T20 World Cup continues apace with Super 12 stage getting underway on Saturday England among fancied sides and drawn alongside reigning champions Australia and New Zealand in Group 1; India, Pakistan and South Africa among favourites in Group 2
Saturday 22 October 2022 09:24, UK
Australia host this year's T20 World Cup, looking to retain the title they secured after beating New Zealand in last year's final in the United Arab Emirates.
Aaron Finch's men are tournament favourites but England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa will all think they can contend for the trophy.
Sky Sports News assesses the prospects of the eight teams entering the tournament at the Super 12 stage...
Best result: Champions (2010)
Coach: Matthew Mott
Squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Travelling reserves: Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Luke Wood
Prospects: A lot has changed for England in the year that has passed since the last edition of the T20 World Cup. Chris Silverwood has been replaced as head coach by Matthew Mott, while perhaps even more significantly, long-time limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has retired and passed the reigns over to Jos Buttler.
The most notable decision the new coach-captain partnership have taken is to reintegrate opening batter Alex Hales, following three years in international exile after a series of off-field issues led to a breakdown of trust with Morgan.
The call to Hales came after a disappointing home summer for England, which saw them lose series 2-1 to both India and South Africa, and the shake-up seems to have worked. England won 4-3 in Pakistan before dominating Australia with a 2-0 series win, that could well have been 3-0 if rain hadn't intervened.
While Hales was the headline selection, and showed what he's capable of with a brilliant 84 against Australia, it's been another England batter, Harry Brook, who has stolen the show. The 23-year-old Yorkshire player has repeatedly wowed with his shot-making, and adds another menacing option to an extraordinary England batting line-up.
However, there has been a major blow for England on the eve of the tournament, with in-form left-arm quick Reece Topley ruled out by an ankle injury, with Tymal Mills brought in to replace him. While England are spoilt for choice in the batting department, the loss of Topley could leave them even more reliant on the pace of the physically fragile Mark Wood, who must continue to be managed carefully.
Best result: Champions (2021)
Coach: Andrew McDonald
Squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Prospects: The hosts and holders come into the tournament on the back of an aforementioned lesson from England, which will only serve to heighten the pressure coming from an expectant Australian public and media.
Steve Smith, so often the first name on Australia's team-sheet in any format, looks set to be left out of the starting XI, with the big-hitting Tim David favoured.
Australia's triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year came somewhat unexpectedly following a turbulent period, but what is a largely settled side, captained by Finch, will expect to at least advance from the group stage.
While there is plenty of talent in Australia's batting line-up in the likes of Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, it's their experienced and dynamic quick bowling that is more likely to carry them to the latter stages.
Mitchell Starc continues to be a match-winner, while Test captain Pat Cummins' calmness and consistency offers another valuable asset.
Best result: Runners-up (2021)
Coach: Gary Stead
Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell, Trent Boult, Finn Allen
Prospects: This is the point where you realise that only two of England, Australia and New Zealand can make it out of the group stage…
The 2021 runners-up continue their search for a limited-overs trophy with a squad that has just three changes from last year, with Lockie Ferguson, Michael Bracewell and Finn Allen the new faces.
A tri-series to warm up for the tournament saw New Zealand twice beat Bangladesh, but also suffer two defeats to Pakistan.
While their form appears to be a bit patchy coming into the tournament, the experience of the likes of captain Kane Williamson, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult and Tim Southee will ensure the Black Caps are ready to compete come their crucial opener against Australia on Saturday.
Best result: Round two (2016, 2021)
Coach: Jonathan Trott
Squad: Mohammad Nabi (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azmatullah Omarzai, Darwish Rasooli, Farid Ahmad Malik, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Qais Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Salim Safi, Usman Ghani. Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib
Prospects: Afghanistan didn't let anyone down in last year's tournament as they delivered expected victories over qualifiers Namibia and Scotland, but failed to force an upset against any of the more established nations in their group.
This time they will look to go one better, with their first opportunity to claim a scalp being against England on Saturday.
There are some new young faces in their squad, with 22-year-old batter Darwish Rasooli and 20-year-old fast bowler Salim Safi called up, but will ultimately rely heavily upon captain Mohammad Nabi and star spinner Rashid Khan for inspiration.
Best result: Champions (2007)
Coach: Rahul Dravid
Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, R Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Deepak Hooda, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami. Standby: Mohammad Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Shardul Thakur
Prospects: India were knocked out of the group stage in 2021 and failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup earlier this year but are still classed among the tournament's favourites.
They will once again be able to call on superstar players who have been fine-tuned in the Indian Premier League, but the loss of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja to injury is a big blow for Rohit Sharma's team.
Missing key bowlers means India will have to go harder with the bat so the likes of Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav - a glittering list if named - will need to be on their game through the tournament.
Best result: Champions (2009)
Coach: Saqlain Mushtaq
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman. Reserves: Usman Qadir, Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani
Prospects: Pakistan finished as runners-up during this year's Asia Cup and lost 4-3 on home soil to England, where they showed glimpses of a side that could go deep into this year's World Cup.
With the bat, they are heavily reliant on opening pair Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, but the middle order has been bolstered by the return of Fakhar Zaman.
It is Pakistan's bowling attack that usually wins them games, and the return of Shaheen Shah Afridi is a major boost for Babar's side, They must not be written off.
Best result: Round two (2007, 2014, 2016, 2021)
Coach: Russell Domingo
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Afif Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mossadek Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Najmul Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Nurul Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Yasir Ali. Standby: Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Rishad Hossain, Sabbir Rahman
Prospects: Bangladesh are outsiders for the tournament and finishing in the top two of a tough group will be an extremely difficult ask.
It hasn't been the best lead-up to the World Cup for The Tigers as they lost all of their matches in the tri-series in New Zealand.
Shakib Al Hasan has been the standout performer in recent months, hitting two half-centuries in the tri-series, but he lacks support from the top order and off-colour middle order.
Best result: Semi-finals (2009, 2014)
Coach: Mark Boucher
Squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Rillee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs. Reserves: Bjorn Fortuin, Lizaad Williams, Andile Phehlukwayo
Prospects: South Africa are this year's dark horses - picked as such by Eoin Morgan, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton.
Question marks perhaps remain over their batting, with captain Temba Bavuma out of form and Rassie van der Dussen missing through injury but they still have David Miller, Rilee Rossouw and more.
South Africa have one of the strongest bowling line-ups at the tournament on paper. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje should enjoy the conditions in Australia, while Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi are dangerous spinners in white-ball cricket.
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