How can England make best use of Jonny Bairstow? Is Sam Curran NOW in the best XI? Five Super 8 puzzles to solve at the T20 World Cup

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  • England will play nan West Indies, South Africa and nan USA astatine nan T20 World Cup
  • There are fittingness issues astir Liam Livingstone up of nan Super 8 stage
  • Jonny Bairstow's position successful nan batting bid is 1 of respective puzzles to solve

By Lawrence Booth

Published: 18:05 EDT, 17 June 2024 | Updated: 18:17 EDT, 17 June 2024

It was acold from straightforward but England yet made it to nan Super 8 shape astatine nan ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

With fixtures now pencilled successful against South Africa, nan USA and nan West Indies, nan extremity for Jos Buttler's broadside is now to advancement to nan semi-finals.

Sportsmail takes a look astatine 5 puzzles England must lick successful bid to execute that objective.

1. Can they incorporate West Indies and South Africa?

England bullied Oman and Namibia successful Antigua, but their onslaught fared little good against Scotland and Australia successful Barbados, conceding 291 successful 30 overs.

St Lucia, wherever England play West Indies successful nan early hours connected Thursday UK time, and South Africa connected Friday, is 1 of nan Caribbean's truest surfaces, and South Africa will beryllium itching to break free aft being stifled by New York's drop-in pitch.

West Indies, meanwhile, were owed to get an early look astatine conditions astatine St Lucia's Daren Sammy Stadium against Afghanistan early this morning. England's bowlers look a superior accent test.

England's bowlers shipped a whopping 291 runs successful 30 overs against Australia and Scotland

2. Is Sam Curran NOW successful nan champion XI?

It's not moreover 2 years since Curran was subordinate of nan lucifer successful nan T20 World Cup last successful Melbourne, and subordinate of nan tournament. He is owed to cod an MBE erstwhile England alert home. But his first quality present took spot against Namibia only because nan crippled had been shortened by rain, and he described his vexation astatine being sidelined arsenic 'very difficult'.

Curran's left-arm variations look amended suited to slower pitches: against Namibia, he was England's tightest bowler aft Reece Topley. But it could beryllium a consequence playing him successful St Lucia.

Sam Curran, pictured successful nan nets connected Monday, played against Namibia and bowled well


Thursday: West Indies successful St Lucia, 1.30am

Friday: South Africa successful St Lucia, 3.30pm 

Sunday: USA successful Barbados, 3.30pm

3. What if Liam Livingstone isn't fit?

Despite tweaking his broadside against Namibia, Livingstone remained hopeful of making nan West Indies game. If he doesn't, it could mean a reprieve for Will Jacks, who has been a peripheral figure, scoring 15 runs from 17 balls successful 2 innings, and bowling 1 ill-fated complete for 22 against Australia. But England worth his six-hitting ability, and St Lucia could beryllium nan 'slugfest' Rob Key predicted. Even if Livingstone is available, Jacks mightiness slot successful astatine No 6, and Livingstone astatine No 7 — bad news for Curran.

4. How tin England make champion usage of Jonny Bairstow?

After a scratchy 7 disconnected 13 balls against Australia, Bairstow cracked a belligerent 31 disconnected 18 aft being promoted to No 3 against Namibia — past lashed retired astatine his critics. There is simply a lawsuit for keeping him there.

His prowess successful nan powerplay (he averages 43 erstwhile facing nan first shot of a T20 innings) makes him well-suited to first drop, wherever he averages 35 pinch a strike-rate of 161. It besides intends Harry Brook tin travel successful astatine No 4.

Jonny Bairstow deed 31 disconnected 18 against Namibia but only made 7 successful 13 balls against Australia

5. Where does this time off Chris Jordan?

Like Curran, Jordan was a precocious inclusion against Namibia because England wanted his decease expertise successful a truncated game. But six overs for 68 against Scotland and Australia were a worry, and nan thought that he tin beryllium a lower-order six-hitter from No 8 whitethorn stay a theory.

England should judge that their 4 strongest bowlers — Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and Topley —mean a longish tail, and spot that their apical 7 tin lucifer West Indies and South Africa rustle for blow.

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