All of the top cricket teams are in the final stages of preparation for the 2022 T20 World Cup which begins later this month. England are in top form among the teams that could be considered the front-runners for the title. The team, led by Jos Buttler, is currently touring Australia and defeated the hosts by eight rounds on Sunday. Buttler is back in his all-action role as captain, opening batsman and wicketkeeper as powerful England prepare to launch their bid for Twenty20 World Cup glory. The white-ball star missed his side’s recent 4-3 series win in Pakistan with a calf injury and in his absence Alex Hales and Phil Salt impressed at the top of the batting order, with Salt taking the gloves.
However, in the T20I win over Australia, Buttler hit 68 balls from just 32 balls. He definitely looks at his best for the T20 World Championship. In a recent training session, Buttler turned heads when he smacked Ben Stokes with his left hand.
Watch: Jos Buttler becomes left-handed
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) October 11, 2022
In the first T20I, the 32-year-old opened alongside Hales and hit 68 balls from 32 as England beat the hosts and defending World Cup champions in Perth by eight runs. Buttler and Test captain Ben Stokes, who was not in the squad in Pakistan, will bolster an already strong batting line-up, with all-rounder Liam Livingstone and ‘death-overs’ specialist Chris Jordan also added to the mix.
Buttler, who succeeded Eoin Morgan as England’s white-ball captain earlier this year, is hoping to guide the reigning 50-over world champion to his second T20 triumph, 12 years after his first.
England’s Test team have shone under Stokes in recent months but Buttler and new white ball coach Matthew Mott have had a harder time finding success despite being second in T20 cricket.
England lost T20s and a one-day international series to India in July before drawing an ODI series against South Africa and then losing to the Proteas in the subsequent T20 series. Those results prompted questions about whether Buttler, a member of the winning England team at the 2019 50-over World Cup, was asked to juggle too many roles.
That debate heated up in Pakistan, where the recalled Hales and Salt both made their mark after England dropped ailing opener Jason Roy from the squad.
The emergence of fifth-placed Harry Brook in Pakistan – he was England’s leading run scorer on the tour with 238 runs and a batting average of 163 – also complicated the debate over where all-rounder Stokes will fit in the squad.
But Buttler has made it clear he wants Stokes to bat as high up as possible and he was sent off in third place against Australia, who are in the English Super 12 group of the tournament.
(With AFP inputs)
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