England started their campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021 with a bang, bowling out defending champions West Indies for a paltry 55. They subsequently recorded comprehensive victories against Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka.
South Africa won a close game against England in their last group match. Despite the loss, England topped in Group 1 and were one of the title contenders at the tournament.
The semi-final defeat to New Zealand was gut-wrenching, as they looked good for large swathes of the game, before losing the plot in the last three overs.
Nevertheless, there were a few positives for England in the tournament. On that note, here's a look at three of them:
#1 Impressive comebacks of Chris Woakes and Tymal Mills
The biggest positive for England at the T20 World Cup 2021 were the performances of Chris Woakes and Tymal Mills.
Woakes made a comeback to the T20I fold after almost six years. He had an exceptional tournament with the ball. In six matches, he picked up seven wickets at an impressive average of 21.57.
He had an exceptional economy rate of 7.37 in the tournament, despite bowling most of his overs in the powerplay. Woakes, who has been a match-winner for England in Tests and ODIs, proved his worth in the T20I format. He could spearhead the English bowling attack in the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia too.
Meanwhile, Tymal Mills also made a successful comeback to the English T20I team after almost five years.
England won all four matches where Mills featured in. He picked up seven wickets in the tournament at an exceptional average of 15.43. He was England's death-over specialist, but an injury ruled him out before the knockouts.
The other English bowlers struggled at the death against South Africa and New Zealand. England lost both games, but things could have been different had Mills been available.
#2 Moeen Ali's resurgence
Moeen Ali has been an integral part of the English Test and ODI teams over the years. In T20Is, though, Ali accumulated only 38 appearances before the T20 World Cup 2021.
Nevertheless, Ali proved his worth as an all-rounder in the T20I format. In six games, he averaged 46 with the bat, and had an impressive strike rate of 131.43. His impressive half-century against New Zealand in the semi-final was one of the positives for the team despite their defeat.
Ali was also impressive with the ball in the tournament. He usually bowled in the powerplay overs for England, but had an impressive economy rate of 5.5. He picked up seven wickets at an average of 11.
Now that Ali has retired from Tests, he is likely to feature in more T20Is for England. He could be the game-changer for England in the T20 World Cup 2022.
#3 Growth of Liam Livingstone in international cricket
Liam Livingstone put up impressive performances with both bat and ball at the T20 World Cup 2021.
He got limited opportunities with the bat, but had a strike rate of 158.62 in three innings. In the process, he has announced his arrival on the big stage, and could be one of the mainstays of the English middle order in the years to come.
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Livingstone was impressive with the ball too, picking up six wickets at an average of 14.33 and an economy rate of 5.73. His ability to strike the ball clean, aggressive intent with the bat and controlled bowling in the middle overs could make him a permanent fixture in England's T20I team.