10 Examples of Bazball

  1. England selecting Rob Key, a former English cricketer and commentator with zero administrative experience, as the Managing Director of the English Cricket Team and choosing Brendon McCullum (zero first-class coaching experience) as the head coach of the England Test team.
  2. England chasing 279/5 in 78.5 overs (RR 3.53) in the 4th innings of a Test match
  3. Not dropping Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad
  4. Jonny Bairstow scoring 136 in 92 balls and once again, England chasing 299 in 50 overs (RR 5.98) with 5 wickets remaining
  5. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell scoring 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries between them, not giving up, and giving England a taste of their own medicine
  6. Jonny Bairstow smashing 162 (157) and 71* (44) and yet again, England chasing 296 in 54.2 overs (RR 5.44) with 7 wickets in hand
  7. Jasprit Bumrah scoring 35 runs off one Stuart Broad over
  8. JB bulldozing 106 & 114* runs and England chasing 378/3 in the 4th innings of a Test match with 7 wickets remaining
  9. Virat Kohli sledging Jonny Bairstow to wake up the sleeping beast
  10. Joe Root being Joe Root (737 runs, 2 wickets, and player of series vs India. Now at 10458 runs and 28 Test centuries)

Different Interpretations of the Bazball

Well, don’t take my word for it. Every word has several interpretations based on the circumstance. Here are three of my favorite interpretations of Bazball.

1. The Eagle (Hindi)

In the Indian language of Hindi, Baaz means Eagle—a majestic bird that hunts its prey. Highly focused, always gets to the target.

Cannot think of a better metaphor for Bazball to be honest.

2. Sanjay Manjrekar on Rishabh Pant

Well, is Bazball an original creation? The first time that cricket has experienced this feeling?

No, definitely not. We have seen this before.

As Sanjay Manjrekar states, we don’t need to look any further than Rishabh Pant.

3. Can You Use It in a Sentence?

In a Spelling Bee, a contestant can ask for usage in a sentence to further understand the word. Our next example doubles up as an interpretation and also satisfies the “Can You Use It in a Sentence?” segment (Don’t know what I am referring to? Watch this hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Spelling Bee segment).

There have been several interpretations of Bazball floating around on the internet, but my favorite by far, has been Andrew Fidel Fernando’s interpretation. Here is an excerpt:

“When a fielder sledges you and you sledge them back with runs. That’s Bazball. When you are so intent on showing respect to the opposition’s bowlers you walk down the track, clear your front leg, and respect them repeatedly into the sightscreen. That’s Bazball. When an old lady needs help crossing the street, but instead of walking her across you fire her from a cannon all the way into her house. Definitely Bazball…When something has been around for a while, but the rebranding is so strong it seems futuile to resist…perhaps this is also Bazball?

Origins and History of Bazball

Brendon McCullum, affectionately known as Baz, has always been in the forefront of the media.

Whether as a swashbuckling wicketkeeper back in 2002, the unofficial launcher of the Indian Premier League with his 158*, captain supreme of New Zealand’s golden run to the 2015 ODI World Cup Final, Baz has always been there. Rejuvenating Eoin Morgan’s men to ODI overhaul, inventing the BMacDilscoop, retiring on a high with the fastest Test hundred, coaching Trinbago Knight Riders to unbeaten glory, or note-taking KKR’s way out of IPL Playoffs, McCullum is a trendsetter.

But this time, it’s different. Coaching T20s? Fine, but Test matches? Baz has no experience. Questions were tossed. England had only won one match in their last 17 Tests. How could they possibly bounce back?

They didn’t just bounce back. They Bazzed back. Whatever that means.

Four wins in four Test matches. Record chases of 250+. They have now brushed aside both of the finalists in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, New Zealand and India. The Rob Key-Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes partnership has somehow swayed a magic wand over England and rejuvenated the English fans’ hopes in Test cricket

England are no longer the good guys of world cricket. They are, now the Baz boys….

Brendon McCullum In His Own Words

Here are some snippets of Brendon McCullum from an interview after a 3-0 win over his home nation, New Zealand. When asked about emotion, clarity, keeping it simple, and his general coaching style, he said,

“I try to quieten down some of the noise…Trying to get these guys closer together and try for them to understand their game…give them as much confidence as I can…we can get caught up in a fear of failure…..and I don’t know what Bazball is…don’t know where it came from..[on Jonny] .Go out there and just be yourself. Have your moment…Try to inspire the next generation of Test cricket”

– Brendon McCullum

This has already inspired the likes of Dravid-Ball, Lax-Ball. How far reaching will McCullum’s coaching impact be?

Can Brendon McCullum Fulfill His True Legacy?

Brendon McCullum has won trophies, gained worldwide acclaim, and played memorable innings. He has achieved everything a cricketer can achieve in his or her life.

McCullum has been a lifelong trendsetter. Now only goal remains.

****

Can Brendon McCullum, aka Baz, fulfill his legacy and make the Dictionary?

****

*In order to get an official word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the usage and citation matters. There are dictionary employees working on a daily basis perusing through publications, articles, online editorials, etc. So basically, if we use Bazball enough, especially in written work, it will one-day, make the dictionary.

Bazball in England Cricket – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Bazball?

The purpose and intent of Bazball is to completely annihilate the opposition, abruptly change the tide of a game, and bring an uneasy calm before a surprising storm, all without sacrificing the inner innocence and amusement of a three-year-old child.
The prerequisite of Bazballing is the existence of a Bairstow and ability to display aggression without displaying aggression.
The Bazball Effect is largely a cricketing phenomenon but is not limited to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Photo of Ben Stokes, who as formed a good partnership with coach Brendon McCullum to instill the Bazball philosophy.

What are some examples of Bazball?

– England selecting Rob Key, a former English cricketer and commentator with zero administrative experience, as the Managing Director of the English Cricket Team and choosing Brendon McCullum (zero first-class coaching experience) as head coach of the England Test team
– Jonny Bairstow smashing 136 (92), 162 (157), or 71*(44) and England chasing 279/5 in 78.5 overs (RR 3.53), chasing 299 in 50 overs (RR 5.98), or chasing 279/5 in 78.5 overs (RR 3.53) in 4th innings of a Test match.
– Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell scoring 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries between them, not giving up, and giving England a taste of their own medicine
– Jasprit Bumrah scoring 35 runs off one Stuart Broad over
– England scoring 657 in 101 overs with 4 centuries in Rawalpindi against Pakistan on a dead pitch.Photo of Jonny Bairstow, an icon of Bazball philosophy.

Who coined the phrase, ‘Bazball’?

Although the ‘Bazball’ is named for Brendon McCullum, known as ‘Baz,’ he did not coin the term himself. The phrase ‘Bazball’ was created by England cricket fans on social media and commentators.

What is the Bazball approach?

What is Bazball in cricket? Bazball is a fresh aggressive approach coined for England’s new Test coach, Brendon McCullum, whose nickname is ‘Baz.’Photo of Brendon McCullum, also known as Baz, during England cricket team's coaching practice.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 07/07/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

44 Contenders For 23-Men England ICC 2022 T20 World Cup Squad: Who’s In, Who Misses Out?

Captain Eoin Morgan said that he is “continuously monitoring different” individuals for the England T20 World Cup Squad. So why not help him out a bit?

Saqib Mahmood dazzled in the Pakistan-England series, Liam Livingstone and James Vince are striking the living daylight out of the white ball, and death bowlers are getting more expensive by the day.

The Hundred is upon us now. We get to see breakout stars like Chris Benjamin. However, it is unlikely they will even be considered for the upcoming T20 World Cup. On the other hand, ex-England players like Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Steven Finn, and Jade Dernbach make sure that the domestic game is still strong, but they will not board the plane either come November.

We analyze each and every player that is contender for the 23-men (COVID rules) T20 World Cup—when they last played for England, T20/T20I stats, where they stack with their competitors, and how many games they have to secure their spot. There are 36 strong candidates in the list with 44 overall T20 prospects for this World Cup. And no, this is not the entire depth of the English cricket team. That would take it up to 75 players depth!

Table of Contents

  1. Legend
    1. Current Status
    2. Verdict
  2. England T20 World Cup Squad – Player By Player Analysis
  3. Openers
  4. #3 and #4
  5. Finishers
  6. Reserve Keeper
  7. All Rounders
  8. Fast Bowlers
  9. Spinners
  10. Notable Exclusions
  11. England XI

Also Read: County Cricket-Hundred Debate From an Outsider’s Perspective: Can They Co-Exist?, The Comedy of Overs: A Shakespearean Parody

Legend

Current Status

  • Incumbent: Currently in England’s T20I XI
  • Reserve: May have played for England in the last two years but does not make their first XI
  • Out of Squad: Might have represented England earlier or about to breakthrough, but have not been in the England squad in the last couple of T20I series.

Verdict

🟩 Plays the first match in the T20 World Cup

🟨 Boards the plane to UAE but might not get a look-into the XI

🟧 Wildcard Entry: Not in the current scheme of things but a good performance in the Hundred, T20 Blast, or IPL, and they might be back in the conversation.

🟥 Most likely not going to make it, but in COVID-19 World, anything is possible. They are next in the pecking order in case something out of the blue happens.

Over the past year, at the end of every series, we did a “World T20 World Cup Watch,” where a 23-men squad was chosen after latest performance. You can check them below.

Also Read: England Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Series Review, India Vs England Series Review T20I, England Vs South Africa 2020 Series Review

Here is the pecking order now.

England T20 World Cup Squad – Player By Player Analysis

In order to create the machinery for the explosive England T20 World Cup Squad, we specifically pay attention to the Average + Strike Rate score for the batters along with the Economy Rate for the bowlers. A Dawid Malan (high average, decent strike rate) is just as important as a Jason Roy (decent average, high strike rate) to this squad.

Openers

1. Jason Roy 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 48, Runs: 3658, 100/50: 0/6, Best: 78, AVE+SR: 170.51, Average: 24.85, SR: 145.66
  • T20s: 246, Runs: 6403, 100/50: 4/42, Best: 122*, AVE+SR: 171.23, Average: 27.96, SR: 143.27
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
  • Out of form in the last year, he is just getting back to his best. If he performs in the Hundred, he makes the XI, let alone the squad.

2. Jos Buttler 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Keeper/Vice-Captain
  • T20Is: 82, Runs: 1871, 100/50: 0/14, Best: 83*, AVE+SR: 171.54, Average: 31.71, SR: 139.83
  • T20s: 292, Runs: 7066, 100/50: 1/49, Best: 124, AVE+SR: 175.44, Average: 31.68, SR: 143.76
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Manchester Originals, IPL Team: Rajasthan Royals
  • Vice-Captain, Wicketkeeper. Has gone to another level as a T20I opener. One of the first names of the team sheet.

3. James Vince 🟨

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  • Current Status: Reserve
  • T20Is: 12, Runs: 340, 100/50: 0/1, Best: 59, AVE+SR: 151.96, Average: 28.33, SR: 123.63
  • T20s: 258, Runs: 6949, 100/50: 2/42, Best: 107*, AVE+SR: 164.73, Average: 30.61, SR: 134.12
  • Last Played T20I For England: November 9, 2019 (*ODI: July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave, IPL Team: None
  • Has the best cover drive in England. Finally showed up on the big stage with a 100 in ODI against Pakistan. Performed in other leagues around the world in the past year and continuing it with The Hundred – pushing for a spot in the squad. Maybe in the XI.

4. Tom Banton 🟨

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Other Roles: Keeper
  • T20Is: 9, Runs: 205, 100/50: 0/1, Best: 71, AVE+SR: 166.12, Average: 22.77, SR: 143.35
  • T20s: 53, Runs: 1394, 100/50: 2/9, Best: 107*, AVE+SR: 184.89, Average: 28.44, SR: 156.45
  • Last Played T20I For England: September 7, 2020
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Welsh Fire, IPL Team: None
  • Burst on the scene as the next ‘KP’ with the scoops and reverse sweeps. Destructive when on fire but has received limited opportunities. Needs to make most of The Hundred if he wants to get into the England squad.

5. Alex Hales 🟧

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20Is: 60, Runs: 1644, 100/50: 1/8, Best: 71, AVE+SR: 167.66, Average: 31.01, SR: 136.65
  • T20s: 306, Runs: 8569, 100/50: 5/53, Best: 116*, AVE+SR: 176.87, Average: 30.82, SR: 146.05
  • Last Played T20I For England: March 9, 2019
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Trent Rockets, IPL Team: None
  • Dominates T20 leagues around the world. Failed drug tests, Bristol brawl, relationship with Morgan, and controversy has almost killed his international career. Time running out for that ‘conversation’ to get him back into the England team. And with like-to-like batter James Vince already having a foot in the door, it will be difficult for him to comeback.

6. Phil Salt 🟥

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  • Current Status: Reserve
  • T20s: 104, Runs: 2333, 100/50: 0/18, Best: 78*, AVE+SR: 176.94, Average: 25.35, SR: 151.59
  • Last Played T20I For England: Yet to play (*ODI: July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Manchester Originals, IPL Team: None
  • Impressed in the ODI series against Pakistan. Look out for him in the next decade. Only an outside chance for this World Cup.

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Openers

  • Makes Team: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, James Vince, Tom Banton
  • Out of Team: Alex Hales, Phil Salt

#3 and #4

7. Dawid Malan 🟨

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 30, Runs: 1123, 100/50: 1/11, Best: 103*, AVE+SR: 182.62, Average: 43.19, SR: 139.33
  • T20s: 240, Runs: 6507, 100/50: 5/38, Best: 117, AVE+SR: 160.52, Average: 32.69, SR: 127.83
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Trent Rockets, IPL Team: Punjab Kings
  • #1 T20I batter in the world, but questions beginning to creep on his position in the XI due to spin. He is definitely a match-winner, but hope he does not lose matches on his off-days.

8. Moeen Ali 🟨

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Off-spinner/All-rounder
  • T20Is: 38, Runs: 437, 100/50: 0/2, Best: 72*, AVE+SR: 152.32, Average: 16.18, SR: 136.13, Wickets: 21, Best: 2/21, Economy: 8.42
  • T20s: 183, Runs: 3925, 100/50: 2/21, Best: 121*, AVE+SR: 165.62, Average: 24.84, SR: 140.78, Wickets: 124, Best: 5/34, Economy: 7.56
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Birmingham Phoenix, IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
  • Has to one of my the most underutilized players in the last decade. Practically played in every position and with vital IPL experience, will be key in UAE. Can he beat the competition to bat in the top-order?

9. Ben Stokes 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Medium Pace/All-rounder/Reserve Captain
  • T20Is: 34, Runs: 442, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 47*, AVE+SR: 156.93, Average: 20.09, SR: 136.84, Wickets: 19, Best: 3/26, Economy: 8.77
  • T20s: 148, Runs: 2865, 100/50: 2/9, Best: 107*, AVE+SR: 159.98, Average: 24.91, SR: 135.07, Wickets: 86, Best: 4/16, Economy: 8.52
  • Last Played T20I For England: March 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Uncertain.
  • Hundred Team: Northern Superchargers, IPL Team: Rajasthan Royals
  • Not the best T20 stats but he is a big game player. The real question is, where does he play? #3 like the IPL or as a finisher? Stokes is taking an indefinite break from all cricket. Hopefully he is okay.

10. Jonny Bairstow 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Keeper
  • T20Is: 57, Runs: 1143, 100/50: 0/7, Best: 86*, AVE+SR: 164.92, Average: 27.87, SR: 137.05
  • T20s: 160, Runs: 3857, 100/50: 3/22, Best: 114, AVE+SR: 169.29, Average: 31.35, SR: 137.94
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. (but why?) Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Welsh Fire, IPL Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
  • One of the best ODI opening batters of all-time, a clean striker, and a wonderful player of spin, his role might change with a #4 position for the T20 World Cup.

11. Joe Root 🟧

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Other Roles: Part-time Off-Spinner
  • T20Is: 32, Runs: 893, 100/50: 0/5, Best: 90*, AVE+SR: 162.02, Average: 35.72, SR: 126.30, Wickets: 6, Best: 2/9, Economy: 9.92
  • T20s: 83, Runs: 1994, 100/50: 0/13, Best: 92*, AVE+SR: 158.92, Average: 32.16, SR: 126.76, Wickets: 21, Best: 2/7, Economy: 8.41
  • Last Played T20I For England: May 4, 2019 (ODI: 3 July, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Trent Rockets, IPL Team: None
  • Chief architect of the 2016 runners-up campaign, Root has fallen off the charts in the last four years in T20 cricket. He has expressed his desire to play more T20I cricket but does not play many leagues. Lower SR than Malan, but is a valuable part-timer that might help his case.

12. Zak Crawley 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20s: 35, Runs: 1042, 100/50: 1/5, Best: 108*, AVE+SR: 187.29, Average: 33.61, SR: 153.68
  • Last Played T20I For England: Yet to Play (ODI: July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: London Spirit, IPL Team: None
  • An outside choice for the T20 World Cup, but he showed in London Spirit’s opening game of the Hundred, that he is a fluent batter – 64 (40). One of England’s future stars, a 187.29 AVE+SR is the best of any current England batters apart from Livingstone

13. Ben Duckett 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20Is: 1, Runs: 9, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 9, AVE+SR: 137.57, Average: 9.00, SR: 128.57
  • T20s: 122, Runs: 2903, 100/50: 0/18, Best: 96, AVE+SR: 166.85, Average: 30.88, SR: 135.97
  • Last Played T20I For England: May 4, 2019
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Welsh Fire, IPL Team: None
  • With scores of 53,41 (The Hundred), 74*, 45 (Vitality Blast), 69* (County Championship), Duckett is in red-hot form and was in the Pakistan squad. He is on the fringe and definitely has the shots, courage, and innovation to succeed in T20s.

14. Joe Denly 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Other Roles: Part-time Leg-Spinner (has a hat-trick)
  • T20Is: 13, Runs: 125, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 30, AVE+SR: 118.43, Average: 12.50, SR: 105.93,Wickets: 7, Best: 4/19, Economy: 7.75
  • T20s: 241, Runs: 5719, 100/50: 4/31, Best: 127, AVE+SR: 148.64, Average: 26.60, SR: 122.04, Wickets: 41, Best: 4/19, Economy: 7.80
  • Last Played T20I For England: September 7, 2020
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: London Spirit, IPL Team: None
  • Cameback after a decade, played a few memorable knocks, but in all likelihood, selectors have left him behind. My gut says that one of the Joes will make it in the squad – Denly’s flexibility and leg break is a big plus (but Root will likely edge past him).

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – #3-4

  • Makes Team: Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root
  • Out of Team: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Denly

Finishers

15. Eoin Morgan 🟨

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Captain
  • T20Is: 107, Runs: 2360, 100/50: 0/14, Best: 91, AVE+SR: 167.03, Average: 28.78, SR: 138.25
  • T20s: 332, Runs: 7217, 100/50: 0/37, Best: 91, AVE+SR: 158.99, Average: 26.82, SR: 132.17
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Most Likely.
  • Hundred Team: London Spirit, IPL Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
  • Captain Morgan, captain cool. His pedigree in captaincy is still top notch but his potency with the bat has declined. Just a loss of form or signal to waning batting prowess? Does he make your XI?

16. Liam Livingstone 🟩

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  • Current Status: Reserve, Other Roles: Part-time Leg Spinner
  • T20Is: 8, Runs: 206, 100/50: 1/0, Best: 103, AVE+SR: 201.80, Average: 34.33, SR: 167.47, Wickets: 2, Best: 1/8, Economy: 7.20
  • T20s: 141, Runs: 3608, 100/50: 2/20, Best: 103, AVE+SR: 171.13, Average: 29.09, SR: 142.04, Wickets: 53, Best: 4/17, Economy: 7.76
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Birmingham Phoenix, IPL Team: Rajasthan Royals
  • Fastest T20I century by an Englishmen and probably one of the longest hitter of the ball. The most in-form batter in England, he should make the England XI.

17. Sam Billings 🟨

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  • Current Status: Reserve, Other Roles: Keeper
  • T20Is: 32, Runs: 417, 100/50: 0/2, Best: 87, AVE+SR: 145.08, Average: 16.68, SR: 128.30
  • T20s: 180, Runs: 3646, 100/50: 0/21, Best: 95*, AVE+SR: 153.93, Average: 23.67, SR: 130.26
  • Last Played T20I For England: June 25, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
  • The ultimate team man, Sam Billings has been carrying drinks for the last four years. He should make the squad just because of his patience. Expecting a couple of cameos with the little opportunities he gets.

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Finishers

  • Makes Team: Eoin Morgan, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings
  • Out of Team:

Reserve Keeper

18. John Simpson 🟧

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Other Roles: Keeper
  • T20s: 132, Runs: 2238, 100/50: 0/8, Best: 84*, AVE+SR: 153.04, Average: 23.31, SR: 129.73
  • Last Played T20I For England: Yet to Play (July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Northern Superchargers, IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
  • Impressed with his keeping skills in the England-Pakistan series, but will most likely not make it with Buttler-Bairstow-Billings-Banton all secondary keepers.

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All Rounders

19. Sam Curran 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Pinch-hitter
  • T20Is: 16, Runs: 91, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 24, AVE+SR: 177.84, Average: 18.20, SR: 159.64, Wickets: 16, Best: 3/28, Economy: 7.93
  • T20s: 103, Runs: 1232, 100/50: 0/6, Best: 72*, AVE+SR: 167.46, Average: 20.88, SR: 136.58, Wickets: 103, Best: 4/11, Economy: 8.49
  • Last Played T20I For England: June 25, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
  • The ‘Makes Things Happen‘ guy, he is a valuable asset, especially after his Chennai Super Kings stint. Opens the bowling, bowls at the death, and can open the batting/#3 as a pinch hitter. A gun fielder as well.

20. David Willey 🟧

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  • Current Status: Reserve, Other Roles: Specialist swing bowler
  • T20Is: 32, Runs: 182, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 29*, AVE+SR: 146.84, Average: 14.00, SR: 132.84, Wickets: 38, Best: 4/7, Economy: 7.99
  • T20s: 197, Runs: 2797, 100/50: 2/11, Best: 118, AVE+SR: 163.77, Average: 23.50, SR: 140.27, Wickets: 191, Best: 4/7, Economy: 7.89
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Northern Superchargers, IPL Team: None
  • Has been in-and-out of the squad since his debut. Jofra Archer’s entrance meant his spot was sacrificed on the eve of the World Cup. He should find a place in the 23-men squad, and can be played in the XI if swing on offer. Bats at he top in domestic cricket as well.

21. Chris Jordan 🟨

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  • Current Status: Reserve, Other Roles: Specialist Death Bowler
  • T20Is: 65, Runs: 296, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 36, AVE+SR: 148.13, Average: 14.80, SR: 133.33, Wickets: 73, Best: 4/6, Economy: 8.70
  • T20s: 227, Runs: 1179, 100/50: 0/6, Best: 45, AVE+SR: 135.04, Average: 14.37, SR: 120.67, Wickets: 103, Best: 4/11, Economy: 8.49
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave, IPL Team: Punjab Kings
  • Highest wicket-taker for England in T20Is (73), his inconsistency and economy rate has seen him dropped recently. If he is in-form, he merits a place in the XI. Has the yorkers, all the variations, and one of the best fielders on the circuit.

22. Chris Woakes 🟨

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  • Current Status: Reserve
  • T20Is: 10, Runs: 91, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 37, AVE+SR: 170.77, Average: 30.33, SR: 144.44, Wickets: 8, Best: 2/40, Economy: 8.11
  • T20s: 118, Runs: 831, 100/50: 0/2, Best: 57* AVE+SR: 162.30, Average: 25.18, SR: 137.12, Wickets: 129, Best: 4/21, Economy: 8.27
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Birmingham Phoenix, IPL Team: Delhi Capitals
  • No questions on his credentials, but does he make the XI with Archer, Wood, Curran, Jordan? Also gets rested too often. Maybe he is injury prone.

23. Lewis Gregory 🟥

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  • Current Status: Reserve
  • T20Is: 9, Runs: 45, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 15, AVE+SR: 117.25, Average: 7.50, SR: 109.75, Wickets: 2, Best: 1/10, Economy: 9.00
  • T20s: 141, Runs: 1758, 100/50: 0/5, Best: 76*, AVE+SR: 163.84, Average: 20.92, SR: 142.92, Wickets: 133, Best: 5/27, Economy: 8.99
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 15, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Trent Rockets, IPL Team: None
  • Brilliant 77 to rescue England against Pakistan in an ODI will be in selectors mind, but will be touch-and-go for the 23-squad.

24. Tom Curran 🟧

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 30, Runs: 64, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 14*, AVE+SR: 124.94, Average: 10.66, SR: 114.28, Wickets: 29, Best: 4/36, Economy: 9.25
  • T20s: 145, Runs: 1057, 100/50: 0/3, Best: 62, AVE+SR: 153.24, Average: 19.94, SR: 134.30, Wickets: 165, Best: 4/22, Economy: 8.85
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 17, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Yes.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: Delhi Capitals
  • Tom Curran is the big question. If he is in the squad, he will definitely get games but it is a risky proposition. With other allrounders in the team, will Brydon Carse, Reece Topley, and Lewis Gregory give Tom a scare? Not sure if specialist slower delivery alone is valuable in today’s era. The IPL in UAE is break or make for him.

25. Liam Dawson 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Other Roles: Left-arm orthodox
  • T20Is: 6, Runs: 17, 100/50: 0/0, Best: 10, AVE+SR: 229.50, Average: 17.00, SR: 212.50, Wickets: 5, Best: 3/27, Economy: 7.60
  • T20s: 177, Runs: 1984, 100/50: 0/5, Best: 82, AVE+SR: 133.72, Average: 19.64, SR: 114.08, Wickets: 126, Best: 5/17, Economy: 7.30
  • Last Played T20I For England: February 17, 2018
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave, IPL Team: No
  • Matt Parkinson has nearly established himself as an understudy to Adil Rashid in the spin department. Dawson hasn’t played since 2018, but will the slow UAE pitches and left-arm spin variety force a rethink?

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – All-Rounders

  • Makes Team: Sam Curran, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes
  • Out of Team: Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Liam Dawson

Fast Bowlers

26. Jofra Archer 🟥

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 12, Wickets: 14, Best: 4/33, Economy: 7.89
  • T20s: 121, Wickets: 153, Best: 4/18, Economy: 7.65
  • Last Played T20I For England: March 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? Maybe.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave (not playing), IPL Team: Rajasthan Royals
  • If fit, he will make the XI, but if not, how does that change England’s composition?

Update August 5th, 2021: Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the T20 World and other cricket for the rest of the year due to elbow fracture.

27. Mark Wood 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 17, Wickets: 26, Best: 3/9, Economy: 8.50
  • T20s: 38, Wickets: 46, Best: 4/25, Economy: 8.14
  • Last Played T20I For England: June 23, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: London Spirit (not playing), IPL Team: Rajasthan Royals
  • England’s enforcer in limited overs cricket, their team’s success relies heavily on Wood’s form. At the peak of his powers, no question on his place.

28. Saqib Mahmood 🟩

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  • Current Status: Incumbent
  • T20Is: 9, Wickets: 7, Best: 3/33, Economy: 10.41
  • T20s: 42, Wickets: 54, Best: 4/14, Economy: 8.54
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: None
  • With 4/42, 2/21, 3/60, 1/46, 3/33 across formats against Pakistan, Saqib has stormed into England’s squad. Like-for-like replacement for Wood in ODIs, can he replicate his success in T20Is?

29. Reece Topley 🟨

  • Current Status: Reserve
  • T20Is: 6, Wickets: 5, Best: 3/24, Economy: 10.07
  • T20s: 117, Wickets: 117, Best: 4/20, Economy: 8.18
  • Last Played T20I For England: March 17, 2016 (ODI: March 27, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Oval Invincibles, IPL Team: None
  • 6 foot 7, left arm medium. Height, left-arm, pace & bounce. Injuries have marred his career, but not too far away from the XI.

30. Jake Ball 🟧

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20Is: 2, Wickets: 2, Best: 1/39, Economy: 11.85
  • T20s: 93, Wickets: 118, Best: 4/11, Economy: 8.81
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 7, 2018
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Welsh Fire, IPL Team: None
  • Been around since 2016 and debuted in all formats, but never managed to cement a place. The Hundred is his final opportunity before the T20 World Cup.

31. Tymal Mills 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20Is: 5, Wickets: 3, Best: 1/27, Economy: 6.78
  • T20s: 132, Wickets: 142, Best: 4/22, Economy: 7.84
  • Last Played T20I For England: May 30, 2018 (ICC World XI), 2017 – last played for England
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave, IPL Team: None
  • One of the fastest in England, a poor stint with RCB in the IPL & injuries set him back for a couple of years. Still only 28, still has a long career ahead. Definitely in Morgan’s mind and considered for the World Cup due to his X-factor potential.

32. Brydon Carse 🟧

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20s: 36, Wickets: 19, Best: 3/30, Economy: 8.76
  • Last Played T20I For England: Yet to play (ODI: July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Northern Superchargers, IPL Team: None
  • Has impressed at the death in the Pakistan series and so far with the Hundred. An outside chance to replace Tom Curran.

33. Craig Overton 🟥

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad
  • T20s: 59, Wickets: 54, Best: 3/17, Economy: 9.00
  • Last Played T20I For England: Yet to play (ODI: July 12, 2021)
  • Is he in the India test series? Yes. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Southern Brave, IPL Team: None
  • Replaces Ben Stokes in the Test series and has been a fringe player for a while. Hope he receives more opportunities.

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Fast Bowlers

  • Makes Team: Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Saqib Mahmood, Reece Topley
  • Out of Team: Jake Ball, Tymal Mills, Brydon Carse, Craig Overton

Spinners

34. Adil Rashid 🟩

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad, Style: Legbreak
  • T20Is: 62, Wickets: 65, Best: 4/35, Economy: 7.48
  • T20s: 195, Wickets: 222, Best: 4/19, Economy: 7.43
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 19, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No (needs to be picked though).
  • Hundred Team: Northern Superchargers, IPL Team: None
  • Approaching legendary status. Will be absolutely crucial for the World Cup.

35. Matt Parkinson 🟩

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  • Current Status: Out of Squad Style: Legbreak
  • T20Is: 4, Wickets: 6, Best: 4/47, Economy: 9.50
  • T20s: 63, Wickets: 99, Best: 4/9, Economy: 7.49
  • Last Played T20I For England: July 17, 2021
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: Manchester Originals, IPL Team: None
  • Parkinson’s 4/9 against Birmingham Phoenix was a timely reminder of his abilities. Shane Warne thinks England should pencil him for the Ashes. In turning pitches of UAE, Rashid-Parkinson can be a deadly duo.

36. Mason Crane 🟥

  • Current Status: Out of Squad Style: Legbreak
  • T20Is: 2, Wickets: 1, Best: 1/38, Economy: 7.75
  • T20s: 51, Wickets: 59, Best: 3/15, Economy: 7.27
  • Last Played T20I For England: June 24, 2017 (Test: 7 January, 2018)
  • Is he in the India test series? No. Will he play the IPL? No.
  • Hundred Team: London Spirit, IPL Team: None
  • Has always been in conversation as a replacement spinner but with Rashid solidifying the limited overs spot, Dom Bess/Jack Leach receiving the vote of confidence, and Matt Parkinson’s rapid rise, Crane has not seen much of international cricket. Does not help that he his also a legspinner.
Embed from Getty Images

England T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Spinners

  • Makes Team: Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson
  • Out of Team: Mason Crane

Notable Exclusions

37-45. Liam Plunkett, George Garton, Danny Briggs, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, David Payne, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson

*Since Jofra Archer is ruled out for the entire year, England still has 44 players to consider.

England XI

Based on Ben Stokes & Chris Woakes’ availability, this is my XI and England squad of 23. Eoin Morgan’s form is a concern, but doubt he will be dropped on the eve of the World Cup.

  1. Jason Roy
  2. Jos Buttler (WK/VC)
  3. Ben Stokes*
  4. Jonny Bairstow
  5. Eoin Morgan (C)
  6. Liam Livingstone
  7. Sam Curran
  8. Chris Jordan
  9. Mark Wood
  10. Adil Rashid
  11. Matt Parkinson

*doubtful

Squad: 12. Moeen Ali, 13. Dawid Malan, 14. Saqib Mahmood, 15. James Vince, 16. Tom Curran, 17. Tom Banton, 18. Sam Billings, 19. Chris Woakes, 20. Reece Topley, 21. David Willey, 22. Jake Ball/Brydon Carse, 23. Joe Root/Alex Hales

For #22-23, I am going with Carse-Root. Young X-factor, and the off-spin of Root.

August 5th Update: Initially Tom Curran did not make my 23, but since Jofra Archer is ruled out, I am putting Chris Jordan in the XI and Tom Curran in the 23.

Variations in the XI

  • In extra spin conditions, I would play Moeen Ali & Joe Root in the top order. Better players of spin and good bowling options as well.
  • On a flat high scoring pitch, a death bowler who can bat like Chris Jordan would be a good punt.
  • If swinging conditions are available, two out of Sam Curran, David Willey, and Chris Woakes could be considered.

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IPL 2021 Rajasthan Royals Preview: Can RR Aim Correctly Without Their Archer?

Rajasthan Royals 2021 Preview.

There used to be a time when frugal IPL auction buys and uncapped Indian players was the norm for RR. Now it is the complete opposite. They are overdependent on foreign players.

If Buttler has a great season, they make the top 4. Otherwise, same old story. Here is the preview.

Also Read: IPL 2021 Auctions Review, RR All-Time XI

IPL History

2008 (Champions), 2013 (3rd), 2015, 2018 – (4th)

How Did They Do Last Year?

8th. Except for Jofra Archer maiden overs, Ben Stokes opening century, Riyan Parag’s Bihu dance celebration, & a glimpse into Kartik Tyagi’s potential, not much to write home about.

Injury & COVID-19 News

Jofra Archer is bound to miss at least 4 matches due to a hand injury. Given that the T20I World Cup is England’s focus right now, it is unlikely that Archer will be risked much.

Complete Rajasthan Royals Squad

Batsman: Yashashvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Akash Singh

WK: Sanju Samson

All-Rounders: Shivam Dube, Mahipal Lomror, Rahul Tewatia

Spinners: KC Cariappa, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande

Fast Medium: Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya

Overseas: Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, David Miller, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Ben Stokes, Andrew Tye

Uncapped (even in first class): Kuldip Yadav

Predicted RR XI

Rumors suggest that England captain Eoin Morgan has inside information from rival camp of Rajasthan Royals. Maybe a Buttler-Stokes opening partnership to better help England prepare for the upcoming World Cup?

I would still start out with Jaiswal as an opener. (But then I am no captain of the best limited overs side in the world).

  1. Jos Buttler2. Yashasvi Jaiswal/ Manan Vohra/Riyan Parag, 3. Ben Stokes, 4. Sanju Samson (C/WK), 5. Shivam Dube, 6. Rahul Tewatia, 7. Chris Morris8. Shreyas Gopal, 9. Kartik Tyagi, 10. Mayank Markande/Jaydev Unadkat, 11. Mustafizur Rahman/Andrew Tye

Will David Miller get another season on the bench? (Or one game before a 0 (0) run out benches him for the rest of the season).

Watch Out For

  • Chris Morris. Has been sold for plenty at the auction, but some signs he is getting back to his best. Since his breakthrough season with Delhi a few years ago, he has not made a huge mark on the IPL. Is this the year?
  • Sanju Samson went from India’s #4 in the Australia tour to out of the squad. With an extended 23 men squad available for the T20I world cup, can he impress the selectors once again?
  • Buttler-Stokes in the top order.

Where Can Things Go Wrong For the Royals?

Lack of pace. The Fizz, Tye, Unadkat, & even Morris are arguably the world’s best off cutter bowling combination in the world. Without Jofra Archer though, they might fail to defend scores in Mumbai, Kolkata, & Bangalore.

Only so many Tewatia specials can save the Royals.

Venues & Fixtures

Venues

Mumbai- 5, Delhi – 4, Kolkata – 3, Bangalore – 2

Fixtures

  • 12 April: RR vs PBKS (Mumbai)
  • 15 April: RR vs DC (Mumbai)
  • 19 April: CSK vs RR (Mumbai)
  • 22 April: RCB vs RR (Mumbai)
  • 24 April: RR vs KKR (Mumbai)
  • 29 April: MI vs RR (Delhi)
  • 2 May: RR vs SRH (Delhi)
  • 5 May: RR vs CSK (Delhi)
  • 8 May: RR vs MI (Delhi)
  • 11 May: DC vs RR (Kolkata)
  • 13 May: SRH vs RR (Kolkata)
  • 16 May: RR vs RCB (Kolkata)
  • 18 May: KKR vs RR (Bangalore)
  • 22 May: PBKS vs RR (Bangalore)
  • 25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
  • 26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
  • 28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
  • 30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)

Prediction

Prediction7th
Most Runs Jos Buttler
Most WicketsMustafizur Rahman
Emerging PlayerMr. Liam Livingstone, I presume?
Surprise PackageShivam Dube
X FactorJos Buttler
Broken Cricket DreamDavid Miller
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Copyright (2021: 4/3/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Top 50 England Cricket Team Players: Does England Have More Reserve Depth Than India?

Today we discuss Top 50 England Cricket Team players.

England’s rotation policy is well documented. Anderson and Broad have been preserved for more than a decade, while the Woods, Stones, Archers, and Currans rotate. Their bowling depth is quite vast.

After years of mediocre cricket, England’s rise post 2015 has been nothing short of marvelous. 2016 WT20 final, 2017 Champions Trophy semi-finals, winning it all in the 2019 World Cup, and the team to beat at the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup. Their limited overs bench strength is quite something. In Tests, they have now won a record 6 in a row overseas.

Last week, we analyzed India’s bench strength…of 75 players, which can field four complete international quality teams. England can definitely field Team Morgan Vs Team Buttler, but can this era of English cricket give India a fight in their reserves?

Today’s Twist

Build FOUR England National Cricket Teams: 2 Test teams, an ODI, and a T20I XI so that (1) each team can field a team (wicketkeeper & 5 bowling options), and (2) a player is not repeated in any of the lists.

The Catch

  • Would you pick Ben Stokes for the Test team, ODI, or the T20I? How about Jofra Archer? Is Buttler more dangerous ODI middle-order batsman or a T20I opener?
  • Can you make all 4 teams balanced? The goal is that each team is just as good and competitive on the international stage. The ODI & T20I teams should be good enough for the World Cups and the Test teams for the World Test Championship.

England Cricket Team Players

*uncapped player

Test Team 1

  1. 1. Rory Burns
  2. 2. Dom Sibley
  3. 3. Zak Crawley
  4. 4. Joe Root (C)
  5. 5. Ollie Pope
  6. 6. Ben Foakes (WK)
  7. 7. Jofra Archer
  8. 8. Stuart Broad
  9. 9. Dom Bess
  10. 10. Jack Leach
  11. 11. James Anderson

Test Team 2

  1. 1. Haseeb Hameed
  2. 2. Keaton Jennings
  3. 3. Joe Denly
  4. 4. Dan Lawrence
  5. 5. Moeen Ali (C)
  6. 6. James Bracey* (WK)
  7. 7. Sam Curran
  8. 8. Craig Overton
  9. 9. Jake Ball
  10. 10. Mason Crane
  11. 11. Olly Stone

England Cricket Limited Overs Teams

ODI XI

  • 1. Jason Roy
  • 2. Jonny Bairstow (WK)
  • 3. Eoin Morgan (C)
  • 4. Ben Stokes
  • 5. Jos Buttler (WK)
  • 6. Sam Billings
  • 7. Chris Woakes
  • 8. David Willey
  • 9. Adil Rashid
  • 10. Mark Wood
  • 11. Saqib Mahmood

T20I XI

  1. 1. Alex Hales
  2. 2. James Vince
  3. 3. Dawid Malan (C)
  4. 4. Tom Banton
  5. 5. Liam Livingstone
  6. 6. Ben Duckett (WK)
  7. 7. Lewis Gregory
  8. 8. Liam Dawson
  9. 9. Chris Jordan
  10. 10. Tom Curran
  11. 11. Reece Topley

*Notes:

  • I made sure Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales were in different teams (ouch).
  • David Willey narrowly missed out on that World Cup squad, but here, Archer plays for the Test team, while Willey makes the ODI XI. Best of both worlds.
  • Initially I had Sam Billings as a T20I finisher/captain, but had to fill a space in the ODIs (given Root was picked for the Test squad). Hence, Ben Duckett was added to the T20I XI.

Extended List of Prospects

These are just the 44 that are ready for the international level. Here is an extended list of players for the next decade. These players were either (1) selected for the 55-men ECB training squad when cricket returned from COVID, (2) have recently represented England Lions, or (3) were picked from the recent T10 League.

Fringe Players (recent standby players): 45. Jake Ball, Amar Virdi, 46. Matt Parkinson, 47. Ollie Robinson

Youngsters to Watch Out (26 or Below): 48. Jamie Overton, 49. Tom Helm, 50. Tom Moores (WK), 51. George Garton, 52. Tom Abell, 53. Alex Davies (WK), 54. Phil Salt, 55. Pat Brown, 56. Henry Brookes, 57. Tom Kohler-Cardmore, 58. Will Jacks, 59. Sam Hain, 60. Brydon Carse

Ex-International Players Out of Favor (but still dominating T20 or County Circuits): 61. Luke Wright, 62. Liam Plunkett, 63. Samit Patel, 64. Adam Lyth, 65. Ravi Bopara, 66. Gary Ballance, 67. Steven Finn

Others: 68. Ben Cox (WK), 69. Laurie Evans, 70. Richard Gleeson, 71. Sam Northeast, 72. Adam Hose, 73. Sam Wisniewski, 74. Daniel Bell-Drummond, 75. Joe Clarke*

*was named in Alex Hepburn rape trial and since been reprimanded. Doubt he will ever be selected for England

The Verdict

England’s ODI, T20I, and first string Test squad are stronger than India’s, but India’s second string Test squad AND depth of reserves is probably higher quality. I even had to pick Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings for the second string Test opening (given that it has taken a decade for England to replace Strauss-Cook in their first string squad, it is no surprise I had trouble in this regard).

England has an abundance of pace bowlers, but the next generation of batsmen have not yet been groomed.

Now, a lot of India’s players (50-75) were the youngsters emerging from the recent U-19 World Cups and IPL 2020 (post-COVID). Since The Hundred was cancelled last year, the English public were robbed of watching exciting young talent. Who knows, after the 2021 edition of The Hundred, maybe England’s depth can overpower India.

What do you think of England cricket team players right now? What will your England XIs be? COMMENT BELOW!

If you like this, check out the rest of our World XIs with Twists Here – Best Fielding XI, Best Commentators XI, and much more!

Copyright (2021: 2/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Ben StokesBen Sutherland CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

All-Time XI Cricket – World Cup Edition

Today’s twist:

Create an All-time XI with the twist that you can pick only one player from each World Cup. Since we have 12 world cups to choose from, we will create a XI with a 12th player. There are multiple players who have shined in each of cricket’s finest ODI tournament, but who do you pick-the best batsman, bowler, player of the series, or the inspirational captain?

The catch:

How would you go about choosing between Martin Crowe and Wasim Akram in ’92, Lance Klusener and Shane Warne in ’99, or more recently between Kane Williamson, Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Starc, and the infallible Ben Stokes in 2019? Whatever it is, this is bound to be a fun ride.

Before we reveal our XI, let’s refresh our memory with relevant statistics regarding the highest run-scorer, wicket taker, player of the series, and captain of the winning team from each cricket world cup.

World Cup – YearMost runs (runs scored)Most Wickets (wickets taken)Player of the series Winning Captain
1975Glenn Turner (333)Gary Gilmour (11)N/AClive Lloyd
1979Gordon Greenidge (253)Mike Hendrick (10)N/A Clive Lloyd
1983David Gower (384)Roger Binny, Ashantha de Mel (18)N/AKapil Dev
1987Graham Gooch (471)Craig McDermott (18)N/AAllan Border
1992Martin Crowe (456)Wasim Akram (18)Martin Crowe Imran Khan
1996Sachin Tendulkar (523)Anil Kumble (15)Sanath Jayasuriya Arjuna Ranatunga
1999Rahul Dravid (461)Geoff Allott, Shane Warne (20)Lance KlusenerSteve Waugh
2003Sachin Tendulkar (461)Chaminda Vaas (23)Sachin Tendulkar Ricky Ponting
2007Matthew Hayden (659)Glenn McGrath (26)Glenn McGrath Ricky Ponting
2011Tillakarante Dilshan (500)Shahid Afridi, Zaheer Khan (21)Yuvraj SinghMahendra Singh Dhoni
2015Martin Guptill (547)Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult (22)Mitchell Starc Michael Clarke
2019Rohit Sharma (648)Mitchell Starc (27)Kane WilliamsonEoin Morgan
ODI World Cup Statistics

Our All Time XI:

  1. Graham Gooch (1987)
  2. Sachin Tendulkar (2003)
  3. Kane Williamson (2019)
  4. Martin Crowe (1992)
  5. MS Dhoni (2011) – WK
  6. Clive Lloyd (1979) – Captain
  7. Arjuna Ranatunga (1996)
  8. Lance Klusener (1999)
  9. Kapil Dev (1983)
  10. Mitchell Starc (2015)
  11. Glenn McGrath (2007)
  12. Glenn Turner (1975)

Honorable Mentions: Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Wasim Akram, Kumar Sangakkara (most World Cup dismissals and 4 centuries in 2015)

Note, we chose MS Dhoni at the expense of Yuvraj Singh in order to have a wicket-keeper in the side. We decided not to factor great finals’ innings like Ben Stokes in 2019 and Adam Gilchrist in 2017…’Great World Cup Innings’ would have to wait till a later post.

In any case, choosing from the great 1975-1983 West Indian and 1999-2015 Australian sides was always going to be a difficult task anyway…

Agree? Disagree? In any case, let us know in the comments below what your ideal Cricket World Cup XI would be.

For more articles in our series World XIs – With Twists, check this page out!

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