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    Four options for England to consider as replacements for Ben Stokes at the T20 World Cup
Four options for England to consider as replacements for Ben Stokes at the T20 World Cup
Four options for England to consider as replacements for Ben Stokes. Source: ICC

Four options for England to consider as replacements for Ben Stokes at the T20 World Cup

On Tuesday, Ben Stokes surprised everyone by announcing that he would skip this year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup to allow his body to rest. This decision leaves England with some decisions to make as they plan how to defend the title they won in Melbourne in 2022.

Although finding a player who can replicate Stokes' big-game heroics is a near-impossible task, England does have some viable replacements to consider ahead of June's tournament in the USA and Caribbean.

Here are four options England may consider when finalising their squad for this year's 20-over showcase.

Add another batter to the already strong top-order

Skipper Jos Buttler and the world's second-ranked T20I batter Phil Salt are certain to feature in England's top order. Highly talented youngster Harry Brook is also likely to play a part in their title defence, despite not having played any cricket this year.

With Stokes absent, England may consider Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan as additional batting options. Another player who could slot in is the highly-rated Will Jacks.

Try a similar option and choose another versatile choice

Although no one in England's ranks possesses the class of Stokes, they do have some good all-rounders.

Liam Livingstone (eighth) and Moeen Ali (ninth) are both inside the top 10 of the ICC Men's T20I All-Rounder rankings and are likely to be included in England's squad for the 20-over showpiece.

Reigning T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament Sam Curran will also join them. However, it remains to be seen if another all-rounder will come into consideration.

Chris Jordan, an underrated all-rounder from Barbados, has a strong track record of performing well for England. He is expected to feel at home during the matches played in the Caribbean.

Jordan played a key role in England's title success in the 2022 T20 World Cup final in Melbourne, where he picked up two crucial wickets against Pakistan.

Spin to win with an extra spinner

Conditions in the Caribbean and USA may favour slow bowlers. England have a good selection of spinners.

Adil Rashid, the world's No.1 ranked bowler, will play a crucial role with the ball. Moeen is versatile and can be used during the Powerplay and at the death.

Livingstone and Jacks, if selected, can also provide spinning options but it remains to be seen whether England will include another specialist spinner in their final squad.

Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed impressed by taking six wickets in four appearances during England's series against the West Indies at the end of last year. Selectors have previously shown confidence in the teenager by giving him challenging opportunities.

Swift and aggressive attack

If selected, Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer will spearhead England's pace attack at the T20 World Cup. Reece Topley and Chris Woakes are also likely to feature, along with several other capable bowling all-rounders.

England may also contemplate adding fast bowling option, such as Mark Wood or Gus Atkinson, to their final squad of 15.

Wood claimed nine wickets in four matches during the recent T20 World Cup in Australia, while Atkinson made a strong impression with a four-wicket haul on his T20I debut against New Zealand in Manchester last year.

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