Skipper Jos Buttler on Friday called it a new era for England and warned that his “dangerous” team was “very ready” for its title charge at the Twenty20 World Cup.
England, which along with host and holder Australia, is the favourite, begins its campaign on Saturday against Afghanistan in Perth.
Buttler succeeded Eoin Morgan as England’s white-ball captain in June and led his team to a 2-0 T20I series win over Australia and a victory over Pakistan leading up to the World Cup.
“We are in a good spot. We have had really good games in the last 10 matches and played some really good cricket,” the wicketkeeper-batter said, striking a buoyant tone.
“On the eve of the tournament we are very ready.”
Despite England’s ominous form - including a series win in Pakistan - the 32-year-old Buttler dismissed the titles tag.
“No, far from it, to be honest. I think we are a dangerous team, we have got a lot of talented players who can win games on their own and that’s a huge thing in T20 cricket,” he said.
“If you had to choose one (favourite) then it has to be Australia in their own conditions and being reigning champions.”
England, which won the T20 title in 2010, lost fast bowler Reece Topley to an ankle injury with Tymal Mills coming in as replacement.
Buttler leads the batting charge alongside Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali. On the bowling front, David Willey and Sam Curran are in good nick.
“I mentioned it to the players a lot but this is very much a new era for the English white-ball team,” said Buttler.
“A lot of them played in the past era but it’s very much about looking forward now for this group. Not to spend too much energy looking backwards. I think it’s really important to be that forward-facing sort of team talking about the future a lot, and that starts with tomorrow.”
England missed out on the final in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year after it went down to New Zealand in the semifinals and Buttler said the shortest format of cricket was “ruthless”.
“Only just how ruthless the format is and how much importance there is on every single game,” Buttler said, reflecting on what they had learnt from last year’s World Cup.
England starts this time against Afghanistan and is also in a group with Australia and last year’s beaten finalist New Zealand.
Asian champion Sri Lanka is also in there after making it through the opening round. The group is the harder of the two in the Super 12 stage.
“South Africa didn’t go through from our group having won four out of five games (last year) so it’s a really tough format,” said Buttler.
“It’s incredibly competitive and we know that, we expect that.”