There’s no doubt that England selector Ed Smith will have been keeping a close eye on this year’s IPL with the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup on the horizon.
The IPL 2020 wrapped up this week with Mumbai Indians claiming their third title in four years but it’s the performances of the handful of Three Lions stars involved that is of the most interest to us.
With the dust now settled on the tournament, we’ve looked back at their performances and outlined five talking points for England to ponder with one eye on next year’s World Cup…
The opening dilemma
One of the key dilemmas facing the selectors ahead of next year’s tournament is who should open the batting for England.
It’s a good headache to have as we’re in no way short of options but the IPL 2020 did little to make the decision any easier.
Jonny Bairstow was in fine form, yes, but Jos Buttler – who has partnered him at the top recently for England – impressed in a role down the order, while Tom Banton wasn’t really given a chance to show his quality. Not only that, both Sam Curran and Ben Stokes were superb as openers at times, highlighting just how spoilt for choice we are.
We can’t forget Jason Roy either. The Surrey man missed the IPL due to injury but he and Bairstow form surely the most dangerous ODI opening partnership in the world.
This is a conversation we’re going to be having for some time it seems.
How do you fit in Sam Curran?
We know that Curran has a talent for making things happen in the Test arena but during this year’s IPL, he proved that he is also a very useful player in the shortest format of the game.
Clearly, he’s got the talent, Ed Smith and co now face the issue of how to fit him in England’s T20 side.
Jofra Archer is a true star across all formats
It seems as if everything this man touches turns to gold. Archer can now add IPL 2020 MVP to his constantly growing list of achievements and has outlined, if there was any doubt, that he is a true star across all three formats.
This year’s IPL outlined just not only how lucky we are to have him but also how important he could be to England’s success at next summer’s tournament, and – hopefully – many more beyond that.
Same old Stokesy
After missing the end of the international summer due to personal issues, Stokesy returned to action in the IPL and served a reminder of just what a special cricketer he is.
The all-rounder impressed at the top of the order for the Rajasthan Royals, making 285 runs in eight innings, and hit a phenomenal century against the eventual tournament champions.
It was great to see him back in the middle, doing what he does best.
Captain Morgan still at the top of his game
If anyone had any questions over whether Eoin Morgan remains the right man to lead England in next summer’s tournament, those will surely have been answered.
He took over the captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders halfway through this year’s IPL and did a phenomenal job, with both his leadership and with bat in hand – finishing with 418 runs at an average of 41.
The fact that Morgan, who is among the top 10 highest ranked batsmen in the format, remains at the top of his game is a boost for England’s hopes of getting their hands on another piece of international silverware next year.