The England philosophy that sets them apart
For six years England have been right near the top of the white-ball game.
Under Eoin Morgan’s leadership, England reached the final of the T20 World Cup in 2016, won the Cricket World Cup in 2019, reached the last four in the UAE a year ago and now, with Jos Buttler in charge, they have a second T20 World Cup title to their name.
No other team has been able to match that level of dominance, and it has been achieved by changing England’s approach to white-ball cricket.
Out has gone the conservative, safety-first approach that characterised previous decades of World Cup performances.
England are now synonymous with aggressive, big-hitting cricket – the sort of front-foot tactics that have seen them set the standard in the world cricket.
“I think the perception of our team has changed a lot over the last few years,” captain Jos Buttler said after lifting the T20 World Cup trophy aloft at the MCG.
“We've certainly not played it safe, and we've had results doing that.
“We know we've always tried to push the boundaries, tried to get ahead of the rest of the world and be braver than anyone else, and we'll take what comes from that.
“We know we'll slip up along the way, but we certainly trust that method and it's served us well, and we trust it in big games, as well.”
England’s extraordinary batting strength in depth has been their strongest suit for much of the past six years.
But it was the bowlers who excelled in the final against Pakistan on Sunday, and the bowling unit in general were the pick of the bunch throughout the tournament in Australia.
And Buttler says it is the depth of talent and the determination of so many players to get fit in time that helped England perform so brilliantly with the ball.
“I think the depth of bowling has been amazing. I think our bowling has improved no end, and I think that's why we're sat here as champions to be honest.
“Sam Curran has stepped up and been an absolute revelation," Buttler continued. "He's a brilliant cricketer. He loves those crunch moments. He's deserved Player of the Tournament for this, and we're so proud to have him in our team.
“I think you can't underestimate the hard work that people have put in, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes coming back from injuries to get to this point, Chris Jordan being injured, as well, to get to this point, guys getting injured during the World Cup. Just such an amazing effort from everyone.”
Much of England’s dominance in the white-ball game came under the guidance of Eoin Morgan, the former captain.
But Morgan’s retirement earlier this year saw Buttler asked to step up into the leadership role.
And, just six months after his appointment, England’s new captain led his squad to the World Cup title.
Buttler believes that time spent together in Pakistan and during a three-match series against Australia prior to the tournament helped gel the group together and develop trust in the new coach, captain and leadership group.
“I think relationships take time. As you get to know people better and better, you build trust. I'd say the Pakistan tour for the group, not just myself and the coach, but for everyone involved, it just seemed like a really good tour. A lot of bonds built.
“I thought we got back to playing some really good cricket there. We turned up in Australia full of confidence. I thought the series we played before the World Cup against Australia, we played really good cricket.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get to know people well and get to feel comfortable, and there's so much talent in the group that as soon as we feel comfortable, we're a dangerous team.”
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