No Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand in Graeme Swann's Top-4 picks for T20 World Cup

Sports Friday 24/May/2024 10:41 AM
No Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand in Graeme Swann's Top-4 picks for T20 World Cup

New Delhi : Former England off-break spinner Graeme Swann picked his top four teams for the highly anticipated T20 World Cup, which is just more than a week away from kicking off in the USA.

England will arrive in the West Indies and the USA to defend their crown in a tournament that is already in the history books before its commencement.

Since the inception of the tournament, this will be the first time the marquee event will feature 20 teams who will fight for World Cup glory.

Swann believes that the four teams that would make their way into the final four would be England, India, the West Indies, and, "unfortunately," England's arch-rival Australia. He chose West Indies, ahead of the likes of Pakistan, South Africa, and New Zealand.

"The top four teams I would go for are India and England, and then Australia, unfortunately, and then the West Indies," Swann told ANI.

In seven months, England will once again step out to defend their crown after their quest went down the slump last year.

During their ODI World Cup title defence in India, England lived through a nightmare. The Three Lions were chasing the shadows of the 2019 winning team throughout the tournament.

They failed to qualify for the knockout stages and ended up in the seventh spot with just six points in nine games. But Swann is optimistic about England's chances of defending their crown in the upcoming edition. The former spinner feels that even though the tag of defending champions is hard to carry, England have a strong squad to rise to the challenge.

"I hope so. Yeah, the last time they won, they played pretty good cricket in Australia. It is a different country to go to, the USA and the West Indies. Different forms of cricket. The pitches are nowhere near as hard and bouncy. So I hope they do well. Defending champions is sometimes a hard tag to carry. Looking at the team, I think they are very strong," Swann added.

The tournament will begin on June 1, with the United States and Canada playing the opener.

England's T20 World Cup defence will begin against Scotland on June 4 at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. They will then play group matches against Australia, Oman, and Namibia in Barbados and Antigua before the Super 8s and knockouts.