The eighth edition of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup kick-started in Australia on October 16 with the group stage fixtures. The Super 12 stage fixtures will go all guns blazing from October 22 onwards.
England will take on Afghanistan in the first game of the Super 12 stage at the Optus Stadium in Perth. On the other hand, Australia will lock horns with the New Zealand cricket team in the afternoon fixture at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
India will play against Pakistan on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia won the title in the last season of the T20 World Cup as the Men in Yellow beat New Zealand to win their maiden title in their history.
Meanwhile, former England international Kevin Pietersen has predicted T20 World Cup winner and also named “dark horses” of the tournament. Pietersen picked England as the favourites of the tournament and then picked South Africa as the dark horses.
Pietersen told Betway: ‘This England white-ball team is absolutely spectacular. They really are. They’re fabulous to watch, they’ve got all bases covered, and I think they go in as favourites.
‘It was a great victory in Pakistan, a huge victory. And they’ve been very confident in the way they’ve played the warm-up games in Australia. It’s been the perfect build-up.
‘The reason why I say South Africa could be the dark horse is because, with the weather conditions that are knocking around, that South African bowling attack – Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada – could do some real damage,’ Pietersen added.
‘I’ve seen what Rabada and Nortje have done in the IPL when they played together for a season, and you can be 20 for five or 30 for six very quickly. Their batters won’t need to score that many runs to knock off those kind of totals.’