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T20 World Cup 2024: England face Australia and Scotland in group of familiar foes

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England are drawn in Group B alongside Australia, Namibia, Oman and Scotland at the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, which is live in full on Sky Sports between June 1-29. Here’s all you need to know about the teams and their prospects.

Australia

Best result: Winners (2021)
2022 result: Super 12s
Coach: Andrew McDonald

Squad: Mitch Marsh (captain), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matt Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Reserves: Jake Fraser McGurk, Matthew Short.

Big hitter

Glenn Maxwell. ‘The Big Show’ has long been on the radar as one of the sport’s most destructive batters. This is a man you simply can’t ignore, one with a joint-record five T20I hundreds to his name (shared with Rohit Sharma) and 127 sixes in the format, placing him fourth all-time currently, behind only Rohit (190), Martin Guptill (173) and Paul Stirling (128).

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Glenn Maxwell hit arguably the best ODI innings of all time with his sensational 201 not out against Afghanistan at the 2023 Cricket World Cup

Maxwell also has the ability to wrestle a game, or even a tournament, Australia’s way from seemingly nowhere. Against Afghanistan at last year’s 50-over World Cup, Maxwell arrived in the middle at 49-4, chasing 292… Australia’s position worsened still to 91-7 before he struck the greatest ODI innings of all time, a monumental 201 not out off 128 balls to secure a remarkable three-wicket victory. Less than a fortnight later, they’d be crowned champions.

Wicket-taker

Mitchell Starc. The left-arm fast bowler is the man for the big occasion, Australia’s leading wicket-taker in T20 World Cups, with 27 in 20 matches. He also twice topped the charts in 50-over World Cups, with his haul of 22 wickets as Australia won in 2015 and again with 27 in England four years later.

Keep an eye on…

Travis Head. The left-handed Australian opener was at the forefront of a record-breaking Indian Premier League season in terms of run-scoring, with his 567 for the tournament – at an average of 40.50 and a staggering 191.55 strike rate – helping Sunrisers Hyderabad twice break the record for highest IPL team total, as well as post the new fourth-highest tally on that list and chase 166 against Lucknow Super Giants in only 58 balls!

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Sunrisers Hyderabad break their own IPL Innings record with a stunning 287-3 including a century for Travis Head against Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Head’s scores in those efforts read as follows; 62 off 24 balls, 102 of 41 as team record is broken again – his 39-ball century the fourth-fastest in IPL history – 89 off 32 balls, and finally 89 not out off 30 balls.

Incredible. And fair to say the lad is in half-decent form coming into the World Cup…

Prospects

Never write off the Australians. It’s said ahead of every tournament… and though their track record at T20 World Cups – one win in 2021 across eight editions – can’t compare to the six they’ve won in the 50-over format, this is still a formidable outfit well capable of going all the way. Were they to do so, they’d match England’s effort in 2022 of holding both trophies at the same time.

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Eoin Morgan, Nasser Hussain, and Urooj Mumtaz join Ian Ward to discuss their dream T20 World Cup XI

England

Best result: Winners (2010, 2022)
2022 result: Winners
Coach: Matthew Mott

Squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

Big hitter

Jos Buttler. England’s disastrous 50-over World Cup defence last year came about because of some muddled messaging, confusing team selections but, most glaring of all, the fact that their star players were desperately out of nick. None more so than the skipper himself, with Buttler averaging just 15.33 and with a top score of 43 across their nine games.

That makes his recent resurgence at the IPL all the more encouraging. Buttler tonked two hundreds at this year’s tournament, taking his career tally to seven in the competition and only one behind Virat Kohli’s record eight. Then, when flying back early for the pre-World Cup Pakistan series, he promptly smashed 84 off 51 deliveries at Edgbaston in the first of two victories – the other two games washed out.

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Jos Buttler struck eight fours and three sixes in his innings of 84 from 51 balls against Pakistan in the second T20 international at Edgbaston

If England are going to have a successful title defence this time round, Buttler must fire you feel.

Wicket-taker

Adil Rashid. Though immensely appreciated by England players and fans alike, the leg-spinner tends to fly under the radar in a global sense… oft being overlooked for IPL recognition, for example, in favour of some of his contemporaries at this tournament.

In what could prove the 36-year-old’s last, could Rashid give the watching world one last reminder of his considerable talents? The pitches in the Caribbean that England exclusively play on in their group games are set to aid spin and it’s a place he’s enjoyed touring previously. Could he even top the tournament wicket-taking charts by the end of it all?

Keep an eye on…

Jofra Archer’s fitness. It feels like there are some rather sizeable hopes and expectations currently being placed on a man with only two international T20 appearances to his name in more than 12 months. But Archer pulled up well in those two contests against Pakistan, bowling good pace, taking three wickets and showing no struggles with that troublesome elbow that has plagued him since his 50-Over World Cup winning turn in 2019.

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Jofra Archer’s return to international cricket for the first time since March 2023 saw him smash a huge six and pick up two wickets.

England will be monitoring him throughout the tournament, with a rest-and-rotation policy sure to be introduced, but the prospect of him hitting peak form and fitness in the latter stages is a mouth-watering yet terrifying prospect in equal measure.

Prospects

Even with their 50-over World Cup debacle, England are still one of the favourites – and rightly so. Defending champions and with a squad utterly loaded with match-winners the envy of almost every other country in the competition. They should be threatening at least the semi-final stage… were they to fall short of that mark, there could be questions asked of the captain and coach, perhaps prompting a change. It’s a hugely important tournament for Buttler and Mott.

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Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain believe England T20 head coach and captain, Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler are ‘under scrutiny’ at the upcoming World Cup after a disastrous 50-over tournament

Namibia

Best result: Super 12s (2021)
2022 result: First Round
Coach: Pierre de Bruyn

Squad: Gerhard Erasmus (captain), Zane Green, Michael Van Lingen, Dylan Leicher, Ruben Trumpelmann, Jack Brassell, Ben Shikongo, Tangeni Lungameni, Niko Davin, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, JP Kotze, David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz, Malan Kruger, PD Blignaut.

Big hitter

Gerhard Erasmus. The captain. He is Namibia’s leading run-scorer in international T20 cricket, and by some distance with his 1,339 a good 500+ clear of next best-placed JJ Smit. The pair have also tonked a join-best 50 sixes a piece to represent the biggest threat to the punters beyond the boundary ropes.

Wicket-taker

Gerhard Erasmus. The captain again. A more than handy leg-spinner, playing on pitches expected to turn in the Caribbean, Erasmus could prove crucial to his country’s hopes of springing an upset both with bat and ball. His 43 T20I wickets come at a staggering 13.06 average, with his economy rate standing at a remarkably cheap 5.10 an over too.

Keep an eye on…

David Wiese previously played for Sussex before beginning his life as a franchise cricketer touring the globe
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David Wiese previously played for Sussex and South Africa before switching his international allegiance to Namibia

David Wiese. A familiar name to South Africa and Sussex fans alike. The former Proteas international switched allegiance to his father’s home country of Namibia in 2021 and helped them qualify for the Super 12s of 2021 with two Player-of-the-Match winning efforts. The 39-year-old’s best days are behind him but he still has the ability to be destructive, more so with bat in hand than his military medium-pace efforts with the ball.

Prospects

The best they can really hope for, along with any of the associate nations in Group B, is a third-placed finish behind Australia and England, with passage through to the Super Eights surely beyond them.

They’ll be eyeing a big scalp in their meetings with Australia and England and will at least have the chance to build up a head of steam going into them, with their more winnable matches against Oman and Scotland coming first.

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The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA starts on June 1, live on Sky Sports

Oman

Best result: First Round (2016, 2021)
2022 result: N/A
Coach: Duleep Mendis

Squad: Aqib Ilyas (captain), Zeeshan Maqsood, Kashyap Prajapati, Pratik Athavale, Ayaan Khan, Shoaib Khan, Mohammad Nadeem, Naseem Khushi, Mehran Khan, Bilal Khan, Rafiullah, Kaleemullah, Fayyaz Butt, Shakeel Ahmad. Reserves: Jatinder Singh, Samay Shrivastava, Sufyan Mehmood, Jay Odedra.

Big hitter

Zeeshan Maqsood. Oman’s leading scorer in international T20 cricket and owner of their only hundred in the format, notched against Bahrain two years ago.

Also look out for pinch-hitter Naseem Khushi at the top of the order. At 159.25, his strike rate dwarfs his team-mates’, while he has four more sixes (49) for his T20I career than boundaries.

Wicket-taker

Bilal Khan. It can be no other, with the left-arm fast bowler boasting 106 T20I wickets to his name, with Oman’s next of Maqsood (48) not yet beyond the fifty mark.

A bit of a yorker specialist, expect Bilal to operate out of the opening powerplay and at the death, where a fair few batter’s toe could be in danger of a crushing.

Keep an eye on…

Former England international Derek Pringle cheering them on from the sidelines.

Maybe not, given his advisory role with the team – helping them qualify for the tournament for the first time in 2016 – ended some time ago. But you just never know…

Prospects

Oman won the hearts of fans the world over, except those in Ireland, as they stunned the boys in green for their first-ever World Cup win in 2016. A 10-wicket triumph over Papua New Guinea followed five years later in the 2021 tournament, where they should also have beaten Bangladesh and pipped them to a Super 12s place.

Bilal took superb figures of 3-18 as the Tigers were bundled out for 153, with Oman set up nicely at 81-2 in the 12th over of their reply before a dramatic collapse of seven for 31 crushed their dreams as they ultimately limped to a 26-run defeat. Can they show they’ve learned their lesson and close it out if presented with a similar opportunity to take a big scalp this time around?

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Grammy Award winner Sean Paul and Soca superstar Kes have joined forces for the official anthem of the Men’s T20 World Cup

Scotland

Best result: Super 12s (2021)
2022 result: First Round
Coach: Shane Burger

Squad: Richie Berrington (captain), Matthew Cross, Brad Currie, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Jack Jarvis, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Brandon McMullen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Charlie Tear, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal.

Big hitter

George Munsey. The left-handed maestro has contributed to some of Scotland’s most high-profile wins in recent times, including an unbeaten 66 off 53 deliveries at the top of the order as his side stunned the West Indies in their opening match of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Wicket-taker

Safyaan Sharif. Second only to left-arm spinner Mark Watt (77) in terms of Scotland’s leading wicket-takers in T20 cricket, with 72 wickets at an average of 24.69. Sharif is pacey, albeit having lost a yard as he now enters his mid-30s… but he’s still a canny operator with the new ball and at the death.

Keep an eye on…

The clash of the ‘Auld Enemy‘, as Scotland and England meet in their opening group game on June 4.

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Eoin Morgan picks his England team to face Scotland in their first T20 World Cup game in Barbados

England have suffered their fair few high-profile shocks at World Cups gone by, including a couple of notable loses to Ireland, but they’ve yet to be beaten by their foes north of the border at a major tournament – albeit they did lose a thrilling ODI in Edinburgh six years ago in which a staggering 736 runs were scored, Scotland’s first win over England in any format in international cricket.

Prospects

This is Scotland’s ninth appearance at a major men’s ICC event and their fourth in a row at a T20 World Cup

Their first win at a major tournament came when beating Hong Kong in 2016, since following that up with the rather more sizable scalps of Bangladesh when qualifying for the Super 12s in 2021 and then against the West Indies two years ago, albeit subsequent defeats to Ireland and Zimbabwe scuppering their hopes of progressing.

Can they now add one of the big boys in the shape of England (how dearly they’d love that) and/or Australia to their growing list?

Watch every match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA live on Sky Sports Cricket. Also stream with NOW.

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