Graeme Swann: Australia a must win game for sloppy England at T20 World Cup | Cricket News

Graeme Swann believes that England’s T20 World Cup match against Australia is now “must win” after their opening washout against Scotland.

Scotland set England a target of 90, adjusted to 109 with DLS, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados before rain brought an end to proceedings, leaving each team to take a point in Group B.

However, England were unable to take a wicket and looked sloppy in patches, Mark Wood overstepping to see his wicket denied for a no ball, while Chris Jordan struggled as George Munsey and Michael Jones punished his bowling with boundaries.

Swann, despite remaining optimistic about England’s chances, believes Jos Buttler’s side now must beat their old foe to keep their hopes of retaining the title alive.

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Highlights from Barbados where Scotland’s George Munsey and Michael Jones impressed against England before their T20 World Cup clash was washed out

“We have been talking up England’s chances because they have got a very, very good chance of winning this World Cup,” Swann told Sky Sports.

“I think on paper we are as strong a team as anybody and Australia are the team to beat.

“The team that we beat in 2010 was Australia in Barbados, there are many parallels.

“We win this, win the tournament, win the Euros, and everyone is happy.

“I have to apologise to all Scotland fans because you obviously took the weather out with you so it is your own fault that you didn’t get the win.

“It is very difficult to enter a tournament if you are not 100 per cent and going at it. I don’t think England were on the money and were a bit sloppy and that showed in the fact that Scotland looked the better team.

“I still think England would have won had it not rained because I am a forever optimist.

“But I do think it puts the next game against Australia as a must win. They need to go with a very aggressive attitude and take them on. If they go at them hard they can win.”

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Mark Wood thought he had dispatched Scotland’s George Munsey but a no-ball denied him England’s first wicket of the day

The match against Scotland saw Jofra Archer’s return to the England side in the country of his birth and Swann believes the paceman will be key if England are going to dominate teams in the competition when he starts to pick up wickets.

“With Jofra Archer back in the team and that sheer pace he has got England look very, very dominant on paper but it didn’t quite happen on the field,” Swann said.

“Sometimes that happens. Credit to Scotland, they did bat very well. But I think England’s strong bowling line up, with Mark Wood and Archer and the world class spinners, I think we have got a bowling line-up that can win this tournament and I think they will take wickets in the next game.

“I hope so, otherwise it could be an early flight home.

“Archer will be vital. He is quick enough and good enough. With him fit and firing and Wood fit and firing at the other end, they are the best in the world.

“Being sharper and not as sloppy is the way forward.”

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Jos Buttler was disappointed that England’s opening game of the T20 World Cup was abandoned, but felt they would have chased down Scotland’s score

Although there were clear issues in England’s opening encounter against Scotland, Swann remains ever the optimist and believes that England will finish the tournament as back-to-back T20 World Cup champions.

“I think England will win. I look at the team who won it in 2010, my team. Well, I wasn’t captain but that I played,” he added.

“We would obviously beat this current team but there are a lot of parallels and I think they can do it.

“Australia are one of the teams to beat and India. Look out for India, on paper they are phenomenal.

“Off the back of the IPL, they are in form, they are desperate to win an ICC tournament.

“I am a bit worried about India but ever the optimist, come on England!”

Live ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Saturday 8th June 5:30pm

What’s next?

Pakistan’s meeting with USA in Texas is one of four matches on Thursday, with Scotland – whose Group B opener against England was abandoned due to rain – facing Namibia in Barbados (8pm).

Australia’s first Group B fixture is against Oman in Barbados (1.30am), while Papua New Guinea tackle Uganda in Guyana in Group D (12.30am).

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