3 selection puzzles that England need to solve during the South Africa T20I series

3 selection puzzles that England need to solve during the South Africa T20I series

England have some serious thinking to do!

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

England is blessed with the coveted possession of a T20 outfit that is steeped in extraordinarily exhilarating talent, especially in the batting department. However, immense depth in quality can often lead to a bountiful of seemingly unfathomable dilemmas: this is the welcome state that England find themselves in.

Due to the looming presence of the T20 World Cup, it is beyond imperative that they begin to form an initial idea of their best XI. It is evident that this is at the forefront of their planning as they have selected what looks like a full-strength squad. To achieve this goal, England will need to solve 3 head-splitting selection puzzles during this T20 series against South Africa.

Here are 3 selection puzzles that England need to solve during the SA T20I series

1. Where does Jos Buttler bat?

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Jos Buttler is a player capable of conjuring some truly astonishing displays of sheer brilliance regardless of what batting position he is assigned to. Perhaps as a result of his own undeniable genius, the heated debate regarding his place in the order is one that has endured for an eternity. However, it is now a ripe time that England makes a decisive decision on this matter as it is certain that they will wish to harness the maximum potential of this T20 titan.

Here are his potential roles and their respective pros and cons:

Jos Buttler has openly expressed that opening the innings “is his favourite position to bat” and this is comprehensively reflected in the ruthless contempt that he treats bowlers within the powerplay. When he opens, it complies with the T20 ideology of giving your best batsman as many balls as possible to influence the outcome of the game single-handedly, a strategy lauded by many. However, appointing Jos Buttler as an opener does come with its fair share of caveats: it subtly tilts the balance of the team into a slightly top-heavy lineup that maybe be susceptible to potential collapse.

Perhaps it would be shrewder to employ Jos Buttler as a floater/finisher while allowing two of the plethora English top-order batsmen, who are of a high calibre themselves, to perform a successful opening pair. Buttler would add poise and brutal-minded clarity to one of the hardest roles to execute in T20. However, is Buttler’s audacious level of belligerence and dominance in the first 6 overs too hard to ignore?

While it is looking certain that Buttler will open initially, England will contemplate a move for their linchpin if results don’t go their way.