T20 World Cup Super Eight: A look at the favourites, the teams to beat and who could be the dark horses | Crickit

T20 World Cup Super Eight: A look at the favourites, the teams to beat and who could be the dark horses

Jun 17, 2024 12:05 PM IST

Bangladesh's win over Nepal confirmed them as the last team to make it to the Super Eight stage.

Bangladesh's victory over Nepal on Monday confirmed them as the final team to go through the Super Eight stage of the 2024 T20 World Cup. Bangladesh were the fourth team in Group 1 alongwith India, Australia and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Group 2 is made of co-hosts USA and West Indies, defending champions England and South Africa. The Super Eight starts with USA facing South Africa in Group 2 on Wednesday

The Super Eight starts with USA facing South Africa in Group 2 on Wednesday(AFP)
The Super Eight starts with USA facing South Africa in Group 2 on Wednesday(AFP)

The favourites

India sailed through the group stage and reinforced their status as one of the favourites to win the tournament. They started by thrashing Ireland with eight wickets and then dramatically turned around their fortunes in their second game against arch-rivals to emerge victorious by six runs. They then survived an early wobble in their chase to beat the USA by seven wickets. While talisman Virat Kohli is yet to fire, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma were all impressive on the infamous New York pitch but a common theme across their three victories was the brilliance of their bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah. India's Super Eight begins with a match against Afghanistan on Thursday.

Australia are easily hot favourites as well. They were runaway victors in all four of their group stage games with big-hitters like Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis all getting in amongst the runs. Spinner Adam Zampa is the joint second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament at present nine scalps and an economy of just 5.87. Australia start off by facing Bangladesh on Thursday.

The teams to watch out for

England came into the tournament as favourites while they may have been somewhat unlucky with their first match against Scotland being washed out but their perennial weakness in the spin-bowling department and a tendency to concede runs in the powerplay was exposed in their 36-run loss to Australia. That loss put England's title defence on the balance but the face remains that Jos Buttler's men didn't let any of the pressure tell as they went about demolishing Oman and Namibia in their next two matches to secure passage.

Their Super Eight journey starts off with a match against the West Indies on Thursday. That'll be the second match of the stage for the Caribbean two-time champions as they face Afghanistan in their first Super Eight match on Tuesday. The West Indies have been formidable at their home. They started off by beating a spirited Papua New Guinea by five wickets and then gave Uganda a 134-run hiding. Their group stage ended with a 13-run win over New Zealand.

South Africa come into the Super Eight on the back of a strong showing, on the basis of which they could be termed as one of the teams to beat. They were among the teams that had to battle it out with the infamous New York pitch and won all three matches they played were, including a particularly tricky one against Bangladesh. South Africa then staved off an almighty upset as they beat Nepal by just one run in Kingstown on Friday.

The dark horses

Afghanistan are never a side that can be taken lightly, as New Zealand found out the hard way on June 8. The Afghans had beaten Uganda by 125 runs going into their match against the Kiwis at Providence Stadium. Afghanistan scored 159/6 batting first after which spinner Rashid Khan and pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi left New Zealand in a tangle. Just two of the New Zealand batters managed to score in double digits as they were all out for a paltry 75 runs. The hiding meant that Afghanistan's passage to the Super Eight was confirmed even before they played their final group game of the tournament.

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