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Archer-Stokes

Star duo to be given extra time as England close in on squad for T20 World Cup

England coach Matthew Mott has revealed he will give star duo Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer every chance to recover from injury in time to feature at next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

The pair are currently on the sidelines and recovering from their respective injury complaints, with Stokes having undergone surgery on his knee following this year's ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and Archer still battling his long-term shoulder problem.

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England lift the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 trophy | T20WC 2022
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But Mott knows how vital the pair are to the setup of his side and is happy to leave two places open for them as he whittles down England's final squad of 15 as they attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title in the USA and Caribbean in June next year.

"I think that's a given," Mott said of whether the duo would be in the mix for World Cup selection. 

"Ben, aside from his incredible match-winning ability in every department, gives us that ability to have a seam bowler in your top six that gives you so many options with your team balance...It makes selection a hell of a lot easier. So that's a given.

"In terms of Jofra, you've just got absolute box-office pace, change of pace, bowl any over in the innings. Bowl your Super Over, bowl your last over when they need to. Him on the park is massive, everyone would agree with that."

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While a T20 World Cup defence is among England's biggest goals for 2024, their immediate focus is on attempting to win the fifth and final game of their ongoing T20I series against the West Indies and clinch a positive 3-2 series result.

Mott's side levelled the series at 2-2 on the back of Phil Salt's second consecutive century in Trinidad on Tuesday, with the in-form right-hander currently putting together a strong case to open the batting for England alongside skipper Jos Buttler at next year's T20 World Cup.

"It's looking pretty good, isn't it?" Mott remarked when asked about the Salt-Buttler pairing at the top of England's batting order.

"We've got a lot of time between now and then. Obviously, Salty has put an undeniable case there and Jos is one of the greatest of all time. So how we get that top six or seven going will be an interesting thing."

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And with less than six months until the start of the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup, Mott believes he is closing in on what England's squad will look like for next year's tournament.

"We always said with this (West Indies) series we'll go pretty close to the side we're looking for, otherwise why would they be here?" Mott said.

"We don't get many opportunities to play together before the World Cup. So this is a very strong team we've bought out here."