Dubai: England have world class team and will win the Twenty20 World Cup, said a confident former England wicketkeeper James Foster as the 50-over One Day International world champions begin their campaign against Afghanistan at Perth on Saturday.
England team under the new management of Brendon McCullum started playing Bazball cricket, an aggressive form of the game, that has yielded results in all formats. Jos Buttler, who succeeded Eoin Morgan as England’s white-ball captain in June, has led his team to a 2-0 T20 series win over Australia and a victory over Pakistan leading up to the World Cup.
“England are a dynamic and a balanced side. They have all areas covered and they bat deep with lot of spin options and X-factor players. Three frontline spinners like Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone are all great spinners and two of those guys can make the team as batters alone,” said Foster, who is the head coach of Desert Vipers, a new franchise in the UAE International League Twenty20.
“The team has a great balance. You have Ben Stokes and pacers like Chris Woakes and Mark Wood have the pace, while Chris Jordan is probably one of the best death bowlers. Sam Curran is another good all-rounder and young Harry Brook coming in. It’s very exciting team and will win the World Cup,” the 42-year-old reputed coach, who has played seven Tests, 11 ODIs and five Twenty20 for England as a wicketkeeper batter.
Skipper Buttler yesterday called it a new era for England and warned that his “dangerous” team were “very ready” for their title charge. “We are in a good spot. We have had really good games in the last 10 matches and played some really good cricket,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said, striking a buoyant tone.
“On the eve of the tournament we are very ready.”
Despite England’s ominous form — including a series win in Pakistan — the 32-year-old Buttler dismissed the titles tag.
“No, far from it, to be honest. I think we are a dangerous team, we have got a lot of talented players who can win games on their own and that’s a huge thing in T20 cricket,” he said.
“If you had to choose one (favourite) then it has to be Australia in their own conditions and being reigning champions.”
England, who won the T20 title in 2010, lost fast bowler Reece Topley to an ankle injury with Tymal Mills coming in as replacement.
“I mentioned it to the players a lot but this is very much a new era for the English white-ball team,” said Buttler.
“A lot of them played in the past era but it’s very much about looking forward now for this group.
“Not to spend too much energy looking backwards. I think it’s really important to be that forward-facing sort of team talking about the future a lot, and that starts with tomorrow.”
— With inputs from AFP