England just seem to be peaking at the right time

Can England find the right gears? (PC: X.com)

There are some unforgettable memories which echo right through a lifetime. For the English players, who partook in the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan in 2022, those evocative memories of lifting the trophy would stay with them forever. But time flies. Roughly around a year later, they couldn’t defend the 50-over World Cup title in India and finished a lowly seventh. 

In the ongoing T20 World Cup, when they hurtled to a defeat against arch-rivals, Australia, there were plenty of question marks surrounding the coach and captain duo of Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler. In the nick of time, England found the right gears to comfortably beat both Oman and Namibia. The excellent drainage system in Antigua and Australia usurping Scotland also played a part in England qualifying for Super 8s.

So, what are the prospects of England in the remainder of the World Cup? Can they successfully defend the title? Ahead of their Super 8 clash against the West Indies, here is a bird’s eye-view of the strengths and weaknesses of the England side.

As always, the engine room of England is their powerhouse of a batting unit. Buttler and Phil Salt at the top make up for an explosive combination. It is true there are whispers going around that Buttler’s trigger movements aren’t as quick as what used to be. Having said that, Buttler has a wealth of experience, which helps him to row through different situations of the game. 

Recently, in the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, Buttler seemed to be searching for answers while facing the spin duo of Varun Chakaravarthy and Sunil Narine. The opener, though, remained patient and maximised his potential against the seamers. In the T20 World Cup, he did look assured at the crease versus Australia. In the Namibia-England game, that little bit of moisture underneath went against England’s openers, as both of them fell early.

Salt, meanwhile, was in prime form in the IPL, scoring at a whopping strike rate of over 182. On trickier pitches in the Caribbean, he hasn’t exactly got going. The West Indies-England game might just turn out to be the perfect setting for Salt to return to form, as the conditions at the Daren Sammy Stadium are expected to be good for batting.