What. A. Ball.
It’s quite crazy to think that England had won a T20 World Cup before the likes of Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Falling just short in the 2016 T20 World Cup final, Eoin Morgan and his men will be desperate to reclaim the trophy a second time soon.
1. Alex Hales
T20I stats: 1644 runs, 31.01 average, 136.65 strike rate, one hundred
A powerful batsman with mesmerising shots to watch square of the wicket, Alex Hales has been one freak of a T20 cricketer for England. Smashing 116 against Sri Lanka in the 2014 T20 World Cup, the Nottinghamshire batsman stamped his authority on the shortest format as a dangerous opener.
With off-field incidents hampering Hales’ chances in playing more T20 internationals, one can wonder if Alex Hales will play T20 internationals anymore in the future.
2. Kevin Pietersen
T20I stats: 1176 runs, 37.94 average, 141.52 strike rate, seven fifties
For England, finding another Kevin Pietersen will be hard. A match-winner in his own right, KP was a freak of a player who was the first English batsman to have outstanding records in all three formats.
An inventive batsman, Pietersen was a crucial part of England’s 2010 T20 World Cup title-winning campaign – amassing 248 runs at an average of 62 and a strike rate of approximately 137.77.
3. Joe Root
T20I stats: 893 runs, 35.72 average, 126.3 strike rate, five fifties
At first drop comes the lad from Yorkshire – Joe Root. Primarily an accumulator, Root has shown for England in the shortest format that he can switch gears when required. Although he has a fantastic T20I record, questions linger on whether he will get the nod over Dawid Malan come the 2021 T20 World Cup.
4. Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper)
T20I stats: 1334 runs, 26.68 average, 139.68 strike rate, eight fifties, 25 catches, four stumpings
In T20 cricket, I believe you need your four best T20 players to bat in the top four – thus Buttler batting in the top four. The best white-ball player England has produced, Jos Buttler has had an amazing white-ball career for England.
Whatever the situation, expect Buttler to deliver, even under pressure. With the gloves, Buttler has been close to flawless and the scary thing for opposition teams is that he’ll only get better as time goes on.
5. Eoin Morgan (captain)
T20I stats: 2138 runs, 30.98 average, 137.49 strike rate, 13 fifties
The man who revolutionised England’s style of play in white-ball cricket and the leading English T20I run-scorer, it would be scandalous for me not to include Eoin Morgan in this XI. One of the finest tacticians English cricket has seen, Morgan’s charisma and temperament stands out.
While he’s a top-four batsman in ODI cricket, I feel Morgan is better suited as a floater in T20 cricket for England and he sure does have the power game to possess for that role.
6. Ben Stokes
T20I stats: 305 runs, 17.94 average, 134.36 strike rate, zero fifties, 14 wickets, 40.78 average, 8.82 economy
While I don’t feel Ben Stokes has quite cracked the T20 international arena as of yet, I still do believe he’s done enough to warrant as a finisher in this XI. Hitting sixes for fun and taking wickets in tough overs, Ben Stokes has shown his potential in the short format despite his inconsistencies.
Come T20 World Cup – if Stokes fires with bat and ball, England’s chances of lifting the T20 World Cup a second time will go up.
7. David Willey
T20I stats: 166 runs, 13.83 average, 131.74 strike rate, zero fifties, 34 wickets, 22.38 average, 8.19 economy
I wanted five frontline bowlers in this XI and with David Willey’s abilities with the bat, he makes it at number seven. Primarily bowling with the new ball, Willey’s ability to shape the ball both ways has seen him pick up wickets for England in the powerplay overs. Add his handy cameos with the bat and Willey has had quite an impactful T20I career for the Poms.
8. Chris Jordan
T20I stats: 58 wickets, 24.27 average, 8.43 economy
Although Chris Jordan has gone for runs at times, he has shown to be a wicket-taker, especially in the death overs. Bowling in the high 130s, Jordan has mostly bowled in the middle and death overs. Possessing a deadly yorker and a truckload of different slower balls, Jordan has delivered most times with the ball when Eoin Morgan has called upon him.
9. Adil Rashid
T20I stats: 41 wickets, 26.8 average, 7.63 economy
A leg-spinner who was making headlines from a young age in English cricket, Adil Rashid has been one man Morgan has been able to rely on. Bowling his loopy leg-spinners alongside a cheeky wrong’un and sliders, Rashid has bamboozled the likes of AB De Villiers and Rohit Sharma in his T20I career.
10. Graeme Swann
T20I stats: 51, wickets, 16.84 average, 6.36 economy
The best spinner for England in T20 internationals. Take ten wickets in six games en route to England lifting the 2010 T20 World Cup. Average less than 17 with the ball. Not a bad T20I career for Graeme Swann by the age of 34.
11. Stuart Broad
T20I stats: 65 wickets, 22.93 average, 7.62 economy
As much as I loved booing Broad on day five at the SCG in 2018, he’s still a champion player. The leading wicket-taker for England in T20Is, Broad’s record speaks for itself.