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Five big talking points for England this summer

A seismic summer lies ahead for England's white-ball team with the next Twenty20 World Cup just over the horizon in the Caribbean and the USA.

But before England attempt to defend their T20 World Cup crown, they will engage in a four-match tussle with Pakistan later this month.

And with the matches soon to come thick and fast, here is a look at some of the biggest talking points around the England team heading into the coming months.

Pressure mounts on Mott after ODI World Cup disaster

The elephant in the room for England heading into the T20 World Cup is their disastrous performance at last year's ODI World Cup.

Granted, it must be acknowledged that these are two different formats but there is still pressure mounting on England's white-ball head coach Matthew Mott.

At last year's ODI World Cup, England, who were defending champions after their 2019 triumph, sustained six defeats in nine matches to crash out in the tournament's group stage.

Their campaign featured surprise losses to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan among others and exorcising their demons from that tournament will be key for England heading into the summer months.

But failure to reach the semi-finals in the Caribbean and the USA will almost certainly bring an end to Mott's coaching tenure.

Archer return could be key for England

A long-term elbow injury had kept Jofra Archer out of England action since March last year but the 29-year-old has overcome the problem and is in England's squad for the T20 World Cup.

Since making his debut five years ago, Archer has managed a mere 15 T20 appearances but he provides England’s bowling attack with the 'X Factor' and thrives in big occasions.

He showed he can rise to the occasion in his breakout 2019 ODI World Cup campaign when he took 20 wickets for his country and, born in Bridgetown, Barbados, his knowledge of conditions and bowling in the Caribbean could be crucial.

Buttler could be back to his best

A poor showing in the Caribbean and the USA this summer could also cast a shadow over Jos Buttler's future as England captain but the big-hitter has at least rediscovered his form at the crease.

He has been key to Rajasthan Royals's pursuit of a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League and earlier this year he struck 408 runs for Paarl Royals in the South African T20 League.

That suggests we could be seeing the return of the Buttler who blasted 225 runs in six matches at the last T20 World Cup and his performances at the top of the order will be key in dictating how other batters such as Phil Salt, Harry Brook and Will Jacks perform.

Spin contingent should assist in Caribbean and USA

A lot will be made of Archer and Chris Jordan when it comes to bowling in the Caribbean but England's array of spin options should also not be overlooked.

All-rounders Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone are handy with the ball while Adil Rashid is the world's number one T20 bowler and offers England top-class variation.

The pitches in the USA and the Caribbean could certainly be favourable to slower bowlers and England, who are 9/2 to win the tournament, could perform better in that department than many anticipate.

Away from the spin department, Sam Curran is another who could be useful for England.

The left-arm medium-fast bowler was England's star of the show at the 2022 T20 World Cup, taking 13 wickets in just six innings with a favourable economy rate of 6.52.

Flintoff experience an intriguing addition

England's white-ball squad could do with all the help they can get following last year's World Cup performance and the addition of Andrew Flintoff to England's backroom staff could also play a pivotal role.

One of the country's greatest all-rounders in ODI and Test cricket, Flintoff has been part of the England set-up over the last year or so and Rob Key even believes he could lead his country as head coach in the future.

His experience and knowhow in the background could instil England with the mentality needed to go deep in the Caribbean and the USA.

Flintoff will then take charge of Northern Superchargers in the next edition of The Hundred later this year and he could provide Mott with valuable insight.

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