(Reuters) – England are favourites to win the Twenty20 World Cup despite the absence of pace bowler Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes, wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler said.
Stokes was not included in England’s 15-man preliminary squad as he extends his break from cricket to focus on his mental health, while Archer ruled himself out after he suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow.
Coach Chris Silverwood named batter Liam Livingstone and fast bowler Tymal Mills as the replacements in the England squad for the World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from Oct. 17.
“We are certainly one of the favourites, we are a brilliant team,” Buttler said on Saturday. “I know we’re going to be missing Ben and Jofra, two superstars, but you still look down that list and there’s some real match-winners in our side.
“Liam Livingstone, with the way his game was in those T20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and The Hundred, he will go into the World Cup with fantastic confidence.
“And seeing Tymal Mills… coming back is a fantastic story for him. He has that left-arm angle, that extreme pace and he’s got a pretty good slower ball as well so he is a great guy to have in your squad who can pose a lot of problems.”
England lost to West Indies in the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup but bounced back by winning the 50-over World Cup in 2019.
Led by captain Eoin Morgan, they take on West Indies in the opening match of this year’s World Cup on Oct. 23 in Dubai.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)