August 8, 2022
England vs SA 2022 – 3rd T20I

England’s limited-overs coach Matthew Mott has challenged fringe batsmen to score a “mountain of runs” to push for T20 World Cup selection and insists that “no one has one place hostage”. “.

After a seven-match marathon in Pakistan in late September, and winning only two of their six matches against India and South Africa this summer, England picked a preliminary World Cup squad to play their next men’s T20I series. Will be To occupy multiple positions.

Last year, Tymal Mills used the Hundred as a springboard into the World Cup squad after impressing for the champion Southern Braves, while Liam Livingstone secured his starting berth for the Birmingham Phoenix thanks to stellar form. The second season of the Hundred begins on Wednesday, when the Braves play the Welsh Fire at the Ageas Bowl.

“Can the players come in? Absolutely they can. If they’re in form, they’re scoring runs, and we go to Pakistan and they do well,” Mott said. ,[We need to] Use that hundred as a real springboard to get that confidence back in the whole group.”

Jos Buttler has struggled for runs in T20Is since becoming captain – he has scored only 87 runs in six innings, albeit at a strike rate of 189.13 – and will look to return to form while leading the Manchester Originals. “I’m really excited for it,” he said.

“My message to everyone in our dressing room would be that I want you to be the best player on your team and show your talent. Liam Livingstone was the MVP last year. [Most Valuable Player] And has been riding that wave ever since. The people in our dressing room have a chance to go on such a journey.

“Every game is on TV, every game will have a huge crowd and it should be exciting. If you can perform at a high level in conditions that mimic international cricket and mimic the World Cup. Probably the best thing for everyone is the group.”

The top item on England’s wish-list for the Hundred will be Jason Roy returning to form for the Oval Invincible after a lean run this summer that saw him score 76 runs off 98 balls in six T20I innings. Mott challenged Phil Salt – Butler’s original opening partner – and Harry Brooke to mount strong cases for selection after running drinks in the South Africa series, and admitted there may be “tough decisions” to make. .

“That’s what we, as a selection group, really need to flesh out,” Mott said. “When you’ve been a great player and you’ve delivered great things on the big stage, I think you deserve a little loyalty. You get some currency from performing on the big stage.

“But at certain times, tough decisions need to be made, and young players come in and add energy. Those two players are on edge and they’re biting off a game. I think it’s really He is healthy. He has now got the opportunity to go back into the hundred, to make a mountain of runs, to keep the pressure.

“Nobody has pledged a spot in the team. I think the nature of cricket suggests that at different times, players come in and out of form. There’s a little bit of science behind it, but also a little bit of emotion. You try to build confidence in a playing group: If you stick with more than you flick, you stand a better chance of building that confidence up.”

Mott confirmed it would be “a stretch” for Jofra Archer to return from injury in time for the World Cup and while Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are more likely to be available, neither is expected to play a role in the Hundred. England have conceded 190 or more runs in five of their six T20 Internationals this summer and have spots available in their bowling attack.

As a result, they will be watching several bowlers closely, not least Luke Wood, David Payne, Mills (out of South Africa series due to a toe injury) and Tom Curran, who will return from injury at The Oval Invincible. . They will also hope that a back-up spin option will emerge after Matt Parkinson’s clash against India, with Jake Lintott and Benny Howell – a self-described “fast-spinner” – among the candidates who will come from left field. can emerge.

Will Jack, James Vince and countless other batsmen with a strong hundred may push for selection, but the one player who is guaranteed a return to the team when fit is Ben Stokes, whom Mott suggested. Had the option to bat in the top four. Stokes has been used primarily by England as a finisher in T20Is, but is being looked at as a top-order substitute, and his return could see Roy out of the team.

“Obviously Stokes comes back in that team,” Mott said. “When you have players like Stokes in any team, it makes selection a lot easier. You’ve basically got a free hit with the balance of your team – and that’s obviously something that Probably missed by some.Having a world class bowler batting in the top four is a huge asset to any team.

“There are seven games [in Pakistan] And I’m sure we’ll change our team a little bit there, and then when we take on Australia and then play three T20s, we’ll get that chemistry right. Those will be big games for us going into that World Cup and we’ll have a little more idea of ​​where we are as a team at that level.

“I think a lot of people reflect back on the past to see what a great team this is. It’s a very different entity at the moment. We need to accept that and make sure that we live in the present and we Let’s work on what we can get. Better in. I think Jose is really honest about where we need to go.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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