England captain Eoin Morgan believes his World Twenty20 squad are a different proposition to the sides that crashed and burned in previous tournaments.
A first chance to prove the captain right comes today, with a Super 10 encounter against the unpredictable West Indies in Mumbai, a game Morgan is approaching in good heart.
He was at the crease when the Three Lions won the competition in 2010, still the country’s only major piece of ICC silverware, but has experienced his fair share of disappointment since.
A quarter-final exit at the 2011 World Cup has been the side’s next best showing on the global stage, with England comfortably outgunned and outsmarted at the next two World T20s and then embarrassingly bundled out of last year’s World Cup at the group stage.
A period of blood-letting followed that debacle, with Trevor Bayliss replacing Peter Moores as head coach and comprehensively overhauling the white-ball squad.
Of the 15 men on duty in India, six are contesting their first major tournament and just six others were at the last World Cup.
Bayliss has favoured younger heads, more adventurous techniques and more dynamic performers, a blend that enthuses Morgan.
“I think this feels different,” he said on the eve of match.
“We’ve a different group of players. It’s a new energy.
“It’s an exciting time for English cricket given the talent that we have in our group, and the attitude in taking the game to the opposition. It certainly feels different in that regard.
“We’re a developing side, a young side, and I think the more experience that we gain the smarter the cricket that we’ll play.
“I think in this tournament playing an aggressive brand of cricket and being brave, but playing smart cricket along the way, is part and parcel of it.”
Ten shirts appear to be accounted for in England’s first-choice XI, with the only debate seemingly between Yorkshire pair Liam Plunkett and David Willey for the final seam bowler’s slot.
Plunkett would be the closest like-for-like replacement for the absent Steven Finn, whose injury has been a huge blow, but Willey is more obviously a product of the T20 generation.
Plunkett was preferred for the warm-up win over New Zealand, conceding 19 runs off one disappointing over, while Willey took a hat-trick against his own team when he was inserted into a local Mumbai XI.
Morgan sees merits in both men but would not be drawn on the final verdict.
“You can keep guessing. And if you could guess me a few winners at Cheltenham that’d be great as well,” he joked.
“Plunkett is an important player in the squad, with his extra bit of height and different trajectory to everyone else.
“Wills swings it up front, comes back into middle and bowls change-ups. He has a canny knack of taking wickets and that’s something that we’ve struggled doing for a while.
“That’s one of his strengths.”
Whoever earns the nod will know they face some explosive players in the West Indies line-up, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy all capable of brutal hitting.
It is a tough opener, but one England should be winning if they are to deliver.
“They have a number of dangerous players, the West Indies have been a strong side in the past,” said Morgan of the 2012 winners.
“They have a number of individual players who are very strong. But it’s important for us as a young talented side to focus on what we do best.
“The first game is a tough game, but certainly it’s not the be all and end all.
“It’s not about getting out of the traps early and playing your best game first up. It’s about pacing yourself, picking up confidence and putting in performances when they really matter.”