Defending Champion England’s Squad Announcement; Jordan and Jofra Return For T20 World Cup

England has unveiled their provisional T20 World Cup squad, with notable recalls for Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer.

The 35-year-old all-rounder Jamie Overton’s injury provides a path to recall, and Hartley is included in the squad of 15 players.

Defending Champion England’s Squad Announcement; Jordan and Jofra Return For T20 World Cup

As part of England’s tentative T20 World Cup squad, Chris Jordan has been called up to the white-ball setup, replacing Chris Woakes. Jofra Archer is also included, getting ready to make his competitive cricket comeback after over a year away from the field.

Along with Archer and uncapped Lancashire left arm spinner Tom Hartley, Jordan, who made his final game for his country in September 2023 against New Zealand, has 88 Twenty20 international caps. Following his recovery from a right elbow injury that prevented him from competing since May 2023, Archer has been declared healthy. Prior to Rehan Ahmed, Hartley—who came to popularity earlier this year—was selected as the second frontline spinner. He took 22 wickets against India in his first-ever Test series.

In Jos Buttler’s team to defend England’s 2022 championship, the only real surprises are the addition of Jordan and Woakes’ later removal. Jordan has emerged as a substitute for Jamie Overton, who is out due to a back injury. He has averaged 30.05 and struck at 160.53 in all T20 cricket since the 2023 Vitality Blast began. Jordan did not play in the T20I series against the West Indies in December, which England lost 3-2. He’s still a great fielder and may be used as a death bowler.

Regarding Jordan’s recall, England’s director of cricket Rob Key stated, “We’ve watched CJ for a while now and his bowling has always been a serious factor for us.” We always check for bowling ability at the end of the game, but this time around his hitting looks to have picked up a little. Power is highly valued in the Caribbean, which is why CJ has gained access with ease.”

Regarding Archer, Key stated that England was still “crossing their fingers” due to the severity of his recent injury setbacks, which included a back stress fracture in addition to his ongoing elbow issues. However, Key was hopeful that the four-match T20I series against Pakistan in May would help him get off to a quick start because he would be playing in front of his friends and relatives in Barbados.

“Jofra’s that bowler that’s just so special, you do everything you can to try to get him back playing,” he stated. This time, we’ve chosen the more difficult path. But until Jofra is on the field, as usual, we have to cross our fingers. You’re waiting for something wonderful to occur, but until he shows up, you won’t fully believe it. However, he’s now tracking fairly well.

“Hopefully, the next phase will be seeing how he continues to play at full-match intensity during the Pakistan series. However, we’re doing everything we can right now, and things are going well for him. Jofra is also quite eager to play in Barbados, as you would guess.”

Throughout England’s limited-overs lineup, Woakes has been a constant, especially when it comes to the new ball during their victories in the 2019 ODI and 2022 T20I World Cups. His exclusion and Ben Stokes’s decision to withdraw from consideration for selection signal, in many ways, the end of an era. Woakes has not yet made an appearance for the Punjab Kings in the IPL this year.

While Key maintained that Woakes’ white-ball career was not over, he made it apparent that, following his Ashes triumph last summer that earned him the Compton-Miller medal, this year’s Test series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka would most likely be his primary focus.

Also Read: England’s T20 World Cup Triumph: Stokes and Curran Shine Bright

Defending Champion England’s Squad Announcement; Jordan and Jofra Return For T20 World Cup

“He had an outstanding summer in the Ashes last year so we see him as someone who is going to feature in Test cricket, especially given his ability with the bat in Test cricket where that power is not as important,” Key stated. “He falls into that category. In Test cricket, you’ll want a diversified assault, and he’s someone who offers that along with Jimmy Anderson and Matt Potts. Chris will continue to be very much on our minds.”

In Stokes’ absence, England’s batting lineup essentially selects itself, with Jonny Bairstow confirmed by Key at No. 4 following his incredible 41-ball century for Punjab Kings in their record 262-run chase against Kolkata Knight Riders last week. The top three spots will be occupied by the in-form trio of Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, and Will Jacks.

The selectors have stated that the players must fly home on May 18–19, ahead of the play-offs, and report for England duty in time for the first T20I against Pakistan at Headingley on May 22. As a result, all four of those players, as well as Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, and Reece Topley, will miss the end of the IPL. After that, on May 31, the team will depart for the Caribbean in preparation for their first group game on June 4 in Barbados against Scotland.

Key stated that although the players had known for some time that this was probably going to happen, Buttler in particular had been anxious to get the team together as soon as possible. Buttler was already scheduled to miss the Rajasthan Royals’ planned play-off campaign because of paternity leave.

“There are a few newer players coming into this side, so it’s important it gets together,” Key stated. “People like Will Jacks and Phil Salt have been around for a while, but they now have a great opportunity, along with a few others. Thus, all you need is for them to get together, spend some time together, and prepare for it.”

England T20 World Cup squad:

Jos Buttler (captain), Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali (vice-captain), Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Tom Hartley, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.

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