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Twenty20: England aiming for short-format boost

English cricket is at another low ebb after an embarrassing Ashes defeat Down Under, but while the powers-that-be look to find a solution in the five-day game, the white-ball players are already set for their next task.

England have travelled to the Caribbean for a five-match T20 series against West Indies, with Eoin Morgan's men 8/15 to take the spoils and the Windies available to back at 6/4.

The difference between the Test team and the T20 side is an almighty chasm, with the twenty-over squad a completely different group of players, with only Sam Billings have featured on the Ashes tour.

A mixture of old and new

No fewer than 11 of England's 16-man squad featured in the recent T20 World Cup run to the semi-finals, but they will have a different coach at the helm.

With Chris Silverwood left to reflect on the disappointment in Australia, Paul Collingwood will take charge of the team in the Caribbean.

The former all-rounder has a couple of new caps at his disposal as well, with left-arm pace bowlers David Payne (Gloucestershire) and George Garton (Sussex) included for the first time.

At the age of 30, Payne would have been forgiven for thinking his international chances had gone, but some impressive displays in The Hundred have helped him earn a call-up.

Payne took six wickets in seven appearances for the Welsh Fire at an economy rate of 10.65, whilst Garton also impressed in the inaugural year of the tournament.

The 24-year-old took 10 wickets in nine matches for the Southern Brave, who went on to win the event, plus he also played a key role in helping Sussex Sharks reach Finals Day in the T20 Blast.

Phil Salt is another new face in the T20 squad, even though he has had previous international experience. The Sussex batter made his England debut in the 50-over series with Pakistan last summer, scoring a half-century in the 52-run win at Lord’s.

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Livingstone cementing his place as starter

With no Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler or Dawid Malan in the squad, after their involvement in the Ashes, this series provides some players the chance to catch the eye of the selectors.

One man who has already done that is Liam Livingstone, who made his T20 international debut back in 2017, but really came to the fore during last year.

Having impressed with the bat for Lancashire, the 28-year-old smashed a sensational 103 off just 43 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.

Livingstone didn't shine as expected at the World T20 tournament, but he was hampered by not batting in three of the opening four matches, as England dominated.

With the ball, Saqib Mahmood was another that impressed last summer - taking 3-33 when England beat Pakistan in a thrilling game at Headingley.

After missing out on the World Cup squad, the Lancashire paceman will be desperate to show what he can do, in what should be good conditions for pace bowlers.

Windies start to rebuild….again

After failing to get out of the group stages and winning just one of their five matches at the World T20, West Indies appear to be in a state of flux.

Phil Simmons' men have dropped to as low as 10th in the T20 world rankings and face an England team who remain number one despite missing out on the title in November.

With Chris Gayle no longer available to call upon, the Windies need to find a new superstar with the bat and a lot of that pressure to deliver is on vice-captain Nicholas Pooran.

The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batter normally bats at three and has now played 49 T20 internationals - scoring four half centuries, including 64 in last month's defeat to Pakistan in Karachi.

Fabian Allen one watch over the series, with the bowling all-rounder currently the Windies' highest ranked T20 bowler.

Meanwhile, Hayden Walsh has impressed in recent home series and the leg-break bowler took 12 wickets in last year's five-match T20 series with Australia in the Caribbean.

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