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T20 World Cup Semi-Final Preview

Aaron Finch, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson and Babar Azam


And then there were four...

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The Super 12 stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup is done and dusted, and there have already been some major upsets and shock results, with two of the favourites, India and West Indies, already on their way home.

Australia, England, New Zealand and Pakistan are the four teams left standing in the competition, and here is our semi-finals preview, assessing the chances of these four contenders.



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Despite suffering a whole host of injuries to key players like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and now even Tymal Mills, England continue to dominate the white ball format under the leadership of Eoin Morgan. They topped Group 1 in imperious fashion, registering truly dominant wins against Australia, West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before losing a final-over thriller against South Africa in Sharjah.

However, while the performances have been outstanding so far, there might be some concerns for their semi-final against New Zealand due to a weaker death bowling group in the absence of Tymal Mills, along with a question mark over Jason Roy’s fitness at the top of the order. 



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Under the leadership of Kane Williamson, New Zealand remain the model side in international cricket that continue to perform on the biggest stage, despite having the smallest pool of players to pick from. 

In the easier of the two Super 12 groups, New Zealand completed their job professionally and qualified for the final four largely thanks to the strength of their bowling group. In Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult, the Kiwis have two of the leading wicket-takers in the tournament, and amongst their six bowlers used, only Sodhi has an economy rate over seven, indicating how miserly they have been with the ball in hand. 



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There wasn’t a lot of optimism surrounding Australia’s T20 World Cup heading into the tournament, but barring one freak loss to England, Aaron Finch’s side have performed admirably in the group of death with four wins in five games.

David Warner’s return to form has been a key reason for their resurgence, and the opener is amongst the top five run-getters in the Super 12’s after his wonderful 89* against the West Indies. With the ball, Australia have plenty of match-winners in Hazlewood, Cummins, Starc and Zampa, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team from Down Under upset Pakistan in the semi-final, just like they did 11 years ago in the Caribbean. 



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Pakistan remain the only unbeaten team left in the World Cup and Babar Azam’s side have looked like the most complete team in the tournament with a settled XI that has clearly-defined roles. With the ball, Pakistan have tonnes of variety, with a left-arm spinner, a leg spinner and two pacers (Afridi and Rauf) that bowl with genuine pace in all three phases of the innings. Add in the experience of Hafeez and Malik, the opening combination of Babar and Rizwan and the phenomenal six-hitting ability of Asif Ali, and Pakistan have all bases covered, and should consider themselves as favourites to lift their second T20 World Cup trophy.


[Featured Image Credit: ICC T20 World Cup]