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England head into the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia looking to go and pick up the ultimate title for the first time since 2010. After reaching the semi-final in the 2021 edition, England has high hopes of coming into the tournament.
It is not surprising that England has been rated as one of the favourites even after the T20 World Cup 2022 schedule was announced. India has been the strong favourite for success in this tournament while hosts Australia are considered level with England with regards to their ability to win the tournament.
T20 World Cup 2022 Schedule – England Group Stages
The announcement of the T20 World Cup 2022 schedule raised a few eyebrows with England being put in Group 1 alongside hosts Australia.
- New Zealand
- First-Round Group A Winner (Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka or United Arab Emirates)
- First-Round Group B Runner-Up (Ireland, Scotland, West Indies, and Zimbabwe)
Key Games in the Group
There is no doubt that the Kangaroos will provide the biggest challenge for the England team. The tournament starts on 16th October with a string of first-round matches. However, the actual action for England does not begin until 22nd October when they go up against Afghanistan at the Perth Stadium. England has faced Afghanistan only on two occasions in the past and they have picked up a victory in both games. England is expected to open up with a victory as a result.
The second group match features England against the group B runner-up, which could be any of Ireland, West Indies, Scotland, or Zimbabwe. The game will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). If England is able to come out with victories in the first two group matches, they put themselves in a very good spot for going into the knockout stages.
It is extremely crucial for England to come out with victories in the first two games, as the T20 World Cup 2022 schedule revealed that the third group match for England will be against Australia at the MCG. There is little doubt that Australia step into the game as the overwhelming favourites for a win even if the head-to-head records between the two teams show a very even outing. The two teams have gone up against each other on 20 occasions in the T20 games and Australia has a slender advantage with 10 wins compared to England’s nine victories.
Subsequently, England is up against New Zealand at the Gabba for another crucial encounter before rounding off the group stages with a game against the Group A winner, which can be any of Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka or United Arab Emirates, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
England’s Potential Path into the Knockout Stages
The knockout stages will be the most interesting stage of the tournament. The top two teams from the Group 1 go into the knockout stages to face the two best teams from Group 2. England is expected to progress past the group stages as one of the top teams from Group 1. The T20 World Cup 2022 schedule showed that Group 2 might be a lot more competitive than expected with India, who is one of the strong favourites for winning the tournament, being paired alongside the likes of Pakistan and South Africa.
Pakistan will be delighted about the recent performance at the Asia Cup and they will be hoping to carry the same performance even at the T20 World Cup 2022. Even though they are not in the odds put out by bookmakers for being favourites to win the tournament, the performance from Pakistan is expected to be quite good as they have been showing a decent form of late with many of their players like Azam, Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi.
Irrespective of whether England goes up against the likes of India or Pakistan in the semi-final stages, the challenge on England will be enormous. Both teams are able to offer sizeable strength in the batting and bowling departments. England has to be at the top of its game to get any joy in the semifinals. After having not progressed past the semifinals last season, England can be backed to overcome the achievements. However, their inconsistent form in recent times does pose some threat. A lot of England’s performances will depend on the likes of Butler, Livingston, and Bairstow.
Predicting England’s Outcome in the Final Stages
The 2021 T20 World Cup was especially hard to take for England, who failed to progress past the semi-finals after they suffered a narrow defeat to New Zealand in the semifinals. Despite having topped the group with an impressive performance, England was unable to follow up with an equally great performance in the knockouts. The lessons learnt from the loss are likely to be a big advantage for the team under coach Matthew Mott.
Key England players at the T20 World Cup 2022
Jos Buttler is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch when it comes to the top players England has at their disposal. The 31-year-old is at the top of his game when it comes to the T20 version. After a splendid IPL campaign in which he was able to get 863 runs from 17 matches, Buttler looks set to dominate the T20 World Cup. The absence of Jason Roy also means that there is more pressure on Buttler to deliver the goods.
Ben Stokes will be one of the key assets for England at the T20 World Cup. He is able to deliver the goods when it matters the most and in pressure situations. Due to a string of players being unavailable from the England setup for this World Cup, it becomes crucial that Stokes is able to come up with impressive performances.
Chris Woakes has just made a return to the squad but he has to deliver the goods with England’s bowling line-up looking far from strong in the early T20 World Cup 2022 schedule announcement days.