Six things England must do to win the T20 World Cup

England start their T20 World Cup campaign on Saturday against Afghanistan, have they got enough in the locker to bring the trophy back home?

After morale-boosting series wins in Pakistan and Australia in the last month, England have come to the T20 tournament in fine form.

But will it be enough when the chips are down? Tim Ellis lays down what he believes England need to do to lift the crown for the first time since 2010.

Fire at the top of the order

The loss of Jonny Bairstow was a huge blow to England's prospects given the incredible international year the Yorkshireman has enjoyed.

His brutal assault at Bristol against South Africa in July was the jaunt of a man who was playing with clinical abandon. Who knew golf was such a dangerous game

Alex Hales does have something to prove. To use KP terminology, he has been "reintegrated" back into the team after being a very naughty boy.

Now that Eoin Morgan's unforgiving ethical code has left the building, Hales is suited to Big Bash Australian conditions with the heavy artillery to destroy attacks.

The Nottinghamshire 'outlaw' has to prove he can flow in a big international tournament under pressure.

Bowl well at the death

Reece Topley

The loss of Reece Topley is a huge blow to England as the amiable 28-year-old was proving a very effective wicket-taking and run-draining option.

At the business end of the two most recent T20 tournaments, the Three Lions fell short.

Last year, England were within reach of the final but Chris Jordan got his length totally wrong, threw in a couple of wides and Jimmy Neesham did the rest. In 2016, Ben Stokes fed the long levers of Carlos Brathwaite in the final.

The big man has been living off that 34 not out for the last six years....

Stokes must shoulder some T20 responsibility

Ben Stokes

Having retired from the one-day game this summer, Stokes can now put his considerable hand up for the even shorter format.

Except that his record in T20s is not that good at all.

In 37 matches, the Durham all-rounder has never scored a 50 and averages under 20 with the bat with a bowling average of 37. It's Dominic Cork like.

However, his mere presence is something visceral and always worries the opposition. He is the player that can make something happen with bat, ball or in the field.

The curious case of Dawid Malan

Malan has begun to look better since the end of the Pakistan series, but in the last 15 months has not shown the form that made him the world's leading player.

The perennial question mark lies over his slow starts and a strike rate that tends to stymie the team early in his innings. Yet, he is the only England batter in the world's top 16.

Malan is perfectly capable of letting Harry Brook, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes provide the showier striking. He's an anchor that is very effective when the runs are not on a drip from the other end.

It's all about the pacing.

Buttler to provide the captain's touch

Jos Buttler

After losing the ODI series to India in July, Jos Buttler said: " I'm an experienced cricketer but I'm a young captain, so I think it's [about] not worrying too much about it. I've got lots to learn, lots to try and work out.I need time and experience to do that."

Buttler probably chose wisely when not appealing Matthew Wade's aggressive bodily obstruction to Mark Wood's caught and bowled attempt pre-tournament. There's no point in stoking the beast before the main bout begins.

Moeen Ali led the troops very well in Pakistan so there could be a case of two heads being better. Leading from the front with the bat comes naturally.

Can the England quicks keep fit

Can Mark Wood get through the tournament without pulling up lame? Will replacement Tymal Mills steam in for Topley without his toe, ankle, thigh or foot coming off?

Jofra Archer it isn't but the explosive pace of these two will give England something different if they stay on the pitch.

Otherwise, it will be a wobbly attack of Woakes, Curran and company. Sounds like an underpowered Ashes attack from hell….

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