England in good shape ahead of Caribbean adventure

By Rhys Hayward

england cricket

With the Icelandic volcano subsiding, the build-up to next week’s World T20 can focus on the cricket.

England have spent most of the last week frantically cooking up alternative routes for their players to reach the Caribbean in time to face the hosts in Guyana in week Monday.

And alongside the positive news of resuming air-travel, it comes as something of a pleasant surprise to look at England’s squad and be positive about their prospects.

True, England are yet to win a major ICC tournament and have the worst T20 record of any major international side.

But since embarrassingly losing to Holland at Lord’s in last year’s World Cup, England have recorded a succession of impressive victories over India, South Africa and Pakistan.

Perhaps more crucially they have unearthed some genuinely destructive batsmen to support Kevin Pietersen and captain Paul Collingwood.

Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter are likely to form a destructive opening-partnership, despite their apparent inexperience.

Lumb is yet to represent England in any format but the 30-year-old has impressed with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and Kieswetter looked the part in Bangladesh.

And then there is the trump card, Eoin Morgan.

Ireland will no doubt feel aggrieved at Morgan’s switch of allegiance when the two side’s meet in the group stages, particularly if he decides to unfurl his freakishly strong forearms.

Morgan is a remarkable cricketer with the rare gift of striking effortless maximum’s while wearing the blue of England.

Leaving aside the issue of the oversees influence in Collingwood’s squad, there are five members of a prospective top six, which could also include Ashes reject Ravi Bopara, with proven match winning capabilities.

Bowling strength was the crucial factor for the last instalment of the tournament but West Indian pitches are likely to heavily favour batsmen.

And England’s injury ravaged bowling department looks to be well on the mend as their linchpin, Jimmy Anderson, marked his return to action with a devastating 6-wicket haul against Essex on Wednesday.

If Anderson and Broad are on form and the batsmen live up to their hefty reputation then England just might have a chance.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Willian

Australian Open 2018
The Sport Review
Australian Open 2018: Simona Halep survives record-breaker; Angelique Kerber downs fellow champ Sharapova
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho delivers huge Alexis Sanchez update after Man United beat Burnley
The Sport Review
Insider claims Mesut Ozil is close to signing new Arsenal contract
The Sport Review
Chelsea told to make January signing to help Eden Hazard