2007 – Exit in Super 8s, lost all 3 matches
2009 – Exit in Super 8s despite hosting tournament
2010 – Won World Cup in West Indies
2012 – Exit in Supers 8s
2014 – Exit in Group Stages
England is one of the five different teams to have won the T20 World Cup. They defeated archrivals Australia in the 2010 Final after coming off a successful Ashes series, and enjoyed one of their greatest limited-over surges under captain Paul Collingwood. The 2010 T20 World Cup (held in West Indies) remains the only major ICC trophy that England has ever won. This edition aside, the English sides have fared quite poorly otherwise, never quite beginning as serious contenders, especially for the last two editions held in Asian countries. This will be the third consecutive time the tournament will be held in Asia (first time in India), and England will look to fare better in their group – against the likes of South Africa, West Indies, defending champs Sri Lanka and one qualifier.
After a terrible 2015 ODI World Cup, Andrew Strauss took over as the ECB head, and immediately, England began playing a new, aggressive and young brand of cricket. They became virtually unrecognizable as the lame team that had barely made an impact in Australia, and defeated World Cup finalists New Zealand in a bilateral ODI series. They also went on to defeat Pakistan in UAE, before finally losing a series against South Africa after being 2-0 up in the 5-ODI series. Under Morgan, their adage is to go hard and go early, irrespective of wickets falling, and this doesn’t always come off. Nevertheless, they will be an exciting team to watch – unlike any other English T20 team that has visited Indian shores.
Captain Eoin Morgan hasn’t been in the best of form – he is going through the worst batting slump of his career. The younger likes of Jason Roy and Sam Billings are relatively untested. The top order, except Hales and Root, looks a little light on stability – while the bowling lineup is without their top bowler Steven Finn (who just got injured and pulled out), replaced by the wayward Liam Plunkett. With Reece Topley and Chris Jordan as support, the England pace bowling lineup looks inexperienced and short on firepower. They tend to leak the maximum runs out of all the teams in the last few overs.
Alex Hales is a world class T20 batsman and their opener in top form. Joe Root is reliable as ever, and he has the likes of Joss Buttler (their keeper, and one of the most destructive middle-order batsmen in the game) and Ben Stokes to finish strong. There’s also Moeen Ali, and they bat deep till no. 8, not to mention his spinning power which will gain prominence on these pitches. Adil Rashid is their lead spinner and recent find, and has looked to be in good form.
X-Factor: Ben Stokes
The young, red-haired all-rounder has come into his own over the last year after not being selected to play the World Cup in Australia. He is quick, passionate, agile, strong and packs a punch with the bat – recently slamming a massive double century against South Africa in a test match. He will be the key to England’s fortunes along with keeper Joss Buttler, who is perhaps the most un-English and belligerent batsman in the order.
We could be in for a surprise. I expect England to battle past a weak Sri Lanka and an under-confident South Africa and reach the semis along with West Indies from their group.