June 10, 2023

With England winning their second Twenty20 World Cup title, former England captains Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain and Eoin Morgan have praised the Jos Butler led England team. Vaughan also said that India should “swallow pride” and look at England for inspiration.

“England should be winning World Cups because they have the best squad but we often see the best teams not living up to their billing. In the 2019 World Cup final, England had the rub of the green and they did this time as well. But they deserve that luck because they have done things right for so long by committing to a style. England never panic. In 2019 they lost games early in the tournament to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Here they lost to Ireland. It could have been all over both times. But they have this mentality of when it matters they know how to win. They have good game players,” Vaughan wrote in his column in The Telegraph.

Vaughan also had a message for India. “This group of England white ball players is extraordinary and for once English cricket has a trendsetting team the rest of the world should emulate. How are England going about their business? What do they do? If I was running Indian cricket, I would swallow my pride and look at England for inspiration,”Vaughan added.

Nasser Hussain termed the 24-year old Sam Curran, who took 13 wickets including 3 in the final, as a remarkable, invaluable cricketer for England.

“Then there is Sam Curran. This time last year, he was working with us at Sky [sports] during the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE because he had been forced to pull out of England’s squad with a bad back injury. Here he is now a year later, the player of this tournament. Curran really is a remarkable cricketer. He’s not the tallest and he’s not the quickest but he’s just very smart. You can see why different franchises around the world are paying a lot of money to have Curran. Speak to analysts and they say he has already worked out how to bowl to various batters before they had a chance to tell him; he is invaluable,” Hussain wrote in his column in Daily Mail on Monday.

Curran, who picked up the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz during Pakistan’s innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) in the final, picked up the 13 wickets at an average of 11.38 in the tournament. His average placed him seventh of all the bowlers in the tournament and his economy rate of 6.52 was the best among the England pacers.

Morgan, who was the captain when England lost to West Indies in the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup final, credited Curran’s clarity of thoughts as the reason for his success.

“It is extraordinary. He really has been a find in all parts of the game. Jos Buttler has brought him on in the powerplay, used him through the middle and the biggest plus has been his death bowling. He has really stood up and bowled with a huge amount of skill and clarity. To produce in a World Cup final is extraordinary from someone that young. When his team needed him, Sam Curran did it today,” Morgan told Sky Sports.

With all-rounder Ben Stokes playing an unbeaten knock of 52 runs to guide England to their second Twenty20 World Cup title, Hussain and Morgan showered praise on the English all-rounder. Stokes hit his first Twenty20 fifty of his career in the final against Pakistan.

“Before this tournament, people were saying he did not have the best T20 record for England and were questioning his role in the side. Frankly, who cares about his record? You know when you get to a knockout stage of a tournament you need players who can absorb pressure and be there for you at the end and Stokes is that cricketer. He thrived under pressure. He enjoys it,” Hussain wrote.

Incidentally, Vaughan was one of those who had earlier questioned Stokes’s presence, saying that perhaps Stokes himself will quit T20 format after this tournament.

Vaughan reckoned that Buttler could emulate Dhoni’s longevity as a captain.

“Now Jos Buttler has landed the World Cup at the first time of asking and at the age of 32 he has the chance to build his own legacy. MS Dhoni went on for years as India captain. Buttler can do the same, especially now he is concentrating on one format. There is steel there too. You can see it in Buttler’s eyes. When you have a left-arm seamer, pace, swing and spin, three spinners you have everything covered as a captain. That for me is the benchmark for white ball cricket – you have to have options. From 1-11 they have matchwinners,” the former England captain wrote. 

Morgan also termed the current England side as one of the great sides. “This team deserved it. They have been through the mill in the group stages and they have produced close to their very best against India in the semi-final. In T20 they have now won something tangible to be regarded as one of the great sides. They were excellent.”

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