4 reasons for England fans to be optimistic ahead of World Twenty20 Final


England will meet the West Indies, the only side to have beaten them in the tournament, in Sunday’s World Twenty20 final at Eden Gardens.

We take a look at four reasons to be optimistic about a reversal.

1. Deepest batting in the tournament

(Manish Swarup/AP)

Debates can be had over who the best T20 batsman in the world is, who hits the longest ball and who has the widest array of shots. But for sheer depth, England appear to have brought the strongest pound-for-pound line-up to the party.

All 11 of the side who played the semi-final against New Zealand can be considered batsmen or all-rounders, with not a bunny in sight.

David Willey, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett represent as talented a bottom three as there is.

Should wickets tumble in a hurry in the final, England have plans A, B and C.

2. Rashid and Hales are due

(Rafiq Maqbool/AP)

It may seem like a classic case of gambler’s fallacy – expecting a sequence to break simply because it’s about time – but two of England’s most dangerous performers are yet to really fire.

Rashid’s leg-spin was a star attraction in this year’s Big Bash but has yet to pull up trees in India, while Hales is a former world number one in the format and remains the country’s only T20 centurion.

If either, or both, catch fire in Kolkata, it could have a big bearing on the result.

3. Backroom boys bring winning mentality

(Nick Potts/PA)

Much has been made of the inexperience in England’s side but that is compensated by some serious know-how in the dugout.

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace led Sri Lanka to the title in 2014, bowling coach Ottis Gibson was in charge of the West Indies when they won in 2012 and batting consultant Paul Collingwood captained England to their triumph in 2010.

Add in the glittering CV of head coach Trevor Bayliss, who has won the IPL and Big Bash, and the well of wisdom runs deep.

4. Jordan and Stokes: Deadly at the death

(Tsering Topgyal/AP)

One of England’s failings in limited-overs cricket in previous incarnations was the inability to keep a lid on opposition batsmen at the end of an innings.

But Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes have made the final overs their stage of late. The pair go full and fast, occasionally aiming at fifth stump, and have enjoyed considerable success so far.

The Windies scored freely against England when they met in Mumbai but will not have missed the pair’s strong showings since.


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