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The Jos Buttler era: How England have evolved under their new captain

Jos Buttler has taken England to a World Cup Final in his first major tournament in charge of the national team. But what has changed under Buttler's leadership?

To be forced to change a captain and coach within six months of a World Cup is rarely a good thing.

But Buttler and new England head coach Matthew Mott have overcome some early hiccups to be one game away from World Cup glory.

Results have largely remained on a similar trajectory since Buttler took charge, winning 12 of 21 matches since he was appointed and scoring at a rate of 8.96 runs per over, both of which are slightly up on England's overall T20I numbers.

Ethos remains the same

The blueprint of the England white-ball team and Buttler's presence as a vice-captain under Eoin Morgan meant that the conditions were ripe for a routine accession to the captaincy.

But Buttler still needed to put plans into action.

There have been occasions where England's front-foot approach appeared to become more timid under Buttler's watch, not least in the World Cup defeat to Ireland at the MCG earlier this tournament.

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But aggressive wins over New Zealand and India suggest those were little more than teething problems.

The blueprint of hyper-aggressive batting and match-up heavy bowling strategies remains in place.

A change in personnel

The ethos may be largely unchanged, but there have quietly been some significant changes to the make-up of the team.

Some of that has been due to injury. Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer and Reece Topley would all have been in the squad in Australia if fit, and all would have likely made the starting XI.

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But the retirement of Morgan and the loss of form of Jason Roy meant that two of England's established top five have also been replaced - a significant change that England have made look relatively seamless.

And although he may start Sunday's final due to Mark Wood's injury struggles, it has been notable how Buttler and England have moved on from the previous go-to death bowler in Chris Jordan.

Balance of the team

The early signs were that Buttler would prefer a bowling-heavy approach to team selection, with England XIs featuring a bowling all-rounder at number seven throughout the English summer and during the subsequent tour to Pakistan.

However, the start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 saw England switch to a batting-heavy approach.

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It could have been that the addition of Ben Stokes to the team and Sam Curran's excellent form gave Buttler sufficient confidence in his available options.

Or it may have been that the earlier team balance was a case of experimenting with the different bowling options available.

Either way, England's batting-heavy balance appears to suit them.

More leadership from Moeen

Moeen Ali captained England throughout the tour of Pakistan, and even when Buttler has returned it has been notable how involved the all-rounder is in captaincy conversations.

With Buttler behind the stumps, Moeen often acts as a defacto captain, talking to the bowlers and ensuring England's gameplan is put into action.

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As for Moeen's individual role, that has fluctuated as much as it ever has.

During the English summer the left-hander moved up the order to great effect and bowled plenty of handy overs.

But England have moved him down into a finishing role with the bat during the World Cup and have utilised his bowling sparingly, albeit to great effect when called upon.

The win over New Zealand showed that Moeen's role could yet change during Sunday's final. Should England's openers get off to a strong and wicketless start during the Powerplay, the all-rounder could be promoted to number three to lean into his strength - attacking the Pakistan spinners through the middle overs, almost like a spin-specific pinch hitter.


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