Gary Kirsten says Pakistan's poor decision-making was the deciding factor in their six-run defeat to India at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. 

The result leaves Pakistan bottom of Group A following their shock loss to the United States in their opening game of the tournament.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Pakistan were aided by rain interruptions and dismissed their opponents for 119.

They also made a good start with the bat as Mohammad Rizwan laid the platform for the chase after scoring 31 from 44 balls. 

However, their middle-order batters failed to step up as Jasprit Bumrah (3-14) made crucial breakthroughs and bowled 15 dot balls to maintain India's unbeaten start to their campaign. 

"Disappointing loss, that's for sure," Kirsten said shortly after the defeat. 

"I knew 120 was not going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But I think we had the game at 72 for 2 with six or seven overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into."

Kirsten was asked where the game slipped from their hands. "Decision-making," he said. 

"You have got the game on, run a ball, eight wickets in hand, decision-making at that point. That's the game. That's international cricket for you.

"You make mistakes like that, you are going to pay. I thought we made some poor decisions at important phases of the game. I thought Rizwan played well for us. We knew it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. We managed the chase very well but then just let it slip in the end."

Pakistan travel to New York to face Canada on Tuesday with India squaring off against the hosts at the same venue a day later.

India captain Rohit Sharma described Jasprit Bumrah as a "genius" after he pushed Pakistan closer to an early T20 World Cup elimination on Sunday.

Looking to bounce back from their stunning defeat to the United States, Pakistan appeared to be in the ascendency when they skittled India for 119 before reaching 73-2 in their chase.

However, they slipped to 88-5 as Bumrah dismissed Babar Azam, Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, bowling 15 dot balls and only giving up 14 runs in four overs.

Requiring 16 off the final three balls, Pakistan saw Naseem Shah hit a couple of fours when a maximum was required as India held on. 

After falling short with the bat, Rohit knew India would have to rely on their bowlers to make it two wins from two Group A matches.

"We didn't bat well enough," Rohit said. "Halfway through, we were in a good position, 81 for 3.

"You expect guys to stitch partnerships, but we didn't put enough partnerships there. I thought we fell 15 to 20 short.

"We spoke about how every run matters on a pitch like that. We were looking at 140, but I thought the bowlers could do the job for us and they did.

"That's what's required in a tournament like this. We need everyone to show up. Those little contributions make a huge difference.

"Whoever had the ball in hand wanted to make a contribution for the team."

Asked about Bumrah's efficient performance, Rohit added: "He is going from strength to strength. We've seen over the years what he can do, I'm not going to talk too much about him. 

"We want him to be in that kind of mindset until the end of the World Cup. He's a genius with the ball, we know that, but hats off to the other guys as well."

Bumrah himself said: "We felt we were a little under-par. When the sun came out, the wicket got a bit better. 

"We had to be disciplined with what we were trying to do. I tried to keep it simple, the wicket got better, and the swing was less. I just tried to be clear with my plan and focused on my execution."

India take on the USA next time out on Wednesday, having moved above the co-hosts to go top of the pool due to their superior run rate through their first two contests.

Pakistan are on the brink of a humiliating early exit from the T20 World Cup, having followed up their shock defeat to the United States with a six-run loss to India.

Pakistan were on the wrong end of an all-time World Cup upset against the co-hosts on Thursday, and they fell short in their chase of 120 against their great rivals at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Rain at Long Island caused a lengthy delay to the start of proceedings and the covers were back on after just one over, but the weather quickly cleared up and that was the only interruption.

India were caught cold after the pause, with Virat Kohli (4) toe-ending Naseem Shah's delivery straight to Usman Khan at cover point before Rohit Sharma (13) picked out Haris Rauf in the deep before the end of the third over. 

Rishabh Pant steadied the ship somewhat with his knock of 42 off 31 balls including six fours, but Pakistan had his crucial wicket in the 15th over as he hoisted Mohammad Amir's ball up into the air and into the waiting palms of Babar Azam.

India's middle order was unable to respond as both Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah were dismissed for golden ducks, Shah and Rauf both finishing 3-21.

Needing a run-a-ball 120 for victory, Pakistan had an early reprieve as Mohammad Rizwan was dropped on seven by Shivam Dube, but he made slow progress with 31 off 44 deliveries.

Nevertheless, Pakistan were looking good at 73-2 only to slip to 88-5, Rizwan being bowled by Bumrah for the second of his three wickets between Fakhar Zaman (13) and Shadab Khan (4) going for low scores.

After Rizwan's departure, no other Pakistan player managed more than 15, Bumrah's full-toss dismissal of Iftikhar Ahmed (5) leaving them requiring 18 off the final over.

Arshdeep Singh then took up the ball, Imad Wasim (15) glancing his delivery into the palms of Pant before Shah could only manage a couple of fours when he required maximums, one mammoth strike having Kohli worried in the deep but bouncing just before the boundary. 

Data Debrief: Bumrah pushes Pakistan to the brink

A full-on delivery to send stumps flying and remove steady-hitting Rizwan was the highlight of Bumrah's outing, but equally as important was the way he gave Pakistan no gifts. 

He finished with figures of 3-14 as Pakistan simply failed to maintain their momentum after a decent start to their chase, bowling 15 dot balls through his full four overs.

Pakistan now need a minor miracle to make the Super-8 stage, while India's superior run rate puts them ahead of the USA at the top of Group A.

he International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised ground staff will try to “remedy” ongoing problems with the drop-in pitches at its showcase ground in New York.

Cricket’s world governing body publicly acknowledged for the first time since the T20 World Cup began that there have been teething issues with the surfaces.

While players and coaches have so far refused to criticise the pitches at the venue, BBC Sport understands India has privately voiced their unhappiness with the unpredictable bounce and two-paced nature of the strips in Eisenhower Park amid worries over the safety of their batters.

“The ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

Concerns have grown over the unpredictable nature of surfaces after the first two fixtures played at the venue.

 

On Monday, Sri Lanka were bowled out by South Africa for 77 – their lowest score in T20s – while India dismissed Ireland for 96 on Wednesday.

India play Pakistan on Sunday at the venue in Eisenhower Park in one of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures of the tournament with a capacity crowd of 32,000 expected.

ICC officials have maintained there are no contingency plans in place to switch any of the New York games to venues in Florida or Texas, both of which have natural turf strips.

The US is staging 16 of the 55 matches at the T20 World Cup, which it is co-hosting with the West Indies.

The pop-up stadium in New York cost $32 million to construct and was built inside eight months to much fanfare from the tournament organisers.

Six of the trays which transported the soil for the 10 Tahoma grass surfaces came from Australia before being shipped to Florida where the pitches were cultivated.

The soil variety has a high clay content, similar to the pitches in Adelaide.

They were then transported to New York by road and installed a few weeks before the tournament began.

The outfield is made up of Kentucky bluegrass, grown at a farm in New Jersey, on top of sand.

There was discontent with the pitch after Monday’s opening match in which South Africa were able to stroll to their victory target against Sri Lanka with 22 deliveries remaining, while India had 46 balls left when they hit the winning runs in another low-scoring match against Ireland.

It has meant the toss in New York has become pivotal in determining the outcome of the match, with the team bowling first at an advantage.

Batters have had to fend off short-pitched bowling, with balls climbing off a length while others skid along at ankle height through to the wicketkeeper.

A clear diagnosis for the problems has not yet been identified.

Similarly, the sizes of the boundaries – 75m and 65m on each side, and 71m straight – and slow outfield have inhibited run scoring with the boundary ropes unable to be pulled in because of ICC tournament guidelines.

As a result, the cricket spectacle delivered by both games so far has been largely underwhelming.

India fans were even cheering for Ireland at one point during their eight-wicket win, hoping the length of the game would be extended so they could see more of their team batting in the second innings.

Concerns have also been raised about the six pitches laid at the net training facility in nearby Cantiague Park.

Earlier this week, South Africa’s batters opted for throw downs as opposed to facing their own bowlers, and local net bowlers, because of injury worries.

Rohit Sharma was left a "little sore" after retiring hurt in India's convincing T20 World Cup triumph over Ireland, though found comfort in his side's disciplined performance.

India captain Rohit retired hurt after making 52 in the second innings in New York as Rahul Dravid's side chased a 97-run target with more than seven overs to spare.

The opening batter was struck on the upper arm by a vicious Josh Little delivery in the ninth over, subsequently leaving the field before Rishabh Pant's 36 not out eased India over the line.

Rohit conceded the pain remained in his post-match interview before focusing on the positives of his team's bowling showing, with Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh all impressing.

He said: "Just a little sore. New ground, new venue, wanted to see what it's like to play on; I don't think the pitch settled down, there was enough there for the bowlers.

"Stick to your basics, think about Test match bowling. Arshdeep can swing the ball into the right-handers and that set the tone.

"If the conditions are there for the seamers, we wanted them in the squad. The spinners will play their part later in the tournament. We are open to making changes to the team's needs."

Bumrah produced a blistering spell, taking two wickets for just six runs from his three overs as Ireland limped to 96 all out in New York.

"When you come here and the ball is seaming around with some bounce and pace, I would never complain," Bumrah added. "You have to be proactive, you can't preempt things.

"You realise how the wicket is and then go back to what works for you. Once the seam goes down the pitch does settle down.

"You have to be prepared to bowl in all conditions, so very happy today."

India meet fierce rivals Pakistan on Sunday after their opening World Cup victory, and Rohit expects his team to be flexible once again dependent on conditions.

"I don't know what to expect from the pitch but we will prepare as if conditions are going to be like that," Rohit continued.

"That will be a game where all 11 of us need to come together and contribute.

"It was scratchy but good to spend time in the middle, hopefully we can do the same [against Pakistan]."

India captain Rohit Sharma showed his class with a fine half-century to help his side successfully chase down a manageable target of 97, as they downed Ireland by eight wickets in their Group A contest at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, in New York, on Wednesday.

Sharma, who slammed a 37-ball 52, including four fours and three sixes, was unable to carry his bat through the innings as he retired hurt after being hit on the upper arm from a climbing Josh Little delivery. Prior to that, Sharma raised career milestones of 4000 T20I and 1000 T20 World Cup runs, but it wasn't without some fortune, as he was initially put down twice after edging Mark Adair and Josh Little in consecutive overs.

India lost Virat Kohli (one) early in their chase, but Rishabh Pant, promoted to number three, did well enough on a challenging batting track. Pant, who ended unbeaten on 36 off 26 balls, enjoyed a strong 54-run second wicket partnership with Sharma, which was the foundation for India to wrap up the win with 7.4 overs to spare.

Suryakumar Yadav (two) was the other Indian wicket to fall.

Earlier, India’s bowlers produced a sizzling display on a helpful surface to rip through Ireland, bowling them out for just 96.

Hardik Pandya took 3-27, with Jasprit Bumrah taking 2-6 from three overs, while Ashdeep Singh was also impactful with the new ball, but expensive late on as he finished with 2-35 from four overs.

Only four Ireland batters reached double figures, with Gareth Delany’s late cameo of 26 from 14 balls helping his side up to a total that at least gave the bowlers something to work with.

Lorcan Tucker (10), Curtis Campher (12), and Joshua Little (14) were the other batsmen to offer minimal resistance.

Having won the inaugural ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007, India have been in unsuccessful in the following seven events, reaching the final just once more, a decade ago. However, they are currently the top-ranked team in the format and they will be hoping to carry that form through to break a 17-year title drought at the showpiece being hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

 

Data Debrief: Sharma makes history

India captain Sharma became the only player to participate in all nine editions of the World Cup after featuring here, though Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan will match that feat when he faces Sri Lanka on Saturday. 

Sharma has scored 1,015 runs in the tournament, the second most of any active player – behind Virat Kohli, whose one against Ireland moved him to 1,142.

India head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed the T20 World Cup will be his last in charge, though he is putting no pressure on his players ahead of their opener against Ireland.

An enticing meeting on Wednesday in New York awaits as India, one-time winners of this tournament in 2007, aim to start with victory.

There will be further inspiration for Rohit Sharma's white-ball team, who will part ways with the experienced Dravid after the conclusion of the World Cup.

"It is going to be the last one that I am in charge of," Dravid said at his pre-match press conference, confirming his intention to leave.

"Unfortunately, the kind of schedules and where I find myself at this stage in my life, I don't think I'll be able to re-apply.

"This will be my last one. But having said that, [the significance of the tournament is] no different for me.

"I love doing the job. I've really enjoyed coaching India and I think it's a truly special job to do, and I enjoyed working with this team and it's a great bunch of boys to work with."

India were somewhat overpowered by big-hitting T20I stars as they exited in 2016 and six years later.

Yet the early results in this tournament suggest placid conditions will bring bowlers back into the contest, and Dravid hopes his side can take advantage.

"We can't say that we've not played good cricket in these tournaments," he added. "Yes, we probably haven't been able to get across the line in that one knockout game.

"Hopefully we play good cricket to get ourselves into those positions again. Then maybe play good cricket on the day to get across the line.

"But the important thing when you start these tournaments is not to think about that. It is to actually think about getting into those positions again.

"I think that's as hard as actually winning those games at times. You have to find yourselves in those positions where you are pushing for glory, and that's all you can do as a group and as a team.

"Our whole goal will be to try and get ourselves once again into a position where we give ourselves a chance to be able to win a tournament."

India have triumphed in all seven completed T20Is between these two teams, yet Ireland captain George Dockrell hopes to utilise the home contingent in the United States.

He said: "There's such great Irish roots in America, definitely in New York, so it would be nice to get a good turnout from the locals – a bit of green in the crowd to back us would be welcome."

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.

A thumping 3-0 T20 International series sweep over South Africa propelled West Indies up the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings into fourth place, ahead of the much-anticipated T20 World Cup.

Despite missing a few big faces, West Indies managed to sweep the series, and that along with the rise in rankings should provide a significant boost to the confidence of the Darren Sammy-coached side heading into the June 1-29 showpiece to be hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

With the series win, West Indies (254 rating points), the champions of the 2012 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup, are at the fourth place in the list led by 2007 champions India (264 rating points), with 2021 champions Australia (257 rating points) and defending champions England (254 rating points) at the second and third place respectively.

There were individual bright spots for West Indies in the series, who gained substantially in the T20I Player Rankings. This included stand-in skipper Brandon King, whose 159 runs helped him jump up five places to the eighth position in the Men’s T20I Batting Rankings.

His opening partner, Johnson Charles, who hit a blistering 69 from 26 balls in a Player of the Match performance in the third game of the series, gained 17 spots to reach the 20th place.

Meanwhile, Kyle Mayers (31st place in Batting Rankings) and Gudakesh Motie (27th place in Bowling Rankings) were the other beneficiaries from the recently concluded series.

These results bode well for the Men in Maroon, who will be looking for a record third title during their home T20 World Cup. They are placed in Group C along Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda.

They start their campaign against Papua New Guinea in Guyana on Sunday.

ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings

India -264 points

Australia - 257 points

England - 254 points

West Indies  - 252 points

New Zealand  - 250 points

Rishabh Pant will hope to lead India to T20 World Cup glory after being selected in their squad, just over a year after undergoing surgery following a concerning car crash.

Wicketkeeper-batter Pant was involved in a near-fatal car collision in northern India in December 2022 but comes back into the international fold just 16 months after the incident.

The 26-year-old's performances in this season's Indian Premier League have secured his place in the 15-man squad, having scored 398 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 158.6 for the Delhi Capitals.

Pant is one of two wicketkeepers named in the squad for the tournament starting on June 1 in the United States and West Indies, alongside Sanju Samson.

Despite not previously featuring in a World Cup squad, Samson has impressed in the IPL after accumulating 385 runs in nine innings, striking at a rate of 161.1 for the league-leading Rajasthan Royals.

India captain Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Hardik Pandya will lead the side in the United States and West Indies, though Pant and Samson's inclusion leaves no place for KL Rahul or Jitesh Sharma.

Yuzvendra Chahal did not feature in either T20I squad in the recent series against South Africa and Afghanistan but was another India star included based on their IPL showings this year.

Leg-spinner Chahal, who will be joined by Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in the spin-bowling department, has 13 wickets at an average of 23.5 for the Royals this term.

Jasprit Bumrah heads the pace-bowling lineup with Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh, while Hardik and Shivam Dube present all-rounder options with the ball.

Dube offers a decisive alternative with the bat, too, having top-scored with 124 runs across three innings in the home series against Afghanistan in January.

At the top of the order, Yashasvi Jaiswal will likely open alongside captain Rohit, with Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav providing some high-class backup lower down.

India face Ireland in New York on June 5 to start their World Cup campaign before meeting rivals Pakistan, USA and Canada.

India's provisional squad:

Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Sunil Narine produced a man of the match performance in his 500th T20 game to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Tata Indian Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.

The hosts won the toss and posted a formidable 182-6 from their 20 overs thanks to 83* from Virat Kohli and 33 from Cameron Green.

Andre Russell was the pick of the KKR bowlers with 2-29 from his four overs while Harshit Rana took 2-39 and Narine took 1-40.

The Knight Riders then sprinted to their target, reaching 186-3 with 19 balls to spare.

Venkatesh Iyer led the way with a 30-ball 50 including three fours and four sixes while Narine, who opened the batting, set the tone for the innings with 47 off just 22 balls including two fours and five sixes.

Kolkata Knight Riders 186 for 3 (Venkatesh Iyer 50, Sunil Narine 47) beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru 182 for 6 (Virat Kohli 83*, Andre Russell 2-29, Rana 2-39) by seven wickets

Royal Challengers Bangalore Women have booked a spot in Sunday’s 2024 Women’s Premier League (WPL) final thanks to a five-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians Women in the Eliminator at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Friday.

RCB posted 135-6 from their 20 overs after winning the toss and batting first. Australian star Ellyse Perry led the way with a crucial 66 off 50 balls including eight fours and a six.

West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews starred with the ball for the Indians with 2-18 from her four overs while English all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt had identical figures from her four over spell.

Saika Ishaque took the other two wickets to fall while conceding 27 runs in three overs.

Mumbai were then restricted to 130-6 from their 20 overs in reply.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led the way with 33 while Amelie Kerr made 27* and Nat Sciver-Brunt made 23. Matthews contributed 15 at the top of the order.

Shreyanka Patil was the best bowler on the day for RCB with 2-16 from four overs.

England should play the long game with Jofra Archer and prime him for India’s visit next year as well as the 2025/26 Ashes, according to former fast bowler Steve Harmison.

Archer’s last Test was more than three years ago, but he remains a much-coveted asset and England are hopeful he will be available for their T20 World Cup title defence in the Caribbean in June.

Harmison, though, believes the next two marquee five-Test series against India in the summer of 2025 then in Australia the following winter should take priority above all else where Archer is concerned.

“It’s slowly but surely with him,” Harmison told the PA news agency. “I’d build Jofra Archer up to play in 10 Test matches over the next two years – five against India and five against Australia or four each.

“I’d treat him like a prize racehorse. If England can keep him fit for the majority of those two series, I’d feel as though they have got a chance of winning.

“If he can play in Test matches in between and his body is holding up then everything after that is a bonus.”

Archer has had a succession of stress fractures in his bowling elbow and another in his back since his most recent red-ball appearance for England, while his last professional appearance was 10 months ago.

He joined England in Barbados before Christmas during their white-ball tour of the West Indies and took part in some bowling drills as part of his rehabilitation from the latest setback in his right elbow.

Just a couple of days afterwards, Archer, who was awarded a two-year central contract in October, blindsided England by playing for his old school side in the Barbados Cricket Association league.

But Harmison feels it could be better for everyone involved if the 28-year-old is allowed to get back to full fitness away from prying eyes.

“When I heard he was playing in that game in Barbados, I was over the moon, I just wish he had told (England’s managing director of men’s cricket) Rob Key first,” Harmison said.

“If he turns up for the T20 World Cup, fantastic, if he turns up for a Test match this summer, fantastic, but the most important thing for me is about his mental health and making sure he’s in a position to play cricket without thinking, ‘In however many weeks, I’m going to be injured again’.

“The more he does the bowling repetition and the muscle memory stuff under less scrutiny and less pressure, the better it will be for him coming back into top-level cricket.”

England have won three and lost six of their last 10 Tests against India and Australia and, in both series, there were instances where Ben Stokes’ side let promising positions slip.

After India sealed a 4-1 triumph in Dharamsala on Sunday, England head coach Brendon McCullum admitted they were too “timid” in passages and said their ‘Bazball’ style would be refined.

Harmison, who criticised England’s lack of a warm-up match before the series, expects them to rebound with six wins out of six against the West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer, but he insisted there must be lessons learned from what happened in India.

“They’ll win all six Test matches comfortably,” said Harmison, who played 123 times for England between 2002 and 2009. “It’s not a case of looking at just the summer, they’ve got to look beyond that.

“They’ve got to be smarter in identifying situations. We’ve got some cricket brains leading this team, but sometimes inside that dressing room, we might have individual characters who are happy to say, ‘That’s the way we play’, and that’s not good enough for me, it’s not acceptable.

“They have to be more accountable when they make mistakes. This is not the Dog and Duck, this is Test match cricket.

“Having the crutch of, ‘That’s the way we play, it’s Bazball’. No, Bazball is giving you the freedom to be the best version of yourself possible. You’ve still got to play the situation.”

Brendon McCullum insisted England will “come back bigger, stronger and more refined” following their 4-1 Test series defeat in India.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five aspects that should be addressed by head coach McCullum and captain Ben Stokes before England’s next Test against the West Indies at Lord’s on July 10.

Who takes the gloves?

Ben Foakes was just about flawless behind the stumps once again but he did not record a single fifty, with his career average dipping below 30, and struggles to assert himself in the fashion England want.

Jonny Bairstow is not as proficient with the gloves and also flattered to deceive in India, but he averages 59 at home under McCullum and Stokes and can marshal the tail in a way Foakes is seemingly unable to.

Knocking on the door away from those pair is Ollie Robinson of Durham and Jamie Smith at Surrey.

Jack, Tom or Shoaib?

Not for over a decade have England had such plentiful spin options.

England took a bit of a punt on Tom Hartley and especially Shoaib Bashir but the duo demonstrated they have the mettle for Test cricket.

Rehan Ahmed showed determination, too, but might be more suited to the white-ball formats for now.

Jack Leach’s fitness issues in the past 12 months mean he is not guaranteed to be inked in for the English summer, with just one spinner usually required.

Hartley may be more suited to Asian conditions but 20-year-old Bashir is someone England should invest in. Leach’s position as premier spinner at Somerset means Bashir could be sent on loan elsewhere in the early county season.

Identify a replacement for James Anderson

The evergreen swing king reached Test wicket 700 in the final Test after several months in the 690s.

Anderson has given no outward indication he is ready to slow down but time waits for no one and England must be prepared when the day comes the 41-year-old decides to hang up his spikes.

Any sign of decline after a poor Ashes showing was quietened a little with solid, if unspectacular, performances in India in unhelpful conditions.

While his longevity is astounding, wickets are his main currency and he has just 15 of them in his last eight Tests at a bloated average of 50.8.

In two marquee series against England’s biggest rivals, that is a poor return but he is not one to be kept subdued for long.

Settle on a seam attack

Anderson may well be able to keep going until the next Ashes series in 2025-26 but he has lost his long-time opening bowling partner in Stuart Broad.

That did not matter so much in India but on green seamers in England, there will be no shortage of candidates looking to step into Broad’s shoes.

Chris Woakes is likely to come back into contention although he is 35 himself, so it could be the next generation who come through.

Gus Atkinson impressed the backroom staff despite not playing in India and McCullum tipped the quick to make his Test debut in the summer.

Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse and Josh Tongue are pushing to be involved while Ollie Robinson must get to the bottom of his fitness issues.

Back Ollie Pope

England’s vice-captain had one of the more curious series of modern times.

A breakout 196, which Joe Root called “one of the best knocks that I’ve ever seen”, carried England to a stunning victory in Hyderabad.

But he did not reach 40 after that, made a pair at Ranchi and looked increasingly frenetic.

England have been encouraged by his growing confidence as an authority figure on the field as deputy to Stokes and will hope that can filter through to his batting.

Pope has already been shuffled around a lot in a 43-Test career and his talent is undeniable so he just needs to find a way of taking the edge off when he goes out to bat.

James Anderson took his 700th Test wicket as England lost the fifth Test against India in Dharamsala.

Anderson is the leading Test wicket-taker among seam bowlers, behind only spin greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the overall list.

Here, the PA news agency looks at his career record.

Record-breaker

Anderson and his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad are two of only five bowlers ever to take 600 or more Test wickets, a list headed by Sri Lanka star Muralitharan’s remarkable 800.

Warne is next up with 708 for Australia, with Anderson following on exactly 700, Anil Kumble 619 and Broad 604. Anderson’s average of 26.53 ranks third in that group behind Muralitharan (22.73) and Warne (25.42), with Broad at 27.69 and Kumble 29.65.

Anderson has 32 five-wicket hauls, 12 more than Broad but behind the three spinners and seventh overall in Test cricket. Muralitharan is again out in front with a scarcely believable 67, with Warne’s 37 ranking second among all Test bowlers. Kumble took 35.

Four other bowlers have taken over 500 wickets – Australia seamer Glenn McGrath and spinner Nathan Lyon with 563 and 527 respectively, West Indies great Courtney Walsh on 519 and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who reached 516 after taking 26 in the five-Test series against England.

Vintage performer

One of the more remarkable aspects of Anderson’s Test career is the way he has improved with age.

From the start of 2014, when he was already 31 with the wear and tear of 91 Tests as a new-ball paceman in his legs, he has more than doubled his tally of games and taken an astonishing 360 further wickets at 22.67.

Only 23 bowlers including Anderson have that many wickets in their full Test career and, of those, only three have an average lower than his in that phase – West Indies greats Malcolm Marshall at 20.94 and Curtly Ambrose at 20.99, and McGrath at 21.64.

That is boosted by 123 wickets at 24.08 since the start of 2020, despite passing his 40th birthday along the way.

Hundred at HQ

Anderson is one of only four bowlers to take over 100 Test wickets at a single venue, capturing 119 at Lord’s to Broad’s 113.

Muralitharan achieved the feat at three different grounds – 166 at Colombo’s SSC, 117 in Kandy and 111 at Galle, where fellow Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath took 102.

Anderson’s record at Trent Bridge may be even more impressive than at HQ, with 73 wickets at a stunning average of 19.23 across 12 Tests. The Lancastrian has 38 at 23.58 on his home ground of Old Trafford.

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