England Test and One-Day International captain Andrew Strauss, has said that the England team will have a better chance of winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup now that some of the England players have experienced the pressures that comes with playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Strauss, 33, said: “I think we have got the capability of doing really well in that tournament. I do not see how the IPL can not help. They have had three or four weeks of concentrating on Twenty20 cricket in pretty pressurised situations.
"I think this is going to help the team hit the ground running out there and hopefully take us towards some victories,” he added.
Six of England’s Twenty20 squad played in this year's IPL, this included previously over-looked-looked Ravi Bopara. Bopara will travel to the Twenty20 World Cup after showing a great deal of promise against top class opposition.
Strauss commented on the balance and experience now in the team. “I think we have got some good balance in the side and some big hitters at the top of the orders and we have got a lot of experience now, with the likes of [Paul] Collingwood, [Kevin] Pietersen and Bopara in the IPL.”
Although Strauss is not going to the tournament, he is backing the side to do well and utilise the players and resources they have at their disposal. He predicts that the spinners in the competition may hold they key to each teams successes. He also hinted that Michael Yardy may make an appearance for England.
“The spinners often do well in Twenty20, so ‘Swanny’ (Graeme Swann) has got a role to play as does James Tredwell and Mike Yardy as well if he plays.”
In Strauss’s mind the seamers are where England’s strengths lie and he feels this is where England could look to take advantage and win their games.
“I think the experience is in our seam attack, the likes of Anderson and Broad and if they can get early wickets in the first six overs then I think we can put other teams under pressure.”
England will be tested by the West Indies that share group D with them. Strauss is not taking anything for granted as in recent years there have been many upsets and unlikely victories in Twenty20.
“It is a World Cup so you need to beat the best sides along the way and you need to get out of the group first and then every game is like the final really.”
England will play a warm-up game against Bangladesh today (28th April). Bangladesh will be heartened by the return of fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza from injury and have been a rapidly improving team and teams will take them lightly at their peril. England’s final warm-up game will be against South Africa on the 29th of April. This should be a far greater test for captain Collingwood and his men.
England have a short braek before their first official game in the tournament on 3rd May against the home side, the West Indies. This will be a tough fixture for the England with the Windies having fire-power, such as Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, who have also played a huge role in their respective IPL franchises. Pollard especially has made a huge impact with the both the bat and the ball in the IPL. He smashed 27 in 10 balls to no avail in the final. He will be eager to get the West Indies off to a string start in the Twenty20 World Cup.
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