There has been quite a remarkable improvement in English white-ball cricket over the past few years, and right now, their players are valued more than ever before.
In July, England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time with the victory over New Zealand in an incredible finale. The win completed an impressive turn around for England, who were dumped out of the previous World Cup in the group stage by Bangladesh after a series of underwhelming performances.
With the bat, England have turned to younger, more expansive players, who have produced some stunning batting displays in the shorter forms of the game in the last few years. Twice over the last few years, they broke the record for the highest score in an ODI, first against Pakistan, and then against Australia.
The increased focus on the white-ball game over the past few years has seen the development of some genuinely world-class players in the England side, such as Jason Roy and Jos Buttler.
We have also seen an increase in the number of English players playing in overseas tournaments around the world, and we are likely to see them more than ever in the IPL in 2020, as for the first time in years it doesn’t overlap with any England series.
Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler are among those being retained by their respective sides ahead of December’s auction, but there are plenty more players hoping to be bought.
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Here are five English batsmen to watch out for in the auction.
#1 Tom Banton
Tom Banton’s name may be a new one amongst some Indian viewers, but the opener is one of the most talented young players in England at the moment. The Somerset opener was second only to teammate Babar Azam in the list of highest run-scorers in the T20 Blast, scoring 549 runs at an average of 42.23, which included a brilliant hundred against Kent.
The 21-year-old was selected for England’s T20 series with New Zealand earlier this month, where he played three games, scoring 56 runs. Although he didn’t get the numbers he may have wished for, his style impressed many onlookers, who likened his technique to that of Kevin Pietersen. Banton will also spend time this winter playing for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash, an experience that will surely only improve his skills.