Saturday, July 20, 2024

T20 World Cup: Nasser Hussain says England’s batting depth and lethal bowling will hold them in good stead for title defence -Dlight News

England’s comprehensive victory that demolished a subpar Pakistan side just days before the start of their T20 World Cup defence reminded everyone just what they are capable of.

If a team has ever looked whole, it was this. Blistering pace was on offer from Jofra Archer and Mark Wood. England’s captain Jos Buttler and Phil Salt opened with lethal batting while Chris Jordan showed off epic athleticism in the field. They looked like champions in every possible way.

Any open wounds from the abysmal 50-over campaign in India last year seemed to have healed and their batting depth and skilful bowling ensure Buttler’s boys head to Barbados for the T20 World Cup, live on Sky Sports, in high spirits.

Live ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Tuesday 4th June 3:00pm

“England have so many options down the order, so many options with the ball. They are a very balanced side and have played in a lot of big games,” said Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain.

“We don’t talk enough about how the IPL sets you up as a cricketer but also in big games, under pressure, with big crowds. That’s what you need ahead of a World Cup.

“England have done all they can do. They just have to be better than they were in the 50-over Word Cup, when they didn’t react well after a poor start.

“They need a Plan B if things don’t start well. How do they react on slower pitches against good sides?

“They are in a really good place but have to go and do it now.”

Wood, who was playing in his first match since March due to injury, clocked 96mph with the fourth ball of the first over and proved destructive at the death when he helped mop up Pakistan’s tail, finishing with 2-35.

Combined with Archer’s lethal pace from the other end, the performance was reminiscent of the 2019 World Cup when the pair helped bowl their side to victory and were England’s leading wicket-takers.

“Seeing Wood and Archer on the same teamsheet is really exciting. Whether that will be the case in the Caribbean [I don’t know],” said Sky Sports’ Stuart Broad.

“It may be in certain games and not others. But to have two of England’s quickest bowlers ever is awesome.”

Rashid: Exceptional bowling gives England confidence

Adil Rashid (2-27) made England’s case for spin and looked in fine form ahead of the T20 tournament clattering Mohammad Rizwan’s middle stump and bowling Shadab Khan for a golden duck.

For a brief moment Pakistan mesmerised The Oval crowd after skipper Babar Azam and Rizwan shared a fantastic 59-run opening stand, but England eliminated the threat by exploiting their sloppy middle over batting with the tourists losing three wickets for the same number of runs.

“As a unit I thought we bowled exceptionally well. I know Pakistan got off to a great start, but that’s T20 cricket, it happens a lot,” said Rashid in the post-match press conference.

“The first powerplay they might go 50 or 60, but in the middle and the end, we came back well with spin and the seamers came back very well as well.

“That happens in T20 cricket, it ebbs and flows. So, I think we’re very happy with our bowling performance.

“The World Cup is around the corner so it’s good preparation for all of us. It’s always good to play games and in any condition as well. Obviously to win as well is always the aim.”

Speaking on Archer and Wood’s combination, Rashid added: “I thought they were bowling quite quick, especially in the conditions.

“It was a bit wet, the ball was flying through and when you watch Jofra and Wood bowl it is exciting.

“Seeing the ball zip off the pitch, the keeper taking it really high and it’s exciting to have two quality, world-class bowlers in our squad.”

Every match from the T20 World Cup is live on Sky Sports between June 1-29, with England’s first match is against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday June 4 (3.30pm UK and Ireland time).

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