England T20 World Cup Squad: How much will England miss Stokes and Archer?

England T20 World Cup Squad Changes
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Betting Expert, James Pacheco

Last updated on 21st September 2021

Published: 21/09/2021

Categories: Cricket, News

A few months ago, there was plenty to like about the chances of England winning what would be their second T20 World Cup.

They’d made the final back in 2016, which they really, really should have won. That was, until Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite had their way.

They won the 2019 ODI World Cup. Yes, different format but many of the players who held their nerve in that final were the same as those in the T20I side.

Besides, they are currently the Number 1 ranked team in the T20I rankings, ahead of India. Pretty good reasons as to why they were the second-favourites on online cricket betting sites like Betway, just behind India.

But a couple of key injuries have caused a re-think, while there may be a real dark horse in the squad who could yet have a huge impact.


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Bet India’s England suggested XI:

Roy, Buttler, Malan, Bairstow, Morgan, Livingstone, Ali, Woakes, Rashid, Wood, Mills.

Ben Stokes: The not-such-a-miss-miss

It’s been a tough few months for England’s talismanic all-rounder. His father passed away in December and in the IPL he lasted just one match, picking up a bad finger injury.

He then took a break from the game to deal with some mental health issues but returned in dramatic circumstances when his country needed him to, in order to captain his country in a three-match ODI series against Pakistan. England won but Stokes had little impact as a player.

He then played just two matches in The Hundred before taking an indefinite break from cricket to allow his finger to recover and more importantly, deal with his mental health issues.

That meant missing out on the high-profile Test series against India in the summer. He’s now said he’ll certainly miss the T20 World Cup and probably The Ashes, as well.

How much will Stokes be missed?

So, at the World Cup they’ll massively miss their big man, their big game turner, right?

Maybe not. His stats in T20I cricket aren’t great.  He’s never reached 50 in 28 innings, with his top score being just 47 not out. His strike rate of 136 is decent, not spectacular.

His bowling isn’t eye-catching either. He averages just over a wicket every two games and his economy rate of 8.77 is pretty high indeed.

If you wanted to be harsh, you could argue he single-handedly lost England the last World Cup when conceding 24 off the last over against Brathwaite.

He’d probably play if he was available but the numbers suggest he probably isn’t actually that big a loss.

Jofra Archer: The big, big miss

It seems a long time now since we’ve seen Jofra Archer playing any sort of competitive cricket.

We have to go back to a T20I Series against India in India in late March for the last time it happened.

He then suffered an injury, missed the first half of the IPL for the Rajasthan Royals (also Stokes’ IPL team), didn’t play any first-class matches for his county Sussex, missed out on The Hundred, didn’t play for England in any format at all this summer and is now ruled out of the second half of the IPL.

Plus the T20 World Cup and The Ashes, just like Stokes.

It’s worrying that a player as young as Archer who hasn’t played that much cricket yet in his relatively short career has already suffered so many injuries.

England are clearly looking at the long-term with him, choosing not to risk him.

How much will Archer be missed?

A lot. Big, aggressive, nasty and genuinely fast-bowlers who take lots of wickets are like gold dust in any format, including T20 cricket.

His T20I career stats from just 12 matches are decent, not spectacular. He’s taken 14 wickets and his economy rate of 7.89 is good but not amazing. Mind you, it’s a whole run better than that of Stokes.

But his T20 domestic stats paint a very different picture. Across 121 games he’s taken 153 wickets at an excellent strike rate of 17.6 and his economy rate is a couple of notches better than what it is at international level: 7.65.

Not that lower-order batsmen for England get much of a go these days but Archer has been known to swing the bat occasionally in search of quick runs.

His aggressive bowling at the start of the innings and death overs would have been a priceless asset for England.

He was, after all, the IPL’s Most Valuable Player last year.


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Two Interesting Additions

The loss of those two does of course open the door for two other players to come in and they’ve come in the shape of two like-for-like replacements.

Liam Livingstone has effectively come into the squad for Stokes as an all-rounder, Tymal Mills for Archer as a fast bowler.

Liam Livingstone: Mr Explosive

It’s easy to forget that Livingstone actually made his T20I debut back in 2017. Livingstone batted at number four and scored 16 off 18 as England lost by just three runs to South Africa. He played one more game in that Series, out for a golden duck.

He then had to wait a long time for his chance, not playing for England again till 2021.

In the meanwhile, he became a ferocious hitter either at the top of the order or batting in the middle-order.  A strike rate of 145 across 149 matches suggest that he’s always going to get his runs quickly. And they’re not just pretty cameos. He has 23 fifties to his name in T20 domestic cricket to go with two hundreds.

And he has a T20I century as well. It was against Pakistan earlier this year and came off 43 balls,  the fastest-ever for an England player in internationals.

And he bowls, too. It’s a strange mixture of leg spinners and other varieties and it can be a bit hit-and-miss, or it can be highly effective.

No wonder the likes of the Peth Scorchers and the Rajasthan Royals were desperate for his services.

But what about England? He’s unlikely to open given their embarrassment of riches at the top of the order but he could well slot in as an all-rounder, batting at six.

Tymal Mills: The Speed Merchant

Archer’s injury problems are nothing compared to those of Tymal Mills. Now almost 30, he’s played just 32 First-Class matches and just 23 List A ones.

Quite simply, his body breaks down when he’s overworked. And even when he’s not.

It’s a huge shame because he really is an extremely dangerous left-arm bowler who bowls at genuine pace. He could have been the next Mitchell Johnson or Zahir Khan.

He has however played a fair bit of T20 cricket.

142 matches have produced 156 wickets at an economy rate of 7.77. Not brilliant numbers but England will be thinking his raw pace, rather like Archer’s, can do a lot of damage. He also has the big advantage of being a left-arm bowler.

It would be a highly unlikely story if he ended up being one of the stars of the tournament given his injury record. But you never know.

Now that he’s in the squad he’s going to look to make the most of it.