Head Coach Trevor Bayliss thinks England can become the first nation to lift the World T20 trophy for a second time after the 15-man squad was announced this morning.
The 53-year-old Australian knows how to win tournaments in India too, having guided Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL success, and he thinks he has the players at his disposal to replicate England’s 2010 World T20 success in the Caribbean.
“It’s going to be difficult and we’ll have to play some good cricket,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“There are some very good teams around the world – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka will be difficult to beat in those conditions.
“We played some very good cricket against Pakistan in the UAE on those types of wickets.
“If we can get off to a good start and play some good cricket and get on a roll then there’s no reason why we can’t (win the tournament).”
England have reason to feel enthused by their prospects at the tournament after their drastic change in white-ball fortunes since Bayliss took charge last summer.
Assistant Coach Paul Farbrace has been critical to that too – he was coach of Sri Lanka when they won the World T20 two years ago – and under the pair England have won all five of their sprint-format matches
England have also seen members of the squad flourish elsewhere with Adil Rashid voted the second best player at the recent Big Bash League while Buttler was snapped up by IPL champions Mumbai Indians at last weekend’s player auction.
Bayliss is wary of relying on too few players, however, and believes any hopes of reaching the April 3 final – which is coincidentally set to be staged in Kolkata – will depend on an even spread of performances.
When asked to name some of his match-winners, Bayliss instead extolled the virtues on a number of the squad, saying: “It’s hard to go past guys like Root and Stokes I suppose, but we’ve got some other good performers in the team as well.
“Morgan is our captain and our most experienced player, he’s played a number of times in India during the IPL.
“We’ve got some good, young and exciting players right through the group.
“Rashid with the experience he’s got during the Big Bash and playing in India where it might be more conducive to spin bowling. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do there as well.
“I wouldn’t just say it’s a one-out team. Our performances over the last six to nine months have been very much team orientated and I don’t think that’ll change.”
Uncapped spinning all-rounder Liam Dawson was the surprise selection of today’s announcement with Bayliss admitting he has never seen him play.
The coach has been happy to include him, however, after relying on information from his fellow selectors after impressive outings for England Lions during their recent whiter-ball series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates.
“He’s had some outstanding performances for the Lions over the last two or three months,” he said.
“To be honest I haven’t actually seen him play a match at this stage. I’ve watched him a few times at practice and certainly personality-wise he’s got something about him.
“He bats, bowls and fields – an all-round package. It’s exciting to watch a young player get his opportunity and we’ll have to wait and see whether he plays in India.
Delighted to be picked for the World Cup. Will be an amazing experience. Very pleased for @daws128 as well.
— James Vince (@vincey14) February 10, 2016
“He can be a back-up to our two main spinners and if the wickets are really turning then we might decide to play three at some stage. I’m very happy for him and wish him all the best.”
Bayliss expects Steven Finn will be fit to go when England begin their campaign against 2012 champions West Indies in Mumbai on March 16.
Finn left the tour of South Africa early after suffering a side strain during the series-clinching third Test win in Johannesburg.
“He’s coming along really well,” Bayliss said. “The medical people said before he left South Africa that he would more than likely be available for the last T20 match here in South Africa.
“We thought we won’t risk it, we’ll make sure that he’s right for the World T20.
“I think he’s just getting back to bowling now. It hasn’t been that long since he bowled so I’d expect that he’ll hit the ground running when we get to India.”
Bayliss has topped up his backroom knowledge with Paul Collingwood and Mahela Jayawardene re-joining the squad after working with them in the UAE.
Collingwood captained England to their 2010 World T20 success while Jayawardene was a vital part of Farbrace’s Sri Lanka team that won the previous tournament.
“Both of those guys with the experience that they’ve got, not just worldwide but in the sub-continent as well, and in the game of cricket is a bonus,” Bayliss said.
“Both of them have been with us in the last couple of months and the boys have really enjoyed having them around and the experience that they bring just being around the group and talking about the game and their experiences has been fantastic.
“I’m looking forward to listening to that again myself.”
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) February 10, 2016
Bayliss is also relishing the prospect of making a return to India where he hopes the passion for cricket from the fans will inspire his young players.
“The environment that you’re in is going to be a lot different to what the players are used to in England and here in South Africa,” he said.
“The fans are very passionate, they love the game of cricket. If you are doing well they support good cricket.
“There will probably be full stadiums so it is a very good experience and one to embrace.
“It is an eye-opener but one that you enjoy. Everyone likes playing in front of a big crowd and this is not going to be any different and being a World Cup there’s that added pressure.
“It’ll be a good test for this young team.”