England: Champions of the T20 world
England are double champions of the cricketing world- and they look they could only get better
The dust has settled on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia and following weeks of high intensity cricket with plenty of ups and downs, England are champions. Holding both the 50 over and 20 over titles at the same time for the first time ever, Jos Buttler has led his side superbly.
The final was one which always felt as though England had within their grasp, restricting a talented Pakistan side to just 138–8 in their 20 overs. On the vast ground that is the MCG, it automatically looked at least 30 runs short before England had even faced a ball.
Sam Curran and Adil Rashid shone with the ball, giving their batters the ideal chance to get the job done in the second innings.
Alex Hales’ early departure gave the majority Pakistan supporting crowd a huge lift, and the pressure was on Jos Buttler to put in a captain’s innings to get his side back on track. Despite scoring just 26, he did this. Buttler faced up to some ruthless fast bowling and built a platform for which his side could push on to victory.
The batting accolades will rightly belong to Ben Stokes. His first ever T20 half century saw England home and his counter attacking pushed back against Pakistan bowlers who were ramping up the pressure. Well supported by Moeen Ali who hit 19 from 13 balls to help get England out of what was a sticky spell created by some fantastic bowling, Stokes opened up and played his natural, fearless game which has made him one of the best in the world at what he does.
The skill and depth of the English white ball set up is nothing new, but when you consider the number of quality players we have won this tournament without, it really puts into perspective how promising the future looks for the shorter formats. The notable absentee was of course Jonny Bairstow, but others include Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Jason Roy, Will Jacks and Sam Billings.
It is not beyond the realism of normality to say that we could have a whole other T20 side made up of completely different players and still compete in the tournament- something every other side in the sport will be surely jealous of.
The current group of English players are special- and they have proven what they can do by earning the coveted prize of double world champions. With the next 50 over World Cup taking place in less than a year, you can say that the majority of this winning side will be still on top of the game and vying to defend the title in India.
It has been a fantastic year for English cricket. Following the embarrassment of the Ashes in Australia, the Test match side has roared back with two series wins and an emphatic victory against India. The white ball team added to this with an excellent 4–3 series win in Pakistan and then this triumphant World Cup victory.
Under new management, both England’s white and red ball sides are in better hands. The wins look likely to keep on coming and, with big name players still to return from injury and plenty of up and coming talent waiting in the wings, the future looks bright for both of the men’s English cricket teams.