Monty's Spin

Mixed fortunes for top teams

Monty Panesar Wednesday 12th February 2020 05:46 EST

England will start their T20 campaign against South Africa this week. I expect England to field a full-strength squad and win the series. England did experiment at the start of the ODI series and I got the impression that there is a gap between the young players coming into the squad and the senior players. England at full strength is the best T20 team in the world. If England don’t have their key players then they are a weaker team compared to other nations. 

India's strength lies in the fact that they can replace their senior players with youngsters. The result in New Zealand isn’t pleasing for the Indian cricket fans. The seamer friendly conditions in New Zealand are challenging for Indian seam bowlers. Jusprit Bumrah isn’t effective on seaming conditions. Perhaps becoming the number 1 bowler in the world hasn’t helped him to deal with pressure. I think it is a mental issue more than skill with Jusprit Bumrah. As a senior player, perhaps, he feels pressured to deliver better performances consistently. Only he will know how he feels and why he hasn’t been effective in New Zealand. 

This is the same for England. When Ben Stokes isn’t playing at his best the England team is not as menacing. It appears to me that when key players from India and England are rested or are not performing, both teams are not as strong. For any of these teams to win T20 world cup they will need their key players to perform. The New Zealand team also seemed to have good options. But all teams are good in their own conditions. Based on that premise Australia should win the T20 World Cup.

I always felt that when England play with their spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali they look like a balanced bowling attack. Eoin Morgan has options in the middle overs to change the pace of the game and allow the spinners to change the momentum. In the last game South Africa were in great position until Quinton de Knock got out and it was a spinner who got him. So, spinners are valuable to Eoin Morgan's team. If England are going to win the T20 World Cup in Australia they will need both Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali bowling at their best. Jos Butler and Ben stokes are absolutely key for England to succeed in 2020.

India hasn't had the best ODI outing in New Zealand. They seem a better T20 team where the youngsters seem to feel comfortable to play fearlessly. They will be one of the favourites teams to win because they are able to introduce good young players coming into the squad.  For me England is another team to watch in the World Cup 2020. So, cricket fans all over the world will be watching with interest England's forthcoming T20 series against South Africa. I expect easy series win for England.


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