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England look old and predictable at T20 World Cup

Bairstow is averaging just 24 this winter for England and it would make a statement by leaving him out but that would require head coach Matthew Mott showing a ruthless side we have not seen before. Dropping Brook is unthinkable. Instead he has to bat higher and be trusted with taking the game on.

Bairstow is looking slow in the field these days due to the aftereffects of his horrendous leg injury and his seven from 13 balls sucked the life out of the Bridgetown run chase. Obviously it is dangerous to write him off. He has staged too many personal comebacks to do that but if the engine room at No 4 and No 5 misfires, England will splutter out of the World Cup.

Bairstow came in with England needing 110 from 10 overs, exactly the scenario they were presented with when they were set a rain-affected total by Scotland, which Mott thought well within their reach. By the time Bairstow was out England needed 77 from 35 balls, and all hope was gone.

The batting is less of an issue because Bairstow could well click into life against a minnow and go on one of his runs. It is the veteran bowling attack that is the problem. It conceded 30 runs more than par to Australia by giving away too many freebies and was wicketless from 10 overs against Scotland.

Bowling attack is old and relying on past glories

England went with pace against Scotland on a slow pitch at the Kensington Oval that required pitching it up and bowling at the stumps. Mott described it as making a “statement”. It did not work but they repeated it against Australia and paid the price.

The attack is old and relying on past glories. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are 36, Mark Wood is 34 and Chris Jordan is 35. Rashid was outbowled by Adam Zampa, Wood had a poor 50-over World Cup and has never been as effective in T20 cricket anyway due to his lack of variations, while Jordan has always been a high-risk selection with the ball.

It is lucky they have Jofra Archer fit again. He is head and shoulders above everyone else because he can do everything, bowl with rapid pace or take the pace off and restrict scoring, but he cannot hold the attack on his own.