JOFRA ARCHER: Consistency has put England in great shape to win the Twenty20 World Cup

Consistency can go a long way in cricket and sometimes I feel it is underrated.

Teams don’t just become good overnight, these things take time. If you identify core players and give them time, you learn what works for you in pressure situations.

That’s pretty much what this England team is about, and I don’t view the attempt to win the Twenty20 World Cup as a one or even two-year process. Preparation has been from way further back.

Jofra Archer will be absent as England attempt to win the Twenty20 World Cup

The journey started more than five years ago and it was no surprise when we won the 50-over World Cup. Apart from me, the rest of the team had been together for a long time and that is why we competed so well.

Since the start of 2019, we have won 22 of 31 completed T20 internationals. What has been laid down should make us competitive for the next three to four years and potentially even longer.

I hope opposition teams are scared when they come up against us over these next few weeks. I hope people are losing sleep at night, thinking, “jeez, we have got a tough game tomorrow”.

Let’s face it, we have been successful for so long, top of the world rankings as a result and have players that can dominate on any stage.

Yes, myself and Ben Stokes are unavailable, but I’m not worried about that in terms of the way the team will perform.

They will be looking to build on the stunning success of winning the ODI World Cup in 2019

They will be looking to build on the stunning success of winning the ODI World Cup in 2019

I know there is enough strength in depth to cover our absence. We saw in the summer that there is so much talent within the England white-ball squads. It was a blessing of the Covid period that we got to see just what people waiting in the wings can do.

Liam Livingstone confirmed he is a straight swap for Stokes. You don’t have to think about it. He’s a guy who walked out and hit an England record 42-ball hundred against Pakistan.

As for the bowling, people may suggest I am a big loss because of my record in T20 but I would counter that by saying I am only one person.

I have always believed I’m only as good as the guy at the other end. You are working as a pair when you are bowling and if I’m going at two-an-over and the other guy is going at 10s, I view it as going at sixes. The same in reverse.

The strength of this England team is that everyone works with each other. It’s the best quality it has. Everyone feeds off each other, and there is a culture of playing for your team-mates rather than yourself. So although I’m not sure which way they will go in selection, whoever comes in to take the new ball will do well.

England though will be without talisman and all-rounder Ben Stokes for the tournament

England though will be without talisman and all-rounder Ben Stokes for the tournament

Liam Livingstone though has already proven himself worthy of a straight swap for Stokes

Liam Livingstone though has already proven himself worthy of a straight swap for Stokes

There is no doubt that England will be fully prepared for this. We will be as prepared as any team and, when we enter the matches, we will just hope things go our way. There is no doubt you need a little bit of luck when you head into a competition like this.

Truly, you can do everything in your power to be successful but you still might not win. That’s cricket — it is unpredictable. All you can do is cover your bases as best you can, train hard and do all the homework on the opposition. That’s standard.

Once out on the field, though, you are not in full control of everything that goes on. Sometimes you’ll need to be on the right side of an umpire’s decision; or the opposition to fumble or drop a catch at a crucial point in the contest; or the ball to hit the edge of your bat and go for four when you are staring down the barrel of a loss. We know all of these things play their part.

These are the kind of ingredients we experienced on our way to the World Cup win in 2019. We went into that tournament — like we will this one — trying to win every game. But things don’t always go the way you want, or the way people think they should. Who would have said that Sri Lanka would beat us at Headingley?

It happened. In the final, New Zealand did everything correctly from their point of view, everything they thought they needed to do but luck was not on their side during the normal 50 overs.

The tournament which gets underway on Sunday will be held in the United Arab Emirates

The tournament which gets underway on Sunday will be held in the United Arab Emirates

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The field is wide open for this tournament. In T20, anything can happen and games can change completely in the space of two or three overs.

But lots of England players have IPL experience and conditions in the UAE will be pretty familiar to them. Some of the players have been competing there over the last few weeks and that could count in our favour.

One of the biggest differences between playing T20 in India — where the tournament was originally supposed to be held — and in the UAE is the size of the boundaries. In India, there are quite a few small grounds and only Sharjah in the UAE is comparable in terms of dimensions: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are much bigger.

Dubai pitches don’t tend to have much grass on them and it’s the same as India in terms of swing. It does a bit in the air and skips through in the first six overs and then that’s it. Once out of the power play, it gets a lot easier for the batters.

And this England team have proven they are consistently good in all conditions when it comes to T20 cricket.

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