Mascarenhas fires England warning
Dimitri Mascarenhas believes England will struggle to retain their T20 crown when the tournament begins in Sri Lanka later this month.
The 2010 competition, held in the Caribbean, was England’s first ever ICC tournament win, with Paul Collingwood leading the side to victory.
They are still currently ranked the number one T20 side in the world following a 1-1 draw with South Africa in a recent three match series.
However, they head to Sri Lanka without star batsmen Kevin Pietersen, who continues to be ostracised while talks over his international future continues and punters who bet on cricket have generally stayed away from the holders this time around.
The result is the introduction of a number of young players into the side, including James Taylor, Joss Buttler and Jonny Bairstow.
The hard, slow and dry pitches of the sub-continent have also always been notoriously difficult for the England players to get to grips with, with Australia cricket betting fans echoing similar concerns about their side.
T20 specialist Mascarenhas knows all about those sorts of pitches, having played for Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. Despite that, he has never been a regular for the England team, the last of his 14 caps coming in 2009.
He admits he is disappointed not to be involved at international level and feels Stuart Broad’s side face a tough challenge if they are to put up a decent defence of their T20 title.
“England are banking a lot on their youngsters – people like Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales,” the Hampshire captain said.
“It is going to be tough for them, but they have got the talent.
“I think I could play a part, so I was disappointed not to make the squad. But I was not even in the initial 30-man squad, so read into that what you will.
“Hopefully the young lads they have picked can show the world their talent.”