England’s Jonny Bairstow bludgeoned a brilliant unbeaten 86 from 48 balls as the tourists chased down 180 to beat South Africa by five wickets with four balls to spare in the first Twenty20 International at Newlands.
I am sure that England has not forgotten the four-ball four sixes of Carlos Brathwaite in the final of the T20 World Cup in 2016.
They must be preparing themselves to take revenge this time.
England has adopted the new brand of cricket after a poor performance in the 2015 World Cup and that changed the dimensions of English cricket. After that England was the runner-up at the T20 World Cup 2016 and won the World Cup in 2019.
This is the English squad that could help them win the World Cup this time.
T20I stats: 35 innings, 860 runs at 24.6, SR: 147.5, five fifties
Roy was given his debut in 2015 in the wake of adopting a new brand of cricket. Since then, he has not been given an opportunity to raise a finger on his performance. With a strike rate of almost 150, he is the best opener to start with.
Jonny Bairstow (wk)
T20I stats: 32 innings, 725 runs at 27.9, SR: 139.4, four fifties
With many ups and downs in his career, now he has cemented his place in the team as an opener. He came in the team as a middle-order batsman who can keep gloves and then Buttler took this duty from him.
After that, he had a fantastic domestic season which earned him the spot in the top order, which he grabbed successfully.
T20I stats: 30 innings, 893 runs at 35.7, SR: 126.3, five fifties
Joe Root is the perfect option for number three but when England adopted modern cricket, his place was useless in T20Is. He comes to bat at a time when there is a need to accelerate the scoreboard, which he can’t manage to do. But he’ll be my backup option in the top order.
T20I stats: 10 innings, 469 runs at 52.1, SR: 153.8, five fifties, one hundred
The man whose talent is discovered lately has just played ten innings in which he scored five fifties and a hundred. He scored a hundred which was the fastest by any English batsman in T20Is.
Eoin Morgan (c)
T20I stats: 87 innings, 2138 runs at 31, SR: 137.5, 13 fifties
Morgan is the English skipper and has scored above 2000 runs with the strike rate of 137.5. I don’t need to to explain his inclusion in the team.
T20 stats: 102 innings, 2515 runs at 26.2, SR: 132.1, 14 fifties
Livingstone is another exciting talent who still needs to come on the big stage. He had represented England in two T20Is in 2017 and was then dropped. He had a fantastic BBL season in which he scored 425 runs at an average of 30.25 with the strike rate of 142.61.
Jos Buttler (wk)
T20I stats: 61 innings, 1334 runs at 26.7, SR: 139.7, eight fifties
Buttler is one of the best hitters in world cricket. He started batting as an opener in T20Is but I would like him to bat down the order and finish the inning. With the firepower he has, he can singlehandedly take the game away from the opposition.
T20I stats: 23 innings, 305 runs at 17.9, SR: 134.4, no fifties
21 innings, 14 wickets at 40.8, ER:8.82
From down on knees to the high on shoulders – this is the Stokes story from 2016 to 2019. Four balls and four sixes to the man of the match in the World Cup 2019 final; this is his transformation in three years. Currently, he is not only the best all-rounder in England but in world cricket. He will be definitely in everyone’s squad.
T20I stats: 25 innings, 284 runs at 15.8, SR: 121.6, one fifties
25 innings, 16 wickets at 36.8, ER:8.60
Moeen Ali is a player who can bat at any number. He started his career as an opener but now bats in the lower order. Besides his finishing skill, he has a good off-spin which is very economical in the middle-overs.
T20 stats: 55 innings, 838 runs at 19.1, SR: 130.9, four fifties
68 innings, 63 wickets at 30.3, ER:8.65
Sam Curran has already made his name in the Test cricket but his performance in T20I cricket is yet to be discovered. He is the perfect all-rounder who can bowl four overs and can bat according to condition. His swinging balls in the powerplay can deceive any batsman.
T20I stats: 41 innings, 41 wickets at 26.8, ER: 7.63
Another spinner in my team is Adil Rashid, who can bowl strictly in the wickets and tease the batsman. He is a leggie who also bowls good googlies and is the perfect wicket-taking option to go with in the middle-overs. He has 41 wickets in international cricket and an economy rate of 7.63.
T20I stats: 92 innings, 121 wickets at 22.47, ER: 7.80
Archer is just a year old in international cricket but his fame is much older than that. He is the most valuable bowler in the T20 leagues and his name was familiar even before international cricket. He bowls perfect Yorkers and bouncers, which makes him the best death bowler.
T20I stats: 18 innings, 21 wickets at 25.6, ER: 9.10
Tom Curran is another attacking bowler who can take wickets in the powerplay. His passion for wickets and thriving in international cricket can be seen through his performances. Sometimes he goes for the runs in the search of wickets, and that’s why he has a high economy rate.
T20I stats: 46 innings, 58 wickets at 24.3, ER: 8.66
Jordan is another dangerous bowler who bowls quick with perfect line and length. He had a rough start to his career but as his career proceeds, his performance is starting to show up. He has picked 58 wickets in international cricket with an economy rate of 8.66.
T20I stats: eight innings, 15 wickets at 17.7, ER: 9.67
England has many pacy bowlers in which Mark Wood is superior. He can bowl at 90 mph which is very helpful in Australian conditions. His one weakness is that he concedes too many runs but can give a breakthrough in return to that.
He has taken 15 wickets in eight matches with the economy-rate of 9.67.
First choice playing XI
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer