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Who should England pick for the 2020 T20 World Cup? Our writers have their say

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Yes, we know – there’s still plenty of time till the 2020 T20 World Cup gets underway. But our writers have decided to take stock of how things currently stand and have their say on which England players should be on the plane to Australia.

Phil Walker – Editor-in-chief, Wisden Cricket Monthly

1. Jonny Bairstow
2. Jason Roy
3. Joe Root
4. Jos Buttler (wk)
5. Ben Stokes
6. Eoin Morgan (c)
7. Moeen Ali
8. Tom Curran
9. Saqib Mahmood
10. Jofra Archer
11. Matt Parkinson

12. James Vince
13. Tymal Mills
14. Sam Curran
15. Adil Rashid

This works for me. Buttler in the glamour slot, Stokes finishing things up at No.5 with Morgan the ice-veined fall-back at six, and a bowling group offering outright pace, sexy wrist spin and two left-arm options. In the high-end wheels category we’ve got Archer leading the fight, with Mahmood and Mills, in that order, flanking him. Tom Curran meanwhile is as skilful as they come at the death, as well as being a feisty No.8 who plays the quicks well, having won a few games for Surrey from that position. He comes in just after Moeen, who may need some persuading to set foot in Australia again, but who’s still the best slow-bowling all-rounder in the country, as he recently showed in the Blast. A confident, unbowed version of the great man remains a precious thing.

Sam Curran may struggle for effectiveness with the ball on Australian pitches, but he’s such a diamond cricketer – and he hits it as cleanly as anyone in this  squad – that he comes in as a versatile squad man, while my reserve top-order heartbreaker is James Vince, who remains an immense white-ball player with the game for pacey Aussie tracks. Finally, by this time next year, Matt Parkinson will have won a few games for England. The wildcard in this lot, he also happens to be the most exciting white-ball bowler in the country.

Jo Harman – Magazine editor, Wisden Cricket Monthly

1. Jonny Bairstow
2. Jason Roy
3. Joe Root
4. Jos Buttler (wk)
5. Eoin Morgan (c)
6. Ben Stokes
7. Moeen Ali
8. David Willey
9. Tom Curran
10. Adil Rashid
11. Jofra Archer

12. Sam Billings
13. Chris Jordan
14. Saqib Mahmood
15. Matt Parkinson

I like this team. Look at all that batting, and seven bowling options, too. Root will plunge down the order if the openers get off to a flier, to the extent that some may wonder at times if he’s worth his place at all. But in the pressure cooker of a big tournament I want the security of a world-class anchor at No.3. If Tymal Mills can prove his fitness I’d be tempted to find a spot for him – raw pace will be key Down Under and I’d like another left-arm option – and Banton, Malan and Vince (or even Alex Hales?) will have plenty of opportunity, in the Blast and The Hundred, to pile pressure on Billings for that final batting spot. 

England’s five-match T20I series against New Zealand gets underway on Friday

Ben Gardner – Wisden staff writer

1. Jason Roy
2. Jonny Bairstow
3. Moeen Ali
4. Eoin Morgan (c)
5. Ben Stokes
6. Jos Buttler (wk)
7. Sam Curran
8. Chris Woakes
9. Jofra Archer
10. Chris Jordan
11. Matt Parkinson

12. Lewis Gregory
13. Adil Rashid
14. Dawid Malan
15. Pat Brown

England’s long-standing lop-sidedness means Joes Root and Denly miss out altogether, Dawid Malan preferred as the back-up pure batsman, and Jos Buttler has to come in lower down as the least unsuited of the stellar top-order options to being a finisher. Sam Curran, getting swing first up with his left arm and hitting sixes aplenty, is the fulcrum. Lewis Gregory is the best finisher in the country and perhaps deserves a starting berth, with much the same true of Pat Brown and death bowling. The one player I am backing to usurp an established senior is Matt Parkinson, a leggie with natural talent to burn and guile and composure beyond his years.

Taha Hashim – Wisden staff writer

1. Jason Roy
2. Jonny Bairstow
3. Dawid Malan
4. Eoin Morgan (c)
5. Ben Stokes
6. Jos Buttler (wk)
7. Moeen Ali
8. David Willey
9. Adil Rashid
10. Jofra Archer
11. Chris Jordan

12. Tom Curran
13. Tom Banton
14. Saqib Mahmood
15. Matt Parkinson

Joe Root is England’s man for all seasons, but he hasn’t looked as assured in T20 cricket in recent times and with plenty on his plate as Test skipper, it may be worth sitting this one out. Dawid Malan comes in as the steady top-order presence, and he’s more than capable of going berserk if needed. Jos Buttler has impressed as a T20 opener, but I’m banking on Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow to do their thing, with Buttler tasked to be the finisher. While David Willey currently appears to be out of the reckoning, he remains a more reliable left-arm option than Sam Curran. There are a few punts in there: Tom Banton, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson. I reckon the kids will come good against New Zealand.

***

Those are our writers’ picks for now. England’s five-match series against New Zealand might shake things up…

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