As the group stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 comes to a close, the action will move to the next chapter in the event, the Super Eights, which will see eight remaining teams battle it out for four semi-final spots.

India (Group A), Australia (Group B), Afghanistan (Group C), West Indies (Group C), and South Africa (Group D) are the five teams who have qualified for the second round thus far.

India, Australia, and Afghanistan will feature in Group 1 of the next round, whereas West Indies and South Africa will feature in Group 2.

All of these sides have been unbeaten in their respective groups, and are shaping well ahead of the next round.

The second round commences in Antigua on June 19.

The following day will see the unbeaten India and Afghanistan face-off in Barbados in what looms as a crucial fixture prior to the knockout stages of the tournament. This will also be the first occasion on this tournament that India will play a contest in the Caribbean.

The rampant Afghans will look to make amends for their close loss to Australia at last year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup when the two sides meet on June 22 in St Vincent. Back-to-back games against formidable opponents can overwhelm most sides but Rashid Khan’s team have shown an indomitable fighting spirit in the tournament thus far.

More crucial fixtures follow up in coming dates: with co-hosts West Indies taking on South Africa in their final Group 2 clash on June 23 in Antigua.

The Proteas have historically dominated the West Indies, but the tables were turned last month when the Men in Maroon swept the three-game T20I series between the two sides at home.

Another Men’s Cricket World Cup-centric encounter takes place in St Lucia, where finalists India will clash against the eventual winners Australia on June 24.

Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, and St Vincent will host all 12 games in this round.

Fixtures

19 June: A2 v South Africa, North Sound, Antigua

19 June: B1 v West Indies, Gros Islet, St Lucia

20 June: Afghanistan v India, Bridgetown, Barbados

20 June: Australia v D2, North Sound, Antigua

21 June: B1 v South Africa, Gros Islet, St Lucia

21 June: A2 v West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados

22 June: India v D2, North Sound, Antigua

22 June: Afghanistan v Australia, Arnos Vale, St Vincent

23 June: A2 v B1, Bridgetown, Barbados

23 June: West Indies v South Africa, North Sound, Antigua

24 June: Australia v India, Gros Islet, St Lucia

24 June: Afghanistan v D2, Arnos Vale, St Vincent

 

 

 

In a not-so surprising turn of events, Trinidadian netball sensation Samantha Wallace-Joseph has been released by the New South Wales Swifts, by mutual agreement, mere months after returning from a two-year hiatus due to knee surgery. The Suncorp Super League franchise announced the departure on Thursday, citing issues related to her behavior within the team environment.

Wallace-Joseph, a pivotal player for the Swifts, had missed multiple games recently, contributing to the team’s three-game losing streak. The Swifts, last year’s grand finalists, now find themselves in a three-way tie for fifth place on the ladder, a position far below their usual standards.

The Swifts confirmed the split in a statement, explaining that it was a mutual decision made after weeks of discussions with Wallace-Joseph and her management.

 "For the past number of weeks, the club has been working with Samantha Wallace-Joseph and her management in relation to a matter which concerned her behaviour within the team environment,” the statement read. “For the wellbeing of all concerned the nature of the matter will remain confidential. However, it has been mutually agreed that parting ways is the best way forward for both Samantha and the club.”

This development comes after the Swifts had previously shown unwavering support for Wallace-Joseph during her recovery from a serious knee injury. Her comeback, however, was overshadowed by controversy following anti-transgender comments she made on social media, which stirred significant public backlash.

The Swifts emphasized the importance of maintaining high behavioral standards within their team, stating, “The behavioural standard expected of everyone in the Swifts environment – across players, coaches and staff – is team first and there are no exceptions to that.”

Wallace-Joseph, who joined the Swifts in 2017, has been a key figure in the team’s success, playing 84 games and securing Premierships in 2019 and 2021. Despite her departure under strained circumstances, the Swifts expressed their gratitude for her contributions, saying, “The Swifts thank Samantha for her service to the Club.”

As the netball community processes this shocking news, the Swifts have made it clear that they will not be making any further comments on the matter at this time.

Wallace-Joseph's departure marks a significant chapter in her career, and her next steps will be closely watched by fans and analysts alike. Meanwhile, the Swifts will need to regroup quickly as they aim to recover from their current slump and return to their winning ways.

 

 

Joe Root has no doubts over Jos Buttler's England captaincy, backing the white-ball skipper to continue despite T20 World Cup struggles.

Matthew Mott's side are on the brink of an early elimination this month, with their 20-over title defence seemingly crumbling without escaping the group stage.

England struggled before rain washed out their opener with Scotland, who are the favourites to progress after Australia overcame Buttler's side on Saturday.

The defending champions must beat Oman and Namibia, while needing Australia to overcome Scotland by a less-than-narrow margin to have any hopes of going through on net run-rate.

That has brought questions over Buttler's tenure as England captain, though Root placed his backing in the 33-year-old, a former international team-mate and good friend of his.

"Jos is one of my good friends," the England Test star said. "I think he's a brilliant captain, so I don't think there's any question.

"I think they'll be absolutely fine, they've got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do.

"When it's all laid out and they've got their backs to the wall, which they have in this situation now, is when they play their best cricket.

"It could really bring the best out of them, so I've got no worries whatsoever.

"If they go out and do what they all know that they're capable of doing, we'll be finding ourselves in the Super 8s and the back-end of the tournament where it really matters to play our best stuff."

England face Oman on Thursday before meeting Namibia on Saturday, when Scotland go against Australia later in the day, boasting the advantage of knowing what result is required to progress.

That is on the minds of Australian players, too, with bowler Josh Hazlewood weighing up the options of helping send England out of the competition.

England coach Mott hopes the Australia quick's comments were in jest, though matters could be out of his side's hands come the weekend in the United States and West Indies.

Matthew Mott is hopeful Josh Hazlewood's comments about wanting England eliminated from the T20 World Cup were "tongue in cheek", with the reigning champions' title defence hanging in the balance.

After their opening match against Scotland was rained off - and defeat by Australia - Mott's England must now beat Oman and Namibia in their remaining Group B games - while significantly boosting their net run-rate - to stand any chance of advancing to the Super 8s.

However, England would be knocked out on Sunday if Scotland were to beat Australia, who have already qualified for the next phase after winning each of their first three matches, while a narrow Australian win could also dethrone them.

Hazlewood acknowledged it would be in Australia's "best interest" if England were eliminated, and discussed the possibility of his side attempting to benefit the Scots' net run-rate at the defending champions' expense.

"Having grown up in Australia and with the will to win every game, I am sure they will come to the fore," Mott told BBC Sport. "I am very much hoping it was an off-hand remark by a really good bloke who is having fun.

"Knowing Josh, he has got a pretty dry sense of humour. I am hoping it was very much tongue in cheek."

With their 100 per cent record intact, the reigning Cricket World Cup winners and World Test champions are full of confidence as they look to complete the sweep of global international honours.

Adam Zampa played a starring role in the commanding victory over Namibia last time out, with an impressive 4-12 making him the first Australian to claim 100 T20I wickets.

He has also now claimed the most wickets for his nation at the T20 World Cup (31) - surpassing Mitchell Starc (29), and skipper Mitchell Marsh paid tribute to the spin bowler.

"If you look at his career, especially over the last five years, he's probably our most important player," Marsh said.

"He loves the big moment, loves the pressure, and that comes with experience. He's bowling beautifully at the moment, so we're lucky to have him."

Josh Hazlewood acknowledged it would be in Australia's "best interest" if England were eliminated from the T20 World Cup group stage.

The reigning champions have made a stuttering start to their title defence, losing to the Australians after their opening match against Scotland was rained off.

Jos Buttler's side must now beat Oman and Namibia in their remaining Group B games - while significantly boosting their net run-rate - to stand any chance of advancing to the Super 8s.

However, England would be knocked out on Sunday if Scotland were to beat Australia, who have already qualified for the next phase after winning each of their first three matches. 

A narrow Australian win could also dethrone the defending champions, whose elimination Hazlewood admitted would boost his nation's chances of landing a second T20 World Cup crown.

"In this tournament, you potentially come up against England at some stage again, and they're probably one of the top few teams on their day," the fast bowler said.

"We've had some real struggles against them in T20 cricket, so if we can get them out of the tournament, that's in our best interest, as well as probably everyone else's."

"There are a few options there, but to take confidence from winning and winning well, I think that's almost more important than potentially trying to knock someone else out.

"They've still got a lot to do on their behalf as well, so I think it'll become clearer the closer we get to that sort of stuff."

Adam Zampa hit a milestone as Australia reached the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup with a resounding nine-wicket thrashing of Namibia.

Leg-spinner Zampa took 4-12 to reach a century of wickets in the shortest format, as Namibia were bowled out for just 72 in 17 overs in Antigua.

Australia needed just 34 balls to surpass that total, with Travis Head's unbeaten 34 from 17 deliveries propelling them to a comprehensive win.

David Warner (20) was the only Australian to lose his wicket, with captain Mitchell Marsh (18 not out) hitting the winning runs.

Australia are now top of Group B ahead of facing surprise package Scotland on Sunday. 

Tuesday's other match, between Sri Lanka and Nepal, was called off due to rain without a ball having been bowled.

The abandonment of that match in Florida means that Sri Lanka's hopes of qualifying for the next round are all but over.

Sri Lanka are bottom of Group D with just one match left to play, against the Netherlands on Monday.

Data Debrief: Zampa makes history

Zampa is the first Australian to reach the century landmark for wickets in T20Is, while his 12 runs conceded against Namibia is the joint-lowest total of any player for Australia from a full four overs in a T20 World Cup match.

Gerhard Erasmus was the only player to impress for Namibia. He scored 36 runs, 50 per cent of his team's total. 

That is the highest proportion of any batter in a Namibia T20 World Cup innings.

England must "earn the right" to start thinking about T20 World Cup permutations, says Jos Buttler, whose side face a humiliating early exit in the group stage.

Matthew Mott's white-ball  were defeated by Australia on Saturday, with their 36-run loss leaving them staring at a group-stage elimination in their T20I title defence.

That result was compounded by Scotland's thrashing of Oman with 41 balls to spare as England suffered another blow to their hopes of progressing via net run-rate.

Another must-win match against Oman looms on Thursday, where England have to triumph before any other calculations of permutations can begin, says captain Buttler.

"I don't think it's s**t or bust quite yet," Buttler told reporters in Antigua. "I think it's quite clear what we need to do and how we need to play.

"First and foremost, we need to win the game against Oman to have any chance going forward into the next one.

"So we have to earn the right to try and win the game. And if we can get ourselves in a position to affect our net run-rate, obviously that's what we need to do."

England then face Namibia on Saturday to round off their group-stage campaign, though two victories for Buttler's side may still not be enough.

Scotland could still knock them out by beating Australia in their final match after England meet Namibia, when the Scots will have an advantage of a clear picture of what is required.

"We've looked at a few little bits but it's going to be ever-changing throughout the game," Buttler added.

"I don't think we need to consume too much energy today and tomorrow saying 'we need to score 'X' amount of runs or win by this much'. I think those kinds of things will develop on the day.

"That's the situation we find ourselves in, so we have to be aware of that, but not be consumed by that.

"If we try and do that bit first and forget about trying to win the game and lose, then you've got no chance anyway.

"So I'd rather have some kind of chance going into the last game, and know exactly what we need to."

England's white-ball struggles at the tournament have raised questions about Buttler's captaincy and coach Mott's tenure.

Buttler has no interest in the speculation surrounding his stewardship, however.

"I care more about the team than the media and the outside noise," he added. "That's always there, it's part of international sport. If you get to this level, you have to be able to deal with it, the job you guys do, that's the job TV does.

"It's probably harder to completely ignore it in this day and age, but there's a level of acceptance. Our focus has to be on what we can do with our performance.

"I've played the game long enough now to know that it's very good at building people up and pretty good at criticising when it doesn't go right, especially in England.

"I do the same thing when I'm watching a game of football or rugby – 'how's he missed that from there?' 'How did he miss from one-yard out', or 'someone's dropped the ball over the line'. Simple things like that.

"People care. That's why we're able to do what we do because people care and they want to watch. We're a proud team, we want to perform really well for all the fans.

"But to be honest, all the focus is on us and how well we can play. If we play as well as we can, we'll make our fans happy."

Jos Buttler laid the challenge to his England charges to "dust ourselves down and go again" as his team face the possibility of an early exit from the T20 World Cup.

England lost by 36 runs to old foes Australia on Saturday in Bridgetown, leaving them fourth in Group B.

With second-place Scotland facing lowly Oman on Sunday, England are in real danger of slumping out of the tournament early.

And Buttler knows the task is now for reigning champions England to turn matters around in their next two group matches if they wish to go on and defend their title.

"We need to play with a lot of confidence," he said.

"It's all laid out what we need to do so we need to dust ourselves down and go again."

Buttler was England's highest scorer, with 42, as they finished on 165-6 from their 20 overs.

England's captain and fellow opener Phil Salt had started well when chasing down a target of 202, accumulating 73 without loss.

But Salt's dismissal by Adam Zampa, who then sent Buttler packing, was a blow from which England failed to recover.

"We did have a bright start. Outside the powerplay was always going to be the challenge, we saw that in their innings," Buttler said.

"Credit to Australia, Adam Zampa bowled very well and in the middle overs the pacers were very disciplined.

"I thought they came out with a lot of intent and played really well and put us under a lot of pressure straight away. It was tough to drag it back from there. They bowled really well in that middle phase, took wickets at regular times and defended really well.

"There is always hindsight and a lot of decisions you can change or do earlier. There were a couple of soft balls where we could have saved boundaries."

Jofra Archer took 1-28 and was the only England bowler to avoid significant damage, as he works his way back to form after an injury-hit couple of years.

"He bowled really well," Buttler said of the paceman. "It looks like he hasn't been away at all. He is a great bowler to call on as a captain. He's got so much variety and skill and we're lucky to have him back."

Zampa was named player of the match, taking 2-28. The spinner has taken at least one wicket in each of his last 12 innings at the T20 World Cup, including two in each of his last four matches.

"We've played against England a lot, so we know a lot about their players," he said.

"We've played here before and we knew about the long grease side. It was difficult to hit sixes out there and we made it our game plan.

"It is one of those places you don't know about until you bowl a few balls on, I was just keen to get some pace on and aim at the stumps.

"We have a great depth with our bowling attack. We all have different roles and you saw some of us bowling really defensively to stop runs."

Australia defeated England by 36 runs to leave Jos Buttler's side staring down the brink of an early exit from the T20 World Cup.

With their opening match against Scotland having yielded no result, England needed to beat Australia on Saturday to propel themselves into a strong position to progress from Group B.

Yet instead they now find themselves fourth in the group and in need of big wins over Oman and Namibia to stand a chance, while also hoping for a capitulation from Scotland, who are second.

Chasing a target of 202, England were trundling along nicely until Adam Zampa (2-28) dismissed openers Phil Salt (37) and Buttler (42) in the space of two overs.

Will Jacks did not last long as Australia severely dented England's run rate, with the further quickfire dismissals of Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali all but ending England's chances.

And when Liam Livingstone was sent packing by Patrick Cummins late in the day, England knew their hopes of making it out of the group have suddenly turned bleak.

No player scored over 50 for either team, though David Warner (39), Mitchell Marsh (35) and Travis Head (34) were the leading lights for Australia with the bat.

Data Debrief: Aussies avoid four straight losses

Australia are now well placed to push on at the T20 World Cup, and getting one over their old rivals in the process is all the sweeter.

England had won six of their last seven completed T20Is against Australia, including their last three in a row, but Marsh's team pulled out the stops to avoid a fourth straight loss.

Zampa, meanwhile, just loves this tournament. He has taken at least one wicket in each of his last 12 innings at the T20 World Cup, including two in each of his last four innings.

Chris Jordan celebrated taking his 100th T20I wicket, but it proved fruitless. 

Jofra Archer's countless injury struggles in recent years left the bowler feeling like he was "a burden" to England.

The fast bowler announced himself to the cricketing world five years ago, with an inspired display helping England to World Cup glory.

However, a string of injury issues - notably stress fractures in his right elbow and back - has seen his appearances limited and prevented him from truly building on that momentum.

Nevertheless, throughout his rehabilitation, England have stuck by Archer, who said he was hurt by the widespread criticism he received during his absence, handing him a fresh two-year contract in the latter part of 2023.

The 29-year-old hopes to repay that faith during the T20 World Cup in his native West Indies, where the reigning champions resume their title defence against Australia on Saturday.

"Sometimes, you feel like a burden not playing," he said. "I've seen a few comments as well, people saying, 'He's on the longest paid holiday I've ever seen'.

"You try not to let it get to you, but you can ignore 100 of them and then sometimes the 101st is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

"I found it a little worrying, not about my body, just the external stuff. I've changed a lot of my social media stuff just so you don't see a lot, but there's a little that always filters through. You've just got to keep going.

"I've got a PDF file of every single game I'm supposed to play from now until next summer, they've really planned out almost everything.

"Probably the only thing they haven't planned out is the showers I take! Even when I wasn't playing, they gave me targets that I'd keep trying to tick off, and it's really nice that they're actually falling into place."

Mitchell Marsh has confirmed Mitchell Starc's early exit from Australia's T20 World Cup win over Oman was precautionary after he complained of cramp.

In the Oman innings, Starc began to limp after bowling the first delivery of the 15th over, handing the ball over to Glenn Maxwell before making his way off the field. 

Australia – who are looking to add the T20 crown to the 50-over World Cup they won in India last year – had been in a spot of bother early in their own innings, but Marcus Stoinis' unbeaten 67 helped them reach 164-5, which proved beyond Oman.

The victory takes Australia top of Group B after England's opener against Scotland was abandoned on Tuesday.

Australia face their old rivals in their second match of the tournament at the Kensington Oval on Saturday, and Marsh expects Starc to be fine for that contest. 

"Starcy was just cramp so we didn't want to take a chance," Marsh said. 

"When Starcy asks if he's okay to go off, you let him go off."

Reflecting on the victory – Australia's eighth in their last nine T20 World Cup matches – Marsh added: "It was a close game but it's good to get the win. It's not going to be the 200 types in this tournament. 

"We are kind of going back to the old T20 style here in this tournament. We might get few wickets that are good for batting but that's the old T20, right?

"Things may look a little different on these sorts of wickets, but I think that's exciting. We go on to England now and hopefully that'll be a good game with a good crowd."

Australia overcame a rough start to open their T20 World Cup campaign with victory, as Marcus Stoinis dominated with bat and ball in a 39-run win over Oman.

Mitchell Marsh's side, who are hoping to follow in England's footsteps by capturing both limited-overs world titles after winning the ODI crown last year, slipped to 50-3 when Glenn Maxwell fell for a golden duck.

However, Stoinis (67 not out) teamed up with David Warner (56) to put on a partnership of 102 as they reached 164-5.

Stoinis was dropped soon after coming in and Oman would regret missing that opportunity as he smashed two fours and six maximums off his 36 deliveries faced.

The all-rounder was equally impressive with the ball, posting figures of 3-19, including the vital wicket of Oman skipper Aqib Ilyas (18) six overs in. Ayaan Khan hit 36 for Oman but their challenge was as good as over when he was bowled by Adam Zampa for his 300th T20 wicket.

However, Australia's win did come with an injury scare as Mitchell Starc left the field during his final over with an apparent calf issue, just three days out from their meeting with England in Barbados. 

Data Debrief: Stoinis in exclusive club

Stoinis showed his talents as a true all-rounder on Wednesday, becoming just the third player to score 50 or more runs and take three or more wickets in a single T20 World Cup match, and the first since Shane Watson achieved the feat twice in 2012.

David Warner will leave "a really big set of shoes to fill" when he retires from international cricket after the T20 World Cup, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says.

The 37-year-old will complete his stage-by-stage international retirement at the conclusion of the tournament, where Australia begin their campaign against Oman on Thursday.

The reigning Cricket World Cup winners and World Test champions, who will also play England, Scotland and Namibia in Group B, are aiming to complete the sweep of global international honours in the United States and West Indies.

Warner would be one of four players to have appeared in all three finals, along with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Travis Head.

A steady and injury-hit Indian Premier League season with the Delhi Capitals - led by three-time World Cup winner Ponting - led to question marks over his selection for this competition.

But, to Ponting, Warner's inclusion was never in doubt, and he is backing Jake Fraser-McGurk - the winner of the IPL's 2024 Electric Striker of the Season award and a travelling reserve - to fill the void when he brings the curtain down on his international career. 

"He's the sort of character you want to have around your team, especially in big tournaments like World Cups," Ponting told ESPNcricinfo.

"He's just one of those natural winners. Everything he does, he wants to win. You can see that with his attitude in the field and the way he goes about his cricket.

"There's more than just the runs that we'll be missing when Warner finally is gone. But hopefully, the depth of Australian cricket is good enough to find someone to come in and fill that void."

"It's going to be a really big set of shoes to fill, there's no doubt about that. They have got a lot of depth there.

"I'd be very surprised if he [Fraser-McGurk] doesn't go straight into the T20 team when David's finally done. I was lucky enough to coach him at the Delhi Capitals this year as well. He's got extreme talent."

It's fair to say England's last defence of a limited-overs world title did not go to plan.

Eighteen months on from losing their 50-over crown in India, failing to get out of their group as they lost six of nine matches, Jos Buttler's team will hope for far better at the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The champions will face stern competition in the largest-ever edition of the tournament, with 20 teams descending on the West Indies and United States, who get things under way against Canada in Dallas on Saturday.

How will the hosts fare in a tournament many hope will have a lasting impact on stateside cricket? Can India end their 17-year drought in the 20-over format, or will Australia follow in England's footsteps by winning both limited-overs crowns?

Ahead of the opening match, we run through the big storylines and delve into the best Opta stats surrounding the key contenders and players.

The hosts

Many eyebrows were raised when the United States were confirmed as co-hosts for this year's tournament, but a recent 2-1 series win over Bangladesh showed they are not simply there to make up the numbers. 

Sixteen of the tournament's 55 matches will be played in the US, with those split between Dallas, Miami and Long Island, New York. 

This will be just the second edition of the T20 World Cup to be held in more than one country, after Oman and the United Arab Emirates co-hosted in 2021. No host nation has ever lifted the trophy, and only two hosts have even reached the semi-finals – Sri Lanka in 2012 and India in 2016.

The USA are one of three teams making their T20 World Cup bow, alongside Canada and Uganda. Their hopes of making an impression on home turf may rest upon Monank Patel, whose 441 T20I runs put him second in their all-time charts behind Steven Taylor (742).

While the USA's ambitions may be limited to giving a good account of themselves against India, Pakistan and Ireland in Group A, their co-hosts will be hoping for more.

Champions in 2012 and 2016, West Indies are one of just two teams (alongside England) to win multiple T20 World Cups, while they will also become just the second nation to host on two occasions, having previously done so in 2010.

They have been drawn alongside Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Uganda in Group C, and with every match from the Super-8 stage onwards being held in the Caribbean, they will enjoy home advantage all the way.

The last time the Windies served as hosts, no team managed a score of 200 or more runs throughout the entire tournament. That has only occurred at one other T20 World Cup (in 2014), and it looks unlikely to happen again this year, given the likelihood of a few group-stage mismatches.

The champions

No team has ever successfully defended the T20 World Cup trophy, a feat England will attempt to achieve at the site of their first triumph in the format – they beat Australia in the 2010 showpiece at the Kensington Oval.

They face Scotland, Namibia and Oman in Group B, with old rivals Australia also awaiting in a clash likely to determine top spot. 

Captain Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott are under pressure to mastermind a far better title defence than their pitiful effort in the 50-over tournament, and they will adopt a big-hitting approach with Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone joining Buttler in the competition's most fearsome top six.

The question marks are with the ball and much could hinge on the fitness of Jofra Archer, after wet weather limited his opportunities to play his way into form in a home series against Pakistan.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid has more T20I wickets in the West Indies (21) than any other overseas bowler, and he will have been pleased to see England's four group-stage games pencilled in for the Caribbean.

Sam Curran, meanwhile, was the player of the tournament in 2022 and could make another big impact after enjoying his best IPL campaign to date with Punjab Kings. 

The challengers  

India

Like England, India are also looking to banish the ghosts of last year's ODI competition, when they suffered final heartache on home soil.

Skipper Rohit Sharma gets another chance at ending their 17-year T20 World Cup drought, with seven other survivors from the 50-over final loss included in his squad.

Rohit, like Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, has participated in all eight previous editions of this tournament, and only Virat Kohli (1,141) has bettered his 963 T20 World Cup runs among active players.

Kohli approaches the tournament in fine shape, having clinched the Orange Cap by top-scoring with 741 runs for Royal Challengers Bangaluru in the 2024 IPL.

The main questions surrounding the batting great, as is the case for India's squad at large, relate to the physical toll taken by a jam-packed IPL schedule.  

India's second fixture, which pits them against Pakistan in New York on June 9, is the headline contest of the group stage and will tell us much about their hopes. 

Australia 

Australia head to the Americas with 11 players who tasted success in 50 overs last year, though Steve Smith and Jake Fraser-McGurk – who enjoyed a terrific IPL campaign with Delhi Capitals – were the two big-name omissions from Mitch Marsh's squad. 

This World Cup will be a last dance for David Warner, who has already announced his intention to retire from T20Is – his last international format – after the tournament.

Warner – who was crowned player of the tournament when Australia triumphed in 2021 – has racked up a total of 806 runs at the T20 World Cup, and will hope to surpass 1,000 with a big showing in 2024. 

The big-game experience of Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins et al. will be the envy of most other teams at the tournament. 

Australia will not be fazed by being put under pressure, either, boasting a 72 per cent win rate when chasing in T20 World Cup matches – the highest of any team in tournament history (25 games – 18 wins, seven losses). 

New Zealand

Having reached the semi-finals at the last three editions of the T20 World Cup – losing the 2021 final to Australia – New Zealand appear more likely to challenge the world's top three than an unfamiliar South Africa side, or a Pakistan team plagued by off-pitch issues.

Like Australia, the Black Caps boast an incredible amount of experience, with only four members of Kane Williamson's squad being below the age of 30. 

Mark Chapman, 29, is one of them, and he could be their player to watch after smashing 575 runs in T20Is in 2023. For all member nations, only India's Suryakumar Yadav managed more (733).

Their group-stage match against the Windies – set for June 12 in Trinidad and Tobago – is one to circle on the calendar.

The key players

Andre Russell

Russell has built a reputation as one of the world's most fearsome bowlers and comes into his home tournament off the back of a brilliant IPL campaign with championship-winning Kolkata Knight Riders.

He finished the 2024 IPL with 19 wickets (including three in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad), a tally only bettered by Harshal Patel (24), Jasprit Bumrah and Avesh Khan (20 each) among pacemen.

Russell also did some damage with the bat, scoring 223 runs at a strike rate of 184.3.

Travis Head

Australia superstar Head enters the World Cup in the form of his life, with his 567 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad making him the fourth-highest run scorer in the 2024 IPL and the highest non-Indian (only Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Riyan Parag managed more).

His batting strike rate of 191.6 was only bettered by Abhishek Sharma (204.2) and Fraser-McGurk (234). With the latter failing to make Australia's squad, Head will carry the burden with the bat. 

Jasprit Bumrah

India's squad is packed full of household names, but Bumrah remains the player opposition teams envy most of all. The world's number one paceman has 74 wickets in 61 T20I overs in his career, second only to Yuzvendra Chaha (96) in the India squad. 

Virat Kohli

Another of India's icons, Kohli has a batting average of 81.5 from 25 previous innings at the T20 World Cup, the best of any player in the history of the tournament to have at least 10 innings under their belts.

He has scored 50 or more runs in four of his last six innings in the tournament (82*, 62*, 12, 64*, 26 and 50). Ireland – India's first opponents on June 5 – had better beware. 

Jos Buttler 

While England have plenty of players capable of taking the lead with the bat, skipper Buttler is often the man they turn to in this format.

Since the start of the 2021 tournament, he has scored 29.7 per cent of England's runs in T20 World Cup action, the best rate of any player with at least four innings during that span.

Nathan Ellis should be utilised in Australia's first-choice attack to boost their chances of T20 World Cup success, according to former skipper Tim Paine.

Despite impressing in his 14 appearances, Ellis has struggled to establish a regular spot in Australia's T20 side - notably missing out on selection for the 2022 World Cup - while he only featured once for Punjab Kings during the 2024 Indian Premier League.

However, the 29-year-old boasts the second-best powerplay economy (7.08) in all T20s since 2020 within Australia's World Cup squad - behind only Josh Hazlewood (6.58) - while he comfortably boasts the strongest record at the death (overs 17 to 20) during that span (8.88)

Paine believes Mitchell Starc, who played a starring role in the Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL success, and Adam Zampa should lead his nation's attack, along with Ellis - ahead of the likes of Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"I think Australia have a great opportunity, and I hope they take it in this World Cup, and that is to pick Nathan Ellis. He would be my third quick," he told ESPN.

"He's got a different skillset, comes from a different angle, different height, and I think some variety in the attack will be really important to win this World Cup.

"His international record for the opportunities that he's been given is outstanding, and I think now is the right time.

"That's not to say they [Cummins and Hazlewood] are not the best couple of bowlers in the country; they are outstanding bowlers, and will continue to be. I just think Nathan Ellis complements the rest of that attack really, really well."

Australia - winners of the tournament in 2021 - are drawn in Group B alongside England, Scotland, Oman and Namibia.

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