We can win it even without Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer! England’s Jos Buttler insists they should be considered among T20 World Cup favourites despite absence of two ‘superstars’ as Eoin Morgan’s squad jet out to the UAE
- England are heading out to the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup
- Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were absent from 15-man preliminary squad
- All-rounder Stokes is taking an ‘indefinite break’ to prioritise mental health
- Fast bowler Archer will miss World Cup and Ashes with an elbow injury
- But Jos Buttler still thinks England should be considered among the favourites
- Eoin Morgan’s side are world 50-over champions and want to do the Double
Jos Buttler believes the depth of England’s white ball talent means they should still be considered among the T20 World Cup favourites despite the absence of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
Talismanic all-rounder Stokes was not named in the 15-strong preliminary squad for this month’s tournament in the United Arab Emirates as his ‘indefinite break’ from cricket to help his mental wellbeing continues.
Fast bowler Archer, meanwhile, will miss both the World Cup and this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia after suffering a stress fracture to his right elbow.
Jos Buttler is confident England can win the T20 World Cup despite key personnel missing
Ben Stokes (top) and Jofra Archer, both heroes of England’s 50-over World Cup triumph in 2019, will miss the T20 version starting this month in the UAE
But Buttler is still confident England can add the 20-over World Cup to the 50-over version won so dramatically in 2019.
‘We are certainly one of the favourites, we are a brilliant team,’ he said.
‘I know we’re going to be missing Ben and Jofra, two superstars, but you still look down that list and there’s some real match-winners in our side.
‘Liam Livingstone, with the way his game was in those T20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and The Hundred, he will go into the World Cup with fantastic confidence.
‘And seeing Tymal Mills operate again – we have seen him a bit before in an England shirt and coming back is a fantastic story for him.
‘He has that left-arm angle, that extreme pace and he’s got a pretty good slower ball as well so he is a great guy to have in your squad who can pose a lot of problems.’
Buttler marks scoring a half-century during the T20 series against Pakistan earlier this year
The free-hitting opener has been in fine form this year ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE
Lancashire’s Livingstone returned to the England fold after four years away and played himself into the World Cup squad, memorably scoring a 42-ball hundred in a losing cause against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Mills, who hasn’t been in the international set-up since 2017, performed well for Sussex as they reached T20 Finals Day and helped Southern Brave win the men’s title in The Hundred.
England’s last taste of a T20 World Cup ended in heartbreak when Carlos Brathwaite smashed Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over to snatch victory for West Indies.
But Buttler says those painful memories from 2016 have been erased by the dramatic manner of their 2019 win over New Zealand at Lord’s, when he removed the bails to run out Martin Guptill in a super over.
Liam Livingstone, seen in action for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred, has earned himself a place in England’s World Cup squad with some impressive hitting
Tymal Mills also returned to the England fold following an encouraging summer for Sussex
‘It just shows it doesn’t matter how you do get over the line, that is all you need to do,’ he said.
‘It was an incredibly unique final and I look back at the swings both ways and the elements of luck involved, it was quite amazing.
‘But knowing you can win like that is a huge bonus to have and gives confidence to the team.
‘We are in a new environment with a new team and different competition so we must fully focus on the job at hand. But we can fall back on those experiences.’
Buttler runs out New Zealand’s Martin Guptill as England won the 50-over World Cup in 2019
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