It’s the only world event the England men’s team has won to date, a stirring and unlikely victory in the 2010 edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies. The star of England’s run to the title that year was undoubtedly Kevin Pietersen, who hit two half-centuries on his way to 248 runs at an average of 62.00 and a strike rate of 137.77, with Craig Kieswetter chipping in with 222 runs at 31.71 and a strike rate of 116.84. Graeme Swann’s bowling – 10 wickets at an economy rate of 6.54 over in seven matches – played no mean part either.
A lot has changed in England cricket since that win, and before the ICC World Twenty20 2016, the team looks good for the shortest format of the game, with a line-up of good, clean, solid hitters and a bowling attack with quite a few short-format specialists and a nice mix of different styles.
The title run in the 2010 ICC World T20 was the best England has done in any ICC event, including in ICC World Cups.
In the inaugural World T20 in 2007 in South Africa, England qualified for the Super 8s, but then lost all its three games, to South Africa, New Zealand and India. The 2009 campaign wasn’t too different, where it got past the first hurdle but then lost to South Africa and West Indies, though it beat India. Ditto in 2012, where it started as the defending champion but lost to West Indies and Sri Lanka to exit the tournament in the Super 8s, and in 2014, it lost in the first round of the Super 10s after coming off second best to New Zealand, South Africa and, in one of the great upsets, the Netherlands (LINK TO VIDEO).
At the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, England is in Group 1 in the Super 10s, along with Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies and the team that qualifies from Group B.
Captain Eoin Morgan
Coach Trevor Bayliss
England is a drastically different-looking team in limited-overs internationals now compared to the unit that failed to make the quarterfinals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. The selectors focussed on players who fit the bill based on performances in domestic competitions and the team, almost overnight, turned a corner.
Jos Buttler has been the poster boy of New England, but it’s been a more collective enterprise. Runs have been scored quickly, the big hits to and over and boundary have come almost on demand, and big scores have been put up and chased down. That’s the batting part. On the field, too, England has looked good, and Reece Topley and David Willey - left-arm pacers - are among the new-generation bowlers to have made a big impact.
Pitted in Group 1 in the Super 10s, England will have it tough, especially with two former World T20 champions – West Indies and Sri Lanka – and South Africa in its path.
The team does have the quality and the depth. When I say depth, you have Moeen Ali coming in at No. 8. Ben Stokes – he has performed incredibly well over the past year
Strengths The biggest strength is its star-studded batting lineup, which boasts of some of the best hitters in the world, in Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, as well as Eoin Morgan, There is too, the class of Joe Root and the lower-order flexibility of Moeen Ali.
Recent Form South Africa ran away 2-0 victors in the recent Twenty20 series, winning the first game at Newlands off the last ball and the next at Wanderers at a canter. Prior to the series, England had last played a T20I series in November last year against Pakistan in the UAE, where it won the first and second games before the final one was tied.
Eoin Morgan, who took over as England T20I captain in December 2012 for the series in India, which ended 1-1, has been as well-rounded a short-format batsman as they come.
The emergence of Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes has taken some of the attention off Morgan in recent times, but in his last five T20I innings before the series in South Africa, he had scores of 71, 74 and 45 not out. And that average of 30.59 and strike rate of 133.02 puts him up there among the best in the format.
As captain, he is calm and tactically astute, something that is often glossed over in the haze of fours and sixes in T20Is, and in a team of swashbucklers, Morgan is the expert finisher. He could do with rediscovering his form, though, quickly.
One to Watch
Sam Billings is not yet 25, and has had only a moderate time in top-drawer limited-overs cricket since making his ODI and T20I debuts in the series against New Zealand at home in June 2015.
He is an all-round sportsman, who plays rugby, football and tennis. He skipped a trial with Tottenham Hotspur because he wanted to concentrate on cricket, and what a good decision that was for England, which has found one for the future in Billings – a quick-scoring batsman and a brilliant fielder/wicketkeeper.
Billings hasn’t had to put on the big gloves for England yet, but when on the field, has added to the energy that the new-look team has wanted to inculcate.
- Alex Hales is one of only six batsmen to have scored a World T20 century, the others being Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina, Mahela Jayawardene and Ahmed Shehzad.
- England has lost the most matches in the five-edition history of the World T20: 11.
- Eoin Morgan is among just 24 men to have played international cricket for two countries – he played 23 One-Day Internationals for Ireland before switching to England.
- New boy Sam Billings played, among many other sports, racquets as a youngster, and says his excellent hand-eye coordination while batting is due to his racquets days. His cousin, Tom Billings, is a world-ranked racquets player.
- James Vince, the Hampshire batsman who has impressed with England Lions, was also a skilled footballer and played for Reading academy for three years in his early teens before turning out for Trowbridge Town FC and then focussing entirely to cricket.
Against West Indies at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday, March 16
With West Indies and South Africa as its first two opponents, England has it tough.
It will back itself to put it past the Group B qualifier and Sri Lanka. But to make those games meaningful from its point of view, England must start well, and a win against a power-packed West Indies side could provide England with a chance to start on a high.
What people are saying about them
“The team does have the quality and the depth. When I say depth, you have Moeen Ali coming in at No. 8. Ben Stokes – he has performed incredibly well over the past year and when you look at his performance you could easily say he is one of the better all-rounders in world cricket today. He has been very, very special.” – Viv Richards.
“The limited-overs cricket played in the last eight months has been incredibly exciting to watch and these players deserve the honour of representing England at a global event. We have made significant progress during recent series with plenty more to come over the next few years.” – James Whitaker.
“England learned a huge amount from their bad performance in last year's World Cup. Sometimes you get to a point where there is no other option but to change completely, and that's what they've done. It has been fantastic. They've decided to go with a young squad for the World T20, a young team, and probably rightly so. These young players have grown up playing T20 cricket. You hope their attitude doesn't change despite the reverses in South Africa – you want them to continue to play with that freedom and enjoyment – but it's always a challenge for England teams to go over to the subcontinent, in Test cricket, but particularly in one-day and T20 cricket.” – Matt Prior.
Pommie Mbangwa: Super 10: An interesting squad, which sure has the potential to do big things. Players such as Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and the captain, Eoin Morgan, can upset any side but my gut says they will once again find a way to stumble and not get on to the top-four table.
Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey.
Wednesday March 16: v West Indies, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Friday March 18: v South Africa, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Wednesday March 23: v Qualifier, Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi
Saturday March 26: v Sri Lanka, Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi