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  • Ben Duckett Believes His More Alternative Skill Set Could Help England Defend T World Cup Trophy

Ben Duckett believes his more alternative skill set could help England defend T20 World Cup trophy

Ben Duckett believes his more alternative skill set could complement England's big-hitters in the defence of their T20 World Cup crown in June.

England have a surfeit of batters who can clear the ropes with ease and, while Duckett relies more on field manipulation and piercing the gaps rather than outright power, it can be no less effective.

Ben Stokes showed how valuable a T20 anchor can be during England's 2022 triumph, but his request not to be considered in the Caribbean and United States leaves the top and middle order short of left-handed options.

With Dawid Malan out-of-favour, Duckett, who has a strike-rate of 145 in a dozen T20 internationals but has often been on the fringes of the set-up, could be a useful inclusion in England's 15-strong squad.

"The beauty of what I do is different to a lot of guys," England's Test opener said. "That aspect of not necessarily having the power, but I can use my skills to find ways to get on top.

"I'm 29 now and I'm not going to try to be someone I'm not just to try to get into a side. I've worked out over the years if I become the best version of myself, that's all I can be.

"Whatever opportunity I get moving forward in that group is something I'd take with both hands. If I don't get picked then I don't get picked. There are a list of players knocking on that door.

"It's not like it's me and a couple of others, there are 10 or 15 lads who could come into that side and perform at that level. 

"That is the beauty of English cricket, so I guess we'll see."

England have four tune-up matches against Pakistan next month before flying to the Caribbean and are expected to name a squad for the series and a provisional pack for the World Cup next week.

Unless summoned by Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott, Duckett will happily keep playing for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship and T20 Blast ahead of England's first Test of the home summer against the West Indies at Lord's, starting on July 10.

Their last assignment ended with a 4-1 defeat in India and, although Duckett acquitted himself fairly well, with a stunning 153 off 151 balls in Rajkot the high point, he faced some backlash for suggesting England's style under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum had influenced star opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.

The 22-year-old finished as player of the series after two excellent double hundreds, but he had already cultivated a formidable reputation as an attack-minded dasher in the Indian Premier League.

Duckett feels his comments about Jaiswal were taken out of context but stood by his wider point that opposition teams, such as in last year's Ashes, can look to fight fire with fire against England's 'Bazballers'.

"It got completely blown out of proportion," he said. "It was more the fact that against Australia, the pace we play the game at, at times we've seen opposition teams score a bit quicker because of that.

"I didn't know anything about Jaiswal, I didn't know that was the way he was going to go out and play in every single innings and that's the way he does well. Fair play, it was great to watch at times.

"He's a fabulous player and he's going to score a lot of Test runs."

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