World Twenty20 2014: Team guide & players to watch

By Mark MitchenerBBC Sport
West Indies celebrate winning the World Twenty20 in 2012
West Indies celebrate winning the World Twenty20 in 2012

The Super 10 stage of the fifth World Twenty20 got under way in Bangladesh on 21 March, with West Indies aiming to defend the title they won in 2012.

Sixteen teams started the first group stage of the competition on 16 March, with hosts Bangladesh and the Netherlands securing their places alongside the major nations in the Super 10s.

The top two teams from each Super 10 group progress to the semi-finals, with the final scheduled for 6 April.

BBC Sport takes a look at the contenders and players to watch, while cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew gives his assessment of every team.


Sri Lanka

World T20 history: Losing finalists in 2009, and again in 2012 on home soil. Runners-up at the last two 50-over World Cups, they have often been the bridesmaids at recent ICC events.

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara's international career began as far back as 2000

One to watch: Evergreen, elegant left-hander Kumar Sangakkara has stroked his way to scores of 128, 67, 103 and 76 in successive one-day international innings in February and March and, even at 36, remains a class act on the international stage.

Did you know? Sri Lanka have been in Bangladesh since January, playing the tournament hosts in two Tests, two T20 internationals and three ODIs before contesting the Asia Cup.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "The losing finalists from 2012, their side remains packed with experienced batting and plenty of spinning options. However, while spin will be key, this will be hampered by the heavy evening dew."


World T20 history: Lifted their only global ICC trophy in 2010, but have failed to make it past the Super Eights every other time.

James Tredwell
James Tredwell played his only Test in Bangladesh in March 2010, taking 2-99 and 4-82 in Mirpur

One to watch: Having played most of his international career in the shadow of Graeme Swann, off-spinner James Tredwell has now established himself as England's number one limited-overs spinner and should relish Bangladesh's spin-friendly conditions, where his control will be vital.

Did you know? Five of England's original 15-man squad were born outside England - Jade Dernbach and Michael Lumb (South Africa), Chris Jordan (Barbados), Eoin Morgan (Republic of Ireland) and Ben Stokes (New Zealand) who was ruled out by injury after being selected. Injury replacement Craig Kieswetter (South Africa) was also born overseas.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "It's difficult to be positive about their prospects except that T20 is unpredictable. Morgan and Buttler apart, no-one else will intimidate the opposition."

South Africa

World T20 history: As tournament favourites in 2009, the Proteas were beaten in the semi-finals. Have otherwise failed to make it past the Super Eights.

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock played as a specialist batsman for South Africa in his only Test appearance

One to watch: Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has been in sparkling form at the top of the order, hitting three successive centuries in the recent ODI series against India.

Did you know? Before his recall for the recent T20 series with Australia, all-rounder Albie Morkel had not played for South Africa since their final Super Eight game of the 2012 tournament.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Plenty of batting, but I'll be surprised if their pace-based attack is effective here."

New Zealand

World T20 history: Semi-finalists first time out in 2007, but have not made it past the Super Eights since then.

Corey Anderson
Corey Anderson was bought by Mumbai Indians for around £450,000 in this year's IPL auction

One to watch: Big-hitting left-hander Corey Anderson smashed the fastest international century in any format against West Indies on New Year's Day, reaching three figures from only 36 balls and finishing with 131 from 47. His left-arm seam is useful enough to have earned a five-wicket haul against India later that month.

Did you know? Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi made his international debut in 2008 - for Australia. After re-qualifying for his native New Zealand, he averages 133 with the bat from four T20 internationals.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Well worth a punt because of Brendon McCullum, Cory Anderson and Ross Taylor, decent spin options and traditionally snappy fielding."


World T20 history: Shocked hosts England in a last-ball thriller in the opening match of the 2009 tournament, but were beaten heavily by Pakistan in their only other game.

Pieter Seelaar
Left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar took 4-15 against Canada in an ODI last August

One to watch: Along with captain Peter Borren, left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar is the only survivor from the XI that beat England in this year's squad, and will remain a key part of their attack.

Did you know? All-rounder Logan van Beek, born in Christchurch, represented New Zealand Under-19s at both cricket and basketball, while his late grandfather Simpson "Sammy" Guillen, born in Trinidad, played Test cricket for West Indies and New Zealand.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Netherlands will go into the Super 10 with their confidence soaring after demolishing Ireland, but should find the opposition bowling attacks more challenging."


West Indies

World T20 history: Defending champions after winning in Sri Lanka in 2012, having been semi-finalists in 2009.

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine was one of only two players from 2013 retained by Kolkata Knight Riders for this year's IPL

One to watch: Having bamboozled England on slow Caribbean pitches in the lead-up to the tournament, young Trinidadian spinner Sunil Narine will look forward to unleashing his array of off-breaks and carrom balls in Bangladesh.

Did you know? Captain Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle and Andre Fletcher played for the ill-fated Stanford Superstars in the "$20m match" against England in 2008.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Apart from the absence of Kieron Pollard, little has changed in the past 18 months in terms of personnel and conditions so I make the holders the favourites to win again."


World T20 history: Inaugural winners in 2007 but have since failed to progress past the Super Eights.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh hit England's Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007

One to watch: All-rounder Yuvraj Singh starred in India's World Twenty20 win in 2007 and was named player of the tournament in their World Cup success four years later. If anyone thought his T20 skills were on the wane, he fetched the highest price at this year's IPL auction.

Did you know? India won the only bowl-out in World T20 history, after a tied game against Pakistan in the group stage of the inaugural tournament in 2007. Bowl-outs have since been replaced by "super overs".

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "The most experienced T20 players in the world with every option covered, and their recent form should not count for much. If they fire, they will win."


World T20 history: One of the most successful teams in the tournament's history - finalists in 2007, winners in 2009 and semi-finalists on the last two occasions.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal has played in all four World Twenty20s

One to watch: Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has been recalled after nearly a year out of the side. With Pakistan having tried a number of glovemen behind the stumps - including two of his brothers - Kamran will hope to kick-start a career which has brought him over 250 international appearances, but no Tests since 2010.

Did you know? Fast bowler Umar Gul has twice claimed figures of 5-6 in T20 internationals - against New Zealand at the 2009 World T20, and against South Africa a year ago. The only man to better that is Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis, who has twice taken six wickets.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "As mercurial, unpredictable and irresistible as ever but I'm not convinced they will score enough runs."


World T20 history: Runners-up in 2010 and semi-finalists in 2007 and 2012, this is the only global ICC trophy to elude them.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch took 26 off one Joe Root over during his record 156

One to watch: Opener Aaron Finch smashed the record for the highest individual innings in a T20 international when he flayed England for 156 from 63 balls at Southampton last summer, hitting an astonishing 14 sixes.

Did you know? All-rounder Shane Watson is the only player to have been in Australia's squad for the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 tournaments, although recalled veterans Brad Hodge and Brad Hogg featured in the 2007 party.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Many people's favourite, and not just because they are on a roll. Explosive batting and in 43-year-old spinner Brad Hogg evidence that T20 is not necessarily a young player's game."


World T20 history: Made the Super Eights at West Indies' expense in 2007 but have not won a game since and lost to Ireland in 2009.

Sohag Gazi (right) celebrates winning an ODI with Nasir Hossain
Sohag Gazi's hat-trick - the 40th in Test history - was the first since Stuart Broad's against India in 2011

One to watch: His T20 appearances have been limited, but off-spinning all-rounder Sohag Gazi has a unique place in cricket history: he became the only player in history to score a century and take a hat-trick in the same Test, against New Zealand in Chittagong last October, and now looks set to be a regular in all formats.

Did you know? Batsman Tamim Iqbal, who hit a Test hundred against England at Lord's in 2010, will return to the 'Home of Cricket' this summer to play in an MCC v Rest of the World game to mark the ground's bicentenary.

Jonathan Agnew's verdict: "Recent defeats by Afghanistan and Hong Kong in familiar conditions hardly bode well for the hosts, who were fortunate to qualify for the Super 10 stage."

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