England have announced their touring squad for their 5 game series in India, with the first game being played on the 12th of March.
So first of all lets just have a look at who's in the squad that will leave London on the 26th of February:
England Men’s IT20 Squad:
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Reece Topley (Surrey), Mark Wood (Durham).
Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire).
There aren't that many surprises in there for me. Some will point to the absence of Alex Hales the leading run-scorer in the recently completed BBL, but his previous transgressions have left him out in the cold, and while Eoin Morgan is the captain I can't see that changing. There are different thoughts here, some who think he's paid his dues and some who think he only has himself to blame. I sit somewhere in the middle, It wasn't just one issue with Hales but multiple issues, and the rumours indicate that it's not just Morgan who doesn't want him in the squad. We may never know the true extent of what happened with Hales, so it's hard to judge. I think Morgan has earned our trust so if he thinks it's best for the team then so be it.
Jason Roy is included despite his struggles in 2020. I'm fine with that, his performances in 2019 built up a little credit when he averaged over 30 with a strike rate near 170. Players go through periods of poor form and they have to work their way back from it. I like that England are keeping the faith with him and giving him a chance to work through struggles.
It's good to see Liam Livingstone in the squad, although whether he sees the field is another matter. It's quite a compacted squad in terms of batting talent, and despite him having a very good BBL, I think he may be on the outside looking in again. Would love for him to appear in at least one of the games and with the T20 World Cup on the horizon, it would be good for Morgan to see his options.
I don't know why Moeen is included. I really like Moeen and respect everything he's given to England, but at some point you have to be realistic. His batting has really fallen off and when he was in the lineup last year Morgan often only bowled him a single over...is that enough to get you in the side? I'd rather we try another of the younger spinners but that's just my opinion.
England men’s IT20 fixtures in India
Friday 26 February: Touring party departs from London to Ahmedabad
Friday 12 March: 1st IT20 India v England, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Sunday 14 March: 2nd IT20 India v England, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Tuesday 16 March: 3rd IT20 India v England, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Thursday 18 March: 4th IT20 India v England, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Saturday 20 March: 5th IT20 India v England, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad