Jos Buttler is confident that England will start firmly among the favorites in the Twenty20 World Cup, despite the absence of “superstars” Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
England, which is in the same group as Australia, will fly to Oman on Monday. There they will go through a mandatory quarantine period before heading to their tournament base in Dubai next Saturday.
When England landed the 50-over crown at Lord’s in 2019, Buttler, Stokes and Archer were the men who performed for their country when the pressure was on.
In addition to excelling in the final against New Zealand, the trio were called up to arrange an unprecedented ‘super over’ – with Stokes and Buttler bringing in the six-ball decider and Archer being chosen as the bowler to cap it off.
But with Stokes on an extended hiatus due to mental health issues and Archer recovering from a long-term elbow injury, England’s hopes of becoming the first-ever men’s side to hold both limited-overs trophies at the same time have been dashed.
Buttler is excited about the prospects of an unprecedented double.
“I think we are definitely one of the favorite teams. I know we miss Ben and Jofra, who are two superstars of the game, but I still look at that list and see some real match winners by our side,” said he. said.
“I think any side in the world would miss those guys, but I’m really excited about the squad we have.
“There are other fantastic teams around – India is always strong, West Indies have a lot of experience in T20 cricket and a lot of ability to hit six – but we are a really good team.
“We will focus a lot on ourselves, play to the best of our ability and if we do that I think we will come a long way. Becoming a double world champion would be a huge achievement and it will not be easy. I think we can all do that understand.”
In the absence of Stokes and Archer, England head coach Chris Silverwood was able to rely on two players who were firmly on the fringes of the set up 12 months ago to add some X factor to a well-known unit.
Liam Livingstone has seen his stock skyrocket lately, with his fearless ball strikes quickly emerging as the number one attraction in the inaugural season of The Hundred before hitting England’s fastest-ever international century in July – a 42-ball blitz against Pakistan.
Archer’s spot, meanwhile, has been snapped up by his Sussex teammate Tymal Mills – another The Hundred success story featuring Southern Brave and a death bowling specialist who last played for England in 2016.
“Liam had a fantastic summer. The century against Pakistan and The Hundred – he was the figurehead of that – so he goes into the tournament full of confidence.
“We have a number of match winners and Liam is another one. I enjoyed watching The Hundred and it was great to see Tymal at work.
“We’ve seen him in an England shirt before and it’s a fantastic story for him to be back at a World Cup now.
“He’s got that left arm angle, extreme pace and he’s got a good slower ball, so he’s a great guy to have on your team and someone who can cause a lot of trouble.”
England will begin their campaign against the West Indies on October 23, and will also share a group with Australia, South Africa and two first-round qualifiers.