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George Garton, David Payne, Phil Salt named in England T20I squad for West Indies

Uncapped trio set to win opportunities in absence of players involved on Ashes tour

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
23-Dec-2021
Phil Salt could make a T20I debut on the island where he lived for a number of years  •  Getty Images

Phil Salt could make a T20I debut on the island where he lived for a number of years  •  Getty Images

England could hand T20I debuts to George Garton, David Payne and Phil Salt against West Indies in January but have stuck with the core of the squad that was knocked out in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.
The five-match series is due to start in Barbados four days after the final day of England's fifth Test against Australia, and members of the Ashes squad were not considered for selection. Several seamers including Jofra Archer, Brydon Carse, Sam and Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Olly Stone and David Willey were also unavailable due to injuries, putting England's fast-bowling depth to the test.
Eleven of the 16-man squad - including Eoin Morgan, who continues as captain as expected despite a poor year with the bat - were in the UAE for the World Cup in October and November, either as squad members or travelling reserves. This series signals the start of England's preparations for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, with six T20Is following in July (three each against India and South Africa) before seven in Pakistan in September-October and three more in Australia in the immediate build-up to the tournament.
The five additions to the World Cup touring party - Garton, Payne, Salt, Tom Banton and Saqib Mahmood - have all featured in England squads over the last two years. Mahmood, Payne and Salt were part of the hastily assembled ODI squad that beat Pakistan 3-0 after a Covid outbreak in July, with Banton and Garton among those forced into self-isolation.
In the absence of Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow due to their involvement in the Ashes, England will field a new-look top order. Salt has earned his call-up after an impressive winter on the franchise circuit - he was the second-highest run-scorer at the Abu Dhabi T10 and led the Lanka Premier League's run charts heading into the final - and is likely to win opportunities to impress on the island where he lived for six years while growing up.
Banton's recall comes as a surprise after a lean period for him. He has struggled for form over the last 18 months, averaging 17.02 with a strike rate of 136.32 since the start of the Pakistan Super League in 2020, but England have stuck to their belief that he is a batter with a high ceiling. He was preferred to other promising young batters like Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
There are four left-arm seamers in the squad despite injuries to Sam Curran and Willey, with Garton, Tymal Mills, Payne and Reece Topley all included. Garton has been on England's radar for a number of years and has earned contracts with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Adelaide Strikers in recent months, while Payne has impressed with his pace and bounce and has taken regular new-ball wickets for Gloucestershire in the Blast.
Matt Parkinson, the Lancashire legspinner, is the surprise omission, with Liam Dawson - who is seen by England as a more versatile bowler and offers more with the bat and in the field - again preferred as the back-up spin option. Parkinson is understood to have been placed on standby as a reserve.
Six players in the squad - Sam Billings, Garton, Mahmood, Mills, Topley and James Vince - have full-season deals in the ongoing Big Bash League. Their inclusion in this squad means that they will miss the knockout stages of the competition, should their respective teams qualify. Seven more - Jordan, Livingstone, Mahmood, Jason Roy, Salt, Topley and Vince - will miss the opening rounds of the PSL.
As revealed by ESPNcricinfo, Paul Collingwood will stand in as head coach, with Marcus Trescothick acting as his assistant coach. The ECB has also advertised for three roles as "support coaches" for the tour - one fast-bowling, one fielding/wicketkeeping, one batting.
"We have selected a strong squad with some serious batting power and a balanced attack as we begin preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia," Collingwood said. "The World Cup is less than a year away and there will be increased opportunities for the squad in the absence of those players who are with the Ashes squad.
"I have good memories winning a World Cup in Barbados and I'm really looking forward to going back there with this squad to face a very good West Indies who will test all aspects of our skills."
England T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, George Garton, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills, David Payne, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, James Vince

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98