England captain Jos Buttler says hosts Australia are team to beat at T20 World Cup – Sky Sports

Watch England’s final warm-up against Pakistan on Sky Sports Cricket on Monday (8.30am build-up, 9am start); coach Matthew Motts feels team have their “mojo back” after series wins in Pakistan and Australia; England begin World Cup campaign vs Afghanistan next Saturday
Monday 17 October 2022 08:52, UK
Jos Buttler says hosts and defending champions Australia are the team to beat at the T20 World Cup as his England side prepare for their final warm-up against Pakistan on Monday, live on Sky Sports.
England defeated Australia 2-0 in a three-match T20 series last week, with rain denying them the chance to clinch a 3-0 sweep as the final game in Canberra was washed out with the tourists in a dominant position.
Buttler’s team play Pakistan in Brisbane – a game in which Liam Livingstone could make his return after an ankle injury – before beginning their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on Saturday.
Buttler, whose team have won their last four completed T20 internationals, said: “History tells you that generally the host nations are slight favourites in big tournaments. You’d probably have to pick Australia as the favourites.
“Lots of people have played in Australia but, of course, no one is going to know the conditions or be as accustomed to them as the Australian team, who are the reigning champions as well.
“It’s a fierce competition. There’s some great players here, especially in T20 cricket, one person can take the game away from you.
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“We don’t try and read too much into past tournaments or things. We try and learn and get better and improve every day.”
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Head coach Matthew Mott – leading England in an ICC tournament for the first time after taking on the role earlier this year – feels his side have their “mojo back” after successive T20 series wins in Pakistan and Australia.
Those successes followed a home summer in which they failed to register a series victory in either T20 or 50-over cricket.
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Mott said: “There’s obviously transition time. New captain, new coach and getting that role clarity.
“We’ve taken time to build those relationships. We seem to have got our mojo back and I think we’re in a pretty good spot at the moment.
“There’s a number of teams that are potential winners of this World Cup, of which we’re one and if we play really good cricket, and we win those big moments, we’re as good a chance as anyone.”
Sky Sports Cricket’s Mark Butcher says he spoke to Buttler in Pakistan recently and that the England skipper described the T20 World Cup as a “free hit ” for his team – but Butcher reckons that is a “smokescreen.”
Butcher told Sky Sports News: “I like England, they can win it.
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“Jos told me this tournament is free hit and that they’re not up there among the favourites but I look at the players they have got out there and the experience they have and I’m thinking that’s a smokescreen and a half because they look like a very, very good team to me.
“Australia don’t look particularly good but they have a record of being like that outside of tournaments and then shocking everybody and winning it. They know how to win international tournaments and are playing at home.”
Watch England’s final T20 World Cup warm-up match, against Pakistan, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Monday (8.30am build-up ahead of a 9am start). Then catch their World Cup opener against Afghanistan on the same channel next Saturday (11.30am build-up ahead of a midday start).
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