England

  • Last Updated: September 19 2012, 11:54 BST

We take a look at England's squad, key players and hopes at the ICC World Twenty20.

Broad: Leads England's title defence

Group A Fixtures:
September 21: Afghanistan at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1500 BST
September 23: India at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1500 BST

Overview: As defending champions and back atop the ICC rankings you might expect England to be among the favourites for the title in Sri Lanka. But there have been bumps in the road for the champions, not least because of the interminable Kevin Pietersen saga which sees the side travel without the 2010 man of the tournament.

But as the rankings suggest, their form in the shortest game remains solid and even without Pietersen they boast a side strewn with match-winners. For all the talk of a new-look side two years on from the Paul Collingwood-led victory in the Caribbean, eight members of that squad are in Stuart Broad's party.

After a difficult summer on and off the pitch which saw England surrender their top ranking in Test cricket to a demonstrably superior South Africa side, they will be reluctant to hand over another title and will expect to make a strong defence of their crown despite the problems in the build-up.

Strengths: Few sides in Sri Lanka boast the all-round abilities of England. They have rope-clearing batsmen in the likes of Craig Kieswetter, Luke Wright and Jos Buttler, the ice-cool nerve of Eoin Morgan and a perfectly balanced bowling attack that brings pace, bounce, variety and spin options to the table. As defending champions they know what it takes to go all the way in this event.

Weaknesses: A few key players aside, there is a dearth of sub-continent experience in Stuart Broad's squad, a problem exacerbated by a lack of IPL exposure. Broad is a novice captain and the KP situation will rarely be far away should things go wrong. England travel on the back of an arduous summer and surely cannot have a full tank of fuel for Sri Lanka.

Six-hitter: Eoin Morgan. In Pietersen's absence, Morgan is the one England batsman with proven, consistent results in this form of the game and how he goes in the middle-order could well determine England's chances of a successful defence of their title. His ability to hold his nerve and judge the pace of an innings is invaluable, while his ability to score runs in unusual areas is well documented. However, his recent record in this form of the game is a cause for concern.

Strike bowler: Steven Finn. The tall paceman has rapidly - and surprisingly - established himself as England's premier bowler in limited-overs cricket, taking wickets with impressive regularity in a variety of conditions over the last 18 months. His 40 ODI wickets have come at a strike-rate of 33, with his T20 scalps at just 14 balls each. Having proved in India that he can thrive in the sub-continent he should shine again as the spearhead of an impressive pace attack.

One to watch: Jos Buttler. A tall batsman who also keeps wicket, Buttler combines the power to clear the ropes in any direction with an unorthodoxy that makes setting fields to him in full flight almost impossible. When looking to go down the ground or over the legside he hits from a strong base with a still head, while his scoops and paddles have driven county bowlers to despair over the last couple of years. Having initially struggled with the promotion to international level, the Somerset man showed his promise with an astonishing 10-ball 32 not out in the final game of the summer against South Africa and should therefore arrive in Sri Lanka full of confidence.

Squad: Stuart Broad (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.