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ICC World Twenty20 teams guide

Pakistan celebrate winning at Lord's

The cut and thrust world of Twenty20 heads to the Caribbean as the world's best cricketers take refuge for sun, sea, sand and sixes.

The third edition of the ICC's World Twenty20 competition marks a significant point in cricket's history with the very first appearance of Afghanistan at an international event.

"Dale Steyn will be no problem," said all-rounder Karim Sadiq, whose team are matched up with inaugural champions India and South Africa in Group C.

This year's tournament is as open as ever, with most of the major Test-playing nations capable of wresting the trophy from the beleaguered fingers of Pakistan.

BBC Sport runs the rule over the 12 teams.

Group A: Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan
Group B: New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe
Group C: Afghanistan, India, South Africa
Group D: England, Ireland, West Indies

Nawroz Mangal
"I read their opener (Karim Sadiq) said he was not scared of facing Dale Steyn. I wouldn't be either if I grew up in a war zone," said South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

Afghanistan's progress from the bottom rung of the World Cricket League to the top tier is nothing short of astonishing , but even the most eternal optimist could never envisage beating either India or South Africa.

That said, the Afghans will use the occasion to show the rest of the world the progress they are making away from the political maelstrom.

Among their brightest prospects is wicketkeeper/batsman Mohammad Shahzad, who recently smashed a breath-taking 214 as Afghanistan chased down an incredible 494 for victory against Canada at the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

Captain Nowroz Mangal bowls tidy off-spin and bats in the middle order, while Mohammad Nabi has a penchant for the big shots, while the rest will use the opportunity to show the world what they are all about.

Six hitters: Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi

Death bowler extraordinaire: Mirwais Ashraf

Toe-cruncher: Shapoor Zadran

Spin to win: Samiullah Shenwari, Nowroz Mangal

One to watch: Mohammad Shahzad

What happened in 2009?: Did not play

Squad: Nawroz Mangal (capt), Mohammad Nabi, Karim Sadiq, Mirwais Ashraf, Rais Ahmadzai, Dawlat Ahmadzai, Mohammad Shahzad (wkt), Hamid Hassan, Samiullah Shinwari, Noor Ali, Asghar Stanikzai, Shahpoor Zadran, Shabir Noori, Saeed Nasrat, Shafiqullah Shafaq.

Michael Clarke
Losing a home series for the first time in 16 years to South Africa, surrendering the Ashes less than two years after winning them back and sandwiched in between was an unceremonious exit from the group stages of last year's World Twenty20.

For Ricky Ponting, 2009 was something close to an annus horribilis as possible in Australian cricket.

Ponting has since handed over the Twenty20 captaincy to Michael Clarke, who has some of the fastest bowlers in world cricket at his disposal; Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes, who was part of the Netherlands side that dramatically beat England at Lord's in last year's tournament.

Out go Andrew Symonds and James Hopes and in come uncapped all-rounder Dan Christian and Steve Smith, the leg-spinner who impressed during New South Wales' victory in the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League last year.

The Australians are in good shape under Clarke - they have only lost one international Twenty20 in five matches.

Six hitters: Cameron White, David Warner, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson

Death bowler extraordinaire: Shaun Tait

Toe-cruncher: Dirk Nannes

Spin to win: Nathan Hauritz

Best fielder: Michael Clarke

One to watch: Steve Smith

What happened in 2009?: First-round exit

Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

Mohammad Ashraful

While their Test form shows continual signs of improvement, Bangladesh's Twenty20 progress has gone in the opposite direction.

In the last 12 months, the Tigers have played four short-form matches - and lost all of them, including a six-wicket defeat by Ireland in last year's tournament.

The components are there - the wily darts of captain Shakib Al Hasan, the destructive batting of Tamim Iqbal and the consistency of all-rounder Mahmudullah.

But the sum of their parts has yet to add up to its potential. And with Australia and Pakistan to contend with, it could be another first-round exit for the Tigers.

Six hitters: Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal

Death bowler extraordinaire: Shakib al Hasan

Toe-cruncher: Mashrafe Mortaza

Spin to win: Shakib Al Hasan

Best fielder: Tamim Iqbal

One to watch: Mahmudullah

What happened in 2009?: First-round exit

Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Ashraful, Aftab Ahmed, Naeem Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Syed Rasel, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Jahurul Islam (wk)

Paul Collingwood
After the ignominy of losing to the Netherlands on the opening match of last year's tournament at Lord's, England will hope for a better start this year in their first match against hosts West Indies.

In come six new faces from 2009, including destructive opener Craig Kieswetter, the South Africa-born Somerset wicketkeeper who battered England's bowlers to all parts of Abu Dhabi playing for the second string.

Hampshire's Michael Lumb, who impressed for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, is another to be rewarded for his big-hitting exploits at the top of the order, while all-rounders Ajmal Shahzad and the recalled Michael Yardy raised eyebrows with their selections.

None of England's bowlers featured in this season's IPL, which puzzled Kevin Pietersen , and their relative lack of experience could be exposed against the better teams.

But with a dynamic new opening partnership and Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and the experience of Paul Collingwood in the middle order, England's batting line-up looks the strongest it has ever looked in Twenty20 cricket.

Six hitters: Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright

Death bowler extraordinaire Tim Bresnan Toe-cruncher: Ryan Sidebottom

Spin to win: Graeme Swann

Best fielder: Paul Collingwood

One to watch: Craig Kieswetter

What happened in 2009?: Super Eights

Squad: Paul Collingwood (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

The inquisition was thorough after India's exit in last year's tournament - another failure will not be tolerated.

However, the 2007 champions still boast the best and biggest-hitting batting line-up in the tournament - even without Virender Sehwag.

Remove Rohit Sharma or Gautam Gambhir and in comes Mahendra Singh Dhoni, followed by Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan or Suresh Reina.

Zaheer Khan once again shoulders the brunt of the pace-bowling burden, ably supported by Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar, while Harbhajan Singh and the recalled Piyush Chawla will provide thrust in the spin department.

Still capable of beating the world's best, India are equally capable of losing matches they should not lose.

Six hitters: Mahendra Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh

Death bowler extraordinaire: Ashish Nehra

Toe-cruncher: Zaheer Khan

Spin to win: Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla

Best fielder: Suresh Raina

One to watch : Rohit Sharma

What happened in 2009?: Super Eights

Squad: Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan, Murali Vijay

Will Porterfield

Ireland secured their second World Twenty20 appearance with a defeat against Afghanistan in the qualifier finals, so not too many tears were shed in Dubai in February.

Like their football team, Ireland are solid if unspectacular. The fireworks at the top of the order are provided by Niall O'Brien, the diminutive Northants left-hander with the ability to clear the ropes with a flick of the wrists.

Brother Kevin can clear the ropes with ease, as can Paul Stirling, a strapping 19-year-old on the books with Middlesex who smashed 84 against Kenya in only his fourth one-day international.

Former West Indies opener Phil Simmons has turned them into a slick fielding unit while the experience of Trent Johnston and the sharp pace of Boyd Rankin lead the bowling attack.

Ever-improving, but not still not enough to make the semi-finals.

Six hitters: Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien

Death bowler extraordinaire: Trent Johnston

Toe-cruncher: Boyd Rankin

Spin to win: George Dockrell

One to watch : Paul Stirling

What happened in 2009?: Super Eights

Squad: William Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Gary Kidd, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson (wk).

Daniel Vettori

The enigma that is the always fancied, never-quite-delivered New Zealand could make as many compelling reasons for why they will win their second ICC tournament as why they won't.

From their seven Twenty20 matches in the past 12 months, the Black Caps have twice beaten Sri Lanka, twice lost to Pakistan and beaten Australia and Bangladesh, along with one tie.

Varied to say the least. This year sees Shane Bond return to give the bowling attack a vital injection of pace, while Martin Guptill has matured at the top of the order.

Skipper Daniel Vettori remains the most effective one-day spinner in Twenty20 cricket and, throw in Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Jacob Oram and Ross Taylor, you have a team very capable of winning the tournament. Or not.

Six hitters: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Jacob Oram

Death bowler extraordinaire: Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori

Toe-cruncher: Shane Bond

Spin to win: Daniel Vettori

Best fielder: Ross Taylor

One to watch : Tim Southee

What happened in 2009?: Super Eights

Squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Aaron Redmond, Jacob Oram, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Rob Nicol, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Shane Bond, Ian Butler.

Shahid Afridi
With more twist and turns and back-stabbing politics than an episode of The Thick Of It, Pakistan cricket sunk to its lowest nadir in March.

Out have gone World Twenty20-winning captain Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, banned indefinitely, while Rana Naved and Shoaib Malik are suspended for 12 months following the Pakistan Cricket Board's investigations into the internal wranglings which decimated the abysmal tour to Australia at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, new captain Shahid Afridi, and the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran, were all been placed on probation. You just can't make this stuff up.

But, even without their two most experienced batsman, Pakistan still have the strength in depth to defend their title in the Caribbean.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, the joint leading wicket-taker in England last year, remains, while the free-flowing Umar, with the revitalised Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq and "Boom Boom" Afridi could tear any bowling attack to shreds at a moment's notice.

A shoulder injury has deprived Pakistan of fast bowler Umar Gul, arguably the best death bowler in world cricket, as well as the experience of Yasir Arafat.

But don't even bother predicting how they will perform - not even the Pakistani players have a clue.

Six hitters: Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal

Death bowler extraordinaire: Mohammad Aamer

Toe-cruncher: Mohammad Aamer

Spin to win: Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi

Best fielder: Fawad Alam

One to watch : Umar Akmal

What happened in 2009?: Winners

Squad: Shahid Afridi (capt), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Khalid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Hammad Azam, Kamran Akmal (wk),Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal.

Graeme Smith

Always the perennial bridesmaid whenever an ICC tournament rolls into town, the South Africans are long overdue their moment of glory.

Knocked off their double perch as the world's best Test and one-day team this year, a World Twenty20 title would pacify the restless authorities.

The spine of the team remains as robust and intimidating as ever; Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn.

And in between are the boundary-clearing antics of Albie Morkel and Herschelle Gibbs, as well as the newer, greener faces of Rory Kleinveldt and Juan Theron - two more to roll off the infinite all-round conveyor belt.

Their talented is undoubted - their ability to deliver at the highest stage is not.

Six hitters: Albie Morkel, AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs

Death bowler extraordinaire: Juan Theron, Albie Morkel

Toe-cruncher: Dale Steyn

Best fielder: AB de Villiers

Spin to win: Roleof van der Merwe, Johan Botha

One to watch : Rory Kleinveldt

What happened in 2009?: Semi-finals

Squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis (vice-captain), Lungile "Loots" Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Roelof van der Merwe.

Kumar Sangakkara

Despite the loss of Chaminda Vaas, last year's beaten finalists boast the most experienced line-up in the tournament.

Although the tournament is likely to be Muttiah Muralitharan's last, the experience of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga is balanced by the relative inexperience of off-spinner Suraj Randiv, along with the uncapped pair Dinesh Chandimal and Thissara Perera.

And the man who masterminded their 1996 World Cup win, Sanath Jayasuriya, is still smashing sixes to all parts of the park - even at the ripe old age of 40.

Still smarting after last year's defeat in the final at Lord's, the Sri Lankans have match-winners sprinkled all over the line-up.

Six hitters: Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak

Death bowler extraordinaire: Muttiah Muralitharan

Toe-cruncher: Lasith Malinga

Best fielder: Tillakaratne Dilshan

Spin to win: Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Suraj Randiv

What happened in 2009?: Finalists

Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Chanaka Welagedara, Chamara Kapugedara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chinthaka Jayasinghe.

Chris Gayle
Although not quite on the same scale as the Pakistani implosion, West Indies have suffered from the effects of internal politicking to the detriment of their on-field results.

An uneasy detente has seen the likes of Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jerome Taylor and Denesh Ramdin return, along with a recall for Wavell Hinds, who made his one and only Twenty20 appearance more than four years ago.

But West Indies boast the discovery of the year - the raw, unnerving pace of Kemar Roach who, along with Darren Sammy, remain from the "B" team that surrendered so meekly in the Test series defeat at home to Bangladesh last year.

Much will depend on Chris Gayle's mood - if he wants it, he is impossible to stop. And Kieron Pollard is a solid all-round unit, persuading Mumbai Indians to shell out $750,000 for his services.

Last year's tournament, where they reached the semi-finals, showcased their potential, but a huge question mark hangs over their temperament.

Six hitters: Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard

Death bowler extraordinaire: Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard

Toe-cruncher: Kemar Roach

Spin to win: Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller

Best fielder: Dwayne Bravo

What happened in 2009?: Semi-finals

Squad: Chris Gayle (capt), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Fletcher, Wavell Hinds, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.

Prosper Utseya
From its lowest ebb, Zimbabwe cricket is slowly reacquainting itself with international cricket.

The introduction of Alan Butcher as coach, along with the return of experienced players like wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, spinner Ray Price and all-rounder Andy Blignaut has given the African nation a much-needed boost.

The slower Caribbean pitches will suit Zimbabwe's slow bowling attack, offering plenty of variety through left-armer Price, leggie Graeme Cremer and off-spinners Greg Lamb, who has prospered since returning to his homeland after five seasons with Hampshire, and skipper Prosper Utseya.

Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura can hit a long ball while Charles Coventry, who recently lost his record for the highest one-day international individual score to Sachin Tendulkar, has the potential to dent the better bowling attacks in world cricket.

Zimbabwe will draw strength from their shock victory over Australia in the 2007 tournament, but they will struggle to beat New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Six hitters: Charles Coventry, Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura

Death bowler extraordinaire: Andy Blignaut

Toe-cruncher: Andy Blignaut

Spin to win: Ray Price, Greg Lamb, Prosper Utesya, Graeme Cremer

Best fielder: Graeme Cremer

One to watch: Charles Coventry

What happened in 2009?: Did not play

Squad: Prosper Utseya (capt), Brendan Taylor (wk), Charles Coventry, Andy Blignaut, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Greg Lamb, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Ray Price, Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Chris Mpofu, Timycen Maruma, Craig Ervine.

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see also
ICC World Twenty20 2010 squads
26 Mar 10 |  Cricket
First two World Twenty20s in photos
26 Apr 10 |  Cricket
Pakistan power to Twenty20 glory
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
India win dramatic Twenty20 final
24 Sep 07 |  Cricket

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