England unlikely to repeat 2010 win

  • Last Updated: March 7 2014, 12:46 GMT

There is little prospect of England regaining the ICC World Twenty20 crown in Bangladesh.

Eoin Morgan: Key figure in England's T20 team
Eoin Morgan: Key figure in England's T20 team

When England beat the world at cricket - still for the one and only time - in this competition four years ago, it was a shock to many.

Yet back then, under Andy Flower's burgeoning regime, they had won an initial Ashes on home soil the previous summer and then made the Champions Trophy semi-finals - admittedly where they were trounced by Australia - before a winter spent fighting out a tough drawn Test series in South Africa and then recording a routine win in Bangladesh.

Ashley Giles' CV as limited-overs coach has a significantly less solid look to it to date.

The highlight is a Champions Trophy campaign on home soil, which took England all the way to the final last summer.

Yet even then, on an Edgbaston surface somehow borrowed from Mumbai, England perhaps not that surprisingly came up just short in a match shortened coincidentally to 20 overs per side.

In the intervening months, there have been many more downs than ups for England - to the extent that qualification for the last four, in Dhaka via Chittagong, would be a major achievement.

Significant opponents will stand in their way to get as far as the knockout stages.

New Zealand have plenty of firepower and nous; Sri Lanka have ended England's interest in the last two global tournaments, both also on the subcontinent, and South Africa are a formidable if occasionally flaky team in all formats.

Finally, a qualifier - possibly Ireland - will be England's last hurdle in Chittagong.

After the events of Bangalore in the 2011 World Cup, where Kevin O'Brien unforgettably hoisted Ireland to an astonishing victory, England know they cannot count on success against their neighbours any more.

An Irishman could well decide, nonetheless, whether England are competitive or otherwise in the main.

Giles and captain Stuart Broad were in no mood to take any chances with Eoin Morgan's fitness once he hurt his knee at the start of their ongoing short tour of the West Indies.

England know the key middle-order batsman is their ace in the pack.

With him, others may perhaps play above themselves or - in the case of rising stars Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes - have their own breakthrough tournament.

Without Morgan's pivotal presence, the challenge of chasing targets in particular may just be all too much.

If England are not the likeliest of lads then, who are?

Of the previous winners, champions West Indies are seriously considered.

The Windies' victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2012 was a heartening outcome, even if it dampened some of the local fireworks back then.

In stifling conditions which will test everyone's mettle this time, both underfoot and overhead, Bangladesh is merely an extreme version of what the Windies often encounter on home soil.

Darren Sammy's team will be heading back east with plenty of big hitters including the captain, fit-again pair Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels - although not Kieron Pollard - and the wiles of spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree.

Others, nonetheless, appear to have the edge in appropriate personnel.

This title means a fair bit to India these days, certainly more so than it did when they were inaugural winners in South Africa in 2007.

That success helped to spawn the Indian Premier League and therefore change the course of cricket history.

Seven years on, India - slightly more so than Pakistan and probably South Africa - have a team of superstars that could easily win again.

Expectation inevitably weighs heavily in their case, though.

It did not stop them on the biggest stage of all, in Mumbai in 2011, or when England wobbled in Birmingham either. But on plenty of other occasions, it has.

Sri Lanka, twice beaten finalists, are regular challengers in this format. The current side, however, does not quite look to be a percentage call.

Instead, perhaps the likeliest winners hail from a country which has surprisingly never won this tournament.

Under Michael Clarke in 2010, Australia found England too hot to handle in the Bridgetown final - their best effort to date.

Two years later in Sri Lanka they were comparative also-rans, brushed aside by the Windies in the semi-finals.

But they return with most of their big guns intact and others ready to fire.

Australia have excelled again recently in Test cricket, to England's great cost, and they may have all bases covered in the Twenty20 format too.

It is hard to find a weak link in their powerhouse batting line-up and they have been pragmatic in the selection of evergreens Brad Hodge and Brad Hogg to excel in the conditions.

It could just be their turn this time.


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