England have mindset of champions – Adil Rashid confident ahead of T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk April 23, 2024

Adil Rashid believes England’s World Cup blowout in India will have no impact on the defence of their T20 crown this summer, claiming they still have “the mindset of champions”.

Jos Buttler’s side surrendered their ODI title meekly last year, crashing out in the group stage after six defeats from nine games, but still hold the 20-over title they claimed in 2022.

Competition is likely to be fierce again in June when the T20 World Cup takes place in the West Indies and United States of America, but Rashid is confident there is no scarring from their tournament trouble last time around.

Instead, the leg-spinner trusts a change of format will help unlock his side’s winning mentality.

“We are not thinking of what has gone on in the past, we’re not thinking about the poor World Cup or people not being in form. That’s a completely different format,” he said.

“Yes, we had a poor run or whatever and we didn’t play well: bat, ball, as a team, as a unit, everything. But I think this is a completely different format where we’re currently world champions. You have the mindset of champions.

“We’re confident. We’ve got the team, we’ve got the mindset, we’ve got the players, we’ve got the experience. If we go out there having that same belief, I think we’ll hopefully go all the way.

“Prior to that we may not be playing well but as soon the tournament comes, people can turn up, teams can turn up and just switch on and win the World Cup.”

England have one warm-up series against Pakistan in May before they fly to the Caribbean and are expected to name a squad, as well as the provisional World Cup group, next week.

Jofra Archer is highly likely to be included, 14 months on from his last international appearance and with the usual lofty expectations, but captain Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott look set to rely on many of the same players who came crashing down in India.

Rashid held his head above water amid those poor results, leading the wicket charts with 15, and will once again be a central part of the plans. At 36, he may not have too many more World Cups left, but he is already doing his bit to help lay a line of succession.

Rashid funded the building of the cricket centre that carries his name in his native Bradford and can often be found mentoring aspiring players alongside a coaching staff led by brother Amar and including the likes of former England seamer Sajid Mahmood.

He was also on hand to help the England and Wales Cricket Board launch a new national tape ball competition in Birmingham last week, and is passionate about helping those in communities like his own prosper.

“It’s only 10 minutes from my house. When I’m at home, I pop in, see how things are, have a little train, have a little bowl myself with whoever’s there,” he said.

“There’s a lot of youngsters where we’re from in Bradford, a lot of people who want to play cricket with good talent. We’ve had many youngsters come through that are already playing for Yorkshire academy, playing under-11s, 13s, 15s, second XI.

“One of the main reasons for opening the cricket centre is to give that next generation of cricketers coming through the opportunity to potentially make it to professional cricket, but that’s just one part of it. The other part is to make sure you’re getting people off the streets and creating a community where people can come and play.”

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    Matthew Mott's side are on the brink of an early elimination this month, with their 20-over title defence seemingly crumbling without escaping the group stage.

    England struggled before rain washed out their opener with Scotland, who are the favourites to progress after Australia overcame Buttler's side on Saturday.

    The defending champions must beat Oman and Namibia, while needing Australia to overcome Scotland by a less-than-narrow margin to have any hopes of going through on net run-rate.

    That has brought questions over Buttler's tenure as England captain, though Root placed his backing in the 33-year-old, a former international team-mate and good friend of his.

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    "I think they'll be absolutely fine, they've got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do.

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    After their opening match against Scotland was rained off - and defeat by Australia - Mott's England must now beat Oman and Namibia in their remaining Group B games - while significantly boosting their net run-rate - to stand any chance of advancing to the Super 8s.

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    Hazlewood acknowledged it would be in Australia's "best interest" if England were eliminated, and discussed the possibility of his side attempting to benefit the Scots' net run-rate at the defending champions' expense.

    "Having grown up in Australia and with the will to win every game, I am sure they will come to the fore," Mott told BBC Sport. "I am very much hoping it was an off-hand remark by a really good bloke who is having fun.

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    With their 100 per cent record intact, the reigning Cricket World Cup winners and World Test champions are full of confidence as they look to complete the sweep of global international honours.

    Adam Zampa played a starring role in the commanding victory over Namibia last time out, with an impressive 4-12 making him the first Australian to claim 100 T20I wickets.

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    "He loves the big moment, loves the pressure, and that comes with experience. He's bowling beautifully at the moment, so we're lucky to have him."

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