England ride the switchback as T20 cricket comes out of mothballs

Buttler: It makes sense to include Stokes in the World Cup roster

Roll, roll, roll! Men’s and women’s ashes have been thrilling, and the Hundred has loved its month in the spotlight. 

However, there is still space in the sardine can for two or three bilateral white-ball series! The New Zealand team just landed in the country a few days ago, but the rest of you can forgive us if you missed it in the midst of the 100-ball antics and World Cup squad news.

Four – yes, four – T20Is kick off the tour on Wednesday at Chester-le-Street, followed by four – yes, four – ODIs that will put England on the path to their 50-over World Cup defense. 

As a result, the T20Is offer a better chance to assess the strength of the home team before a major international tournament in the US and Caribbean the following year. However, plans to trial three young speed bowlers have already changed as a result of the injuries that prevented John Turner and Josh Tongue from competing.

However, over the next several days, Gus Atkinson, one of the season’s biggest surprises and a bowler who can reach speeds of 95 mph/152 kph, ought to be given the opportunity to make his England debut. 

Atkinson, who caught Jos Buttler’s attention during a match earlier in the season, helped Oval Invincibles win the Hundred title at the weekend. The Surrey player has advanced so far in the rankings that he is now included in the provisional World Cup squad, despite having only participated in two List A games in his career.

Rehan Ahmed, Luke Wood, and Will Jacks should also have opportunities, and Jonny Bairstow, who missed England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign in Australia, is poised to play his first T20 International match in more than a year. Bairstow, who only sometimes opened during the course of his international T20 career, may be the immediate beneficiary of Alex Hales’s sudden retirement.

Since England’s world title status was damaged by a 3-0 T20I loss in Bangladesh in mid-March, there has been such a sense of disarray surrounding the calendar that they haven’t actually played a limited-overs international. 

However, Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott, fresh off a tournament-leading run total in the Hundred, now have a rigorous schedule to hone their preparations for the subcontinent.

A replay of the 2019 final will take place in the tournament’s opening match on October 5 between England and New Zealand. Ben Stokes, who won Player of the Match at Lord’s, will return from retirement for this match but won’t play in the T20Is. 

All roads presently go to Ahmedabad, but there are lots of issues that tourists can resolve while in England, according to Tim Southee, the captain of New Zealand in 20-over matches.

They had just returned from a 2-1 victory in the UAE with a young team, but their impressive streak of 39 games without a loss against non-Test countries came to an end in the second game of the series. However, with numerous players already in rhythm after working in the Hundred, the group to face England will be substantially stronger.

Kane Williamson’s progress in recovering from a major knee injury may be the most crucial aspect of this tour for New Zealand’s World Cup aspirations. Williamson is not anticipated to play against England, and Trent Boult will only play the one-day internationals as he rejoins the team after choosing not to sign a central contract last year. 

However, after several months in which the global T20 franchise circuit has dominated discussions, a different story is beginning to emerge.

England: 1 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Harry Brook, 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Adil Rashid, 9 Chris Jordan/Brydon Carse, 10 Luke Wood, 11 Gus Atkinson
New Zealand: 1 Devon Conway (wk), 2 Finn Allen, 3 Mark Chapman/Tim Seifert, 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Rachin Ravindra/Cole McConchie, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee (capt), 10 Lockie Ferguson/Adam Milne, 11 Ish Sodhi