A look at the teams and star players for the World Twenty20

West indies cricketer Chris Gayle relaxes on ground as former fast bowler and bowling coach Curtley Ambrose, second right, gestures during a training session prior to their practice match of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket tournament in Kolkata, India, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)

The sixth edition of the World Twenty20 tournament will be hosted by India and feature 10 teams in the main group stage, including qualifiers Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The five previous tournaments have been won by five different countries, with no team crowned champion on home soil.

Here's a look at teams in the two groups. There are two big traditional derbies in Group 2, which features India and Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand.


Team: England

Group opponents: South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Afghanistan

World T20 record: 2007-2nd Round, 2009-2nd Round, 2010-Champions, 2012-2nd Round, 2014-2nd Round

Strength: Batting

Weakness: Inexperienced bowling attack.

Players to watch:

Alex Hales – One of the only four batsmen along with Virat Kohli (India), Martin Guptill (New Zealand) and Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan) to score more than 1,000 runs in T20 international over the last four years. England will be banking on Hales to produce big innings consistently to give the inexperienced bowlers enough runs to defend on slow wickets. Hales has scored 1,154 runs from 39 T20 internationals, including an unbeaten 116 against Bangladesh two years ago.

Eoin Morgan -The most experienced T20 batsman in the England squad. He has an impressive strike-rate of 133.16 in 55 Twenty20s and scored 1,333 runs. Left-handed Morgan uses his feet well against spinners, and plays the unconventional reverse sweep with ease against the spinners.

Team: South Africa

World T20: `07-2nd Round, `09-3rd Place, `10-2nd Round, `12-2nd Round, `14-4th Place

Strength: Batting

Weakness: Playing spin.

Players to watch:

AB de Villiers – One of the most gifted batsmen in cricket, with a vast array of shots. A swift mover on the field, de Villiers can take incredible catches and save crucial runs. De Villiers needs to be at the forefront if South Africa is to have any hope of shaking the ''chokers'' tag. The South Africans have never won a World Cup in cricket, and its best run in the T20 format was a third place finish in England in '09.

Dale Steyn – The paceman has taken 57 wickets in 39 T20 internationals at a miserly average of 15.98, numbers which reflect his ability to torment batsmen on any type of surface in the shortest format. Steyn also has an impressive economy rate of 6.49, making it difficult for batsmen to go after him with the new or old ball.

Team: West Indies

World T20 record: '07-1st Round, '09-4th Place, '10-2nd Round, '12-Champions, '14-3rd Place.

Strength: Power-hitting

Weakness: Bowling depth.

Players to watch:

Chris Gayle – No T20 league is complete without the inclusion of this master blaster in shortest format. Gayle's 87 sixes in T20 internationals leave him four short of New Zealander Brendon McCullum's world record. If Gayle gets his eye in early, no target is beyond West Indies reach.

Darren Sammy – A complete allrounder who can score quick runs in the late overs. Sammy has a healthy strike-rate of 152.02 and has scored 526 runs in 47 Twenty20 internationals. He mixes slow deliveries with his medium pace and can unsettled batsmen. He has 43 wickets in 55 T20 internationals.

Team: Sri Lanka

World T20 record: '07-2nd Round, '09-Finalist, '10-3rd place, '12-Finalist, '14-Champions

Strength: Bowling

Weakness: Batting

Players to watch:

Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka hopes its premier fast bowler gets fit in time to deliver some of the trademark Yorkers and cause trouble for the batsmen. Malinga has been instrumental in Sri Lanka's progress to the semifinals in the previous four editions of World Twenty20. Although Malinga's economy rate is 7.26 per over, he has taken 78 wickets in 62 T20 internationals with an average of 20.28.

Tillakaratne Dilshan: Famous for his ''Dilscoop'' shot over the head of the wicketkeeper, Dilshan has been an integral part of Sri Lanka's batting lineup. In the absence of retired Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, Dilshan holds the key to Sri Lanka's batting strength. His tally of 1,751 runs in 73 T20 internationals is more than double the next-best tally among the Sri Lankan batsmen.

Team: Afghanistan

World T20 record: 2010-1st Round, '12-1st Round, '14-1st Round.

Strength: Batting depth

Weakness: Lack of top-tier international competition.

Players to watch:

Mohammad Shahzad: The bulky opener scored 297 runs in 2015 – the most by any batsman. His ferocious power hitting in the batting powerplay provided Afghanistan rollicking starts in the first-round victories against Scotland, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe. Behind the stumps, Shahzad has a safe pair of hands and offers Afghanistan the flexibility to include an extra bowler to strengthen its bowling attack.

Mohammad Nabi: The most accomplished Afghanistan all-rounder, Nabi can be dangerous with his off-spin bowling on slow wickets. He gives Afghanistan a solid batting option down the order.


Team: India

Group opponents: Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh.

World T20 record: 2007-Champions, `09-2nd Round, `10-2nd Round, `12-2nd Round, '14-Finalists

Strength: Form, confidence and home advantage

Weakness: Pace bowling

Players to watch:

Virat Kohli – The dashing stroke-maker has the best average (72 from 11 innings) of any batsman who has played eight or more World T20 innings. He was the leading scorer in the 2014 edition, with 319 runs at an average of 106.33. He is in strong form, scoring at a rate of 86.8 in the last 16 T20 internationals.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The ever-cool India captain keeps his emotions in check regardless of whether his team is struggling or controlling a game. He can quickly switch game plans according to the match situations and usually reacts with bowling or batting changes in time to counter the plans of an opposition. He can bat anywhere in the order.

Team: Pakistan

World T20 record: '07-Finalist, '09-Champions, `10-4th Place, '12-4th Place, '14-2nd Round

Strength: Balanced bowling attack

Weakness: Unpredictable batting

Players to watch:

Shahid Afridi – The flamboyant Pakistan captain is the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals with 93 wickets in 92 matches. He has played in all the previous five editions of World Twenty20. Afridi has scored 1,315 runs in the shortest format of the game, although his form with the bat has been in decline. Pakistan will be relying heavily on the sharp leg-spin on turning wickets.

Mohammad Amir – The left-arm fast bowler has made a strong comeback since his five-year suspension from international cricket for spot-fixing ended last September. Amir has the potential to trouble top-order batsmen with his sheer pace and the ability to swing the ball both ways. Since his return to competitive cricket, Amir has taken two hat-tricks in Bangladesh Premier League and Pakistan Super League, and also challenged India's strong batting lineup in an Asian Cup league match.

Team: Australia

World T20 record: '07-3rd Place, '09-1st Round, '10-Finalist, '12-3rd place, '14-2nd Round

Strength: Power hitting, fielding

Weakness: Lack of seasoned spinning options

Players to watch:

Glenn Maxwell – His experience in the Indian Premier League could benefit Australia, which is aiming for its first World T20 title. Maxwell's powerful, unconventional hitting against both spin and pace has earned him a strike rate of 159.4 – the best among all batsmen with more than 400 T20 international runs. Setting fields to combat Maxwell's batting arsenal is usually difficult for rival captains.

Shane Watson – An ideal T20 allrounder who not only can bowl a full quota of four overs in the middle, but can score at a rapid pace at the top of the order. Watson has scored 1,324 runs at a strike rate of 144.69 and has also taken 42 wickets at 25.28.

Team: New Zealand

World Twenty20 record: '07-4th Place, '09-2nd Round, '10-2nd Round, '12-2nd Round, '14-2nd Round

Strength: Power-hitting

Weakness: Batting against spinners

Players to watch:

Martin Guptill – Famous for his short-arm pull shot, the New Zealand opener scored four half centuries in his last six T20 internationals against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Kane Williamson: The only New Zealand batsmen who is an automatic selection in all three formats of the game as he switches batting gears with utmost ease. The consistent Williamson is a perfect foil to shield the inability of the lower order against spin on turning wickets. He is fast approaching the 1,000-run mark in T20s after scoring 844 runs in 28 T20s.

Team: Bangladesh

World T20 record: '07-2nd Round, '09-1st Round, '10-1st Round, '12-1st Round, '14-2nd Round

Strength: Batting in subcontinental conditions

Weakness: Fielding

Players to watch:

Tamim Iqbal: The left-handed opener can be brutal against any type of bowling attack. Iqbal has a strike-rate above 100 in T20 internationals and warmed up for the main round opponents with his maiden T20I century against Oman in the last qualifying match.

Shakib Al Hasan: The veteran allrounder's left-arm spin will be more crucial than his batting prowess. He has an economy rate of under 7 runs an over in his 50 T20 internationals, showing his ability to pose a challenge to any batting lineup.