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Winning series decider over Pakistan a confidence boost for England ahead of T20 World Cup: Mott

Lahore, Oct 3 (IANS) England’s white-ball head coach Matthew Mott believes the victory in the T20I series decider over Pakistan is a massive confidence boost for his team ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this month.

After being inserted into batting first, England amassed a massive 209/3 and then restricted Pakistan to 142/8 to win the series decider by 67 runs and clinch the seven-match series 4-3.

“We certainly came over here for the seven-match series with a really clear plan to take it deep and see if we could rotate our squad through, leading obviously to a World Cup. I couldn’t have asked for much more to be honest, I think Moeen Ali, in particular, has captained extremely well.”

“He’s put a lot of faith in different players, and had some debutants come in and do well. So from our perspective, to have pretty much a final-type atmosphere tonight and come out and play so well gives us a lot of confidence going into that World Cup,” said Mott to Sky Sports after the match ended.

Asked for an update on the fitness of players like regular captain Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, Mott said the duo are on course to be fit for the showpiece event.

“Liam Livingstone is tracking well. He’s back in England now, left this morning, and he’ll be fine. He’s just got to get some miles in the legs and he should be right to start when we get out there.

“I think Jos has been conservative. He was chomping at the bit for a game at the back-end here, but the risk-reward wasn’t quite there. He’s going to play a pivotal role in the World Cup and Moeen has done an exceptional job with the leadership.”

“We’re pretty confident where we’re at. It was a lot of moving parts for this tour, getting everyone ready, but we’ve welcomed back some world-class players and we’ll hit the shores of Australia in a couple of days.”

Mott remarked that young Harry Brook, Ben Duckett and Dawid Malan have made a greater push for themselves through their performances in Pakistan to be taken seriously for England’s playing eleven in T20 World Cup.

“There’s been a lot (of players who have advanced their cases). “Harry Brook has had some really good hit-outs and done well. He’s looked really composed out there and seems to just pick the right times to go for his boundaries.”

“Duckett has been exceptional and played spin really well. He’s asked a few different questions. He sort of turned the momentum for us after the early games where spin was playing a big part of it. Malan was outstanding (in series decider). I thought that was a brilliant knock in a final-like atmosphere.”

“And all the bowlers. We came over here with some injury clouds but we got through it. (Mark) Wood got through a few games, (Chris) Woakes got through a couple, so we’re building nicely with that depth we’re after for that World Cup.”

Mott signed off by admitting there will be tinkering with England’s playing eleven throughout the T20 World Cup. “We’ve (himself and Buttler) looked at that first XI quite a bit, and there’s always a bit of tinkering. There’s form that comes into it, we’ve also got a series against Australia first and foremost. So we’ll get an opportunity to have a really good look at how that balance goes.”

“I think in Australia as well, there are some different conditions out there and we might tinker slightly throughout the tournament depending on who we play. But we’re pretty close to that first XI and then you reassess from there.”

England will now travel to Australia to prepare for the T20 World Cup, with three T20Is against hosts’ and defending champions Australia on October 9, 12 and 14.

It will be followed by a warm-up match against Pakistan on October 17 before starting their Super 12 campaign in the mega event against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22.

–IANS

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