England’s chemistry gives them a winning formula at T20 World Cup


n March, England played five T20s in India, which Eoin Morgan saw as the perfect preparation for this World Cup.

At that stage, the tournament was still due to be in India but the rapidly-developing Covid-19 situation had already made a move to the UAE – where conditions are comparable if not identical – highly likely.

England used just 12 players in the 3-2 series defeat. The bowling attack was made up of six or seven players: Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, plus a Curran or two.

Fast forward to the tournament that they were preparing for. England have won their opening two games, using six bowlers. But only Jordan and Rashid are still about.

Archer, Stokes and Sam Curran were ruled out of the whole tournament with injury. Wood and Tom Curran have joined them on the sidelines with – hopefully – shorter-term issues.

England have ended up throwing together a bowling attack, with Chris Woakes, Tymal Mills, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone all timing their runs to perfection.

On Wednesday, as Bangladesh made just 124 for nine, the four new men picked up all the wickets, including a Mills run out (Woakes and Livingstone shared four catches, too). Even squad member David Willey, who has been unlucky to miss out on selection, spent two years in the T20i wilderness before returning this summer.

“Not by design a few players have missed out,” said Jordan. “The guys who have come in have definitely come in with good form.

“The chemistry between the boys and the way everyone has taken on each and every role they’ve been given has been tremendous.”

Chris Jordan, bowling against Bangladesh, is impressed by the way the team have gelled

/ Getty Images

Woakes made his T20i debut in 2011 but, from 2015 until June this year, did not play a single international in the format, despite being a regular in the longer forms of the game. Perhaps because they just wanted him to play some cricket – quirky misfortune meant he had not played for months – he received a T20 recall this summer, and has stuck around. He has bowled six overs in the tournament, picked up two wickets, and gone at just four an over.

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