Mitchell Starc says he has a "pretty good relationship" with Justin Langer after the former Australia head coach denied a rift between himself and the players.

Langer this week accused sources who leaked stories to the media during his time in charge of the national team of being "cowards".

Speaking on the Back Chat podcast, the ex-Australia opening batter bemoaned a lack of honest feedback given by his players before he ended his reign in February.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley responded by expressing his disappointment with Langer for "unfairly criticising" the players.

Speaking ahead of Australia's first Test against West Indies at Optus Stadium in Perth, which starts next Wednesday, paceman Starc revealed he has no problem with Langer.

"I have a pretty good relationship with Langer," he stated. "We exchanged text messages post the [T20] World Cup. I'm pretty comfortable with my relationship with JL.

"[It] was mentioned that there could be some noise around [this Test], obviously being in the west, [but] we're comfortable. [We] spend a lot of time together as a three-format group.

"It's all preparation for this Test match. Not too much is going to distract us. I'm sure we'll see [Langer] at the ground and throughout the summer."

 

Justin Langer has rubbished talk of a rift between himself and the Australia team as he likened the players to "younger brothers".

Langer stepped down in February after overseeing Australia's first T20 World Cup triumph and an Ashes hammering of England on home soil.

The former opener has been back in the spotlight following his comments on the Back Chat podcast, accusing sources who leaked stories to the media during his reign of being "cowards" with agendas.

Langer also bemoaned a lack of honest feedback given by players while he was in charge of the team.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley responded by expressing his disappointment with Langer for "unfairly criticising" the players.

The ex-Australia batter had his say once again in a West Australian column, stating he has not fallen out with the players.

"This rubbish dialogue of me fighting with the current team must stop. Simply because it is not true," Langer wrote.

"They are my friends. They are like my younger brothers. Anything said to the contrary is false.

"For four years we drank, ate, celebrated, strategised and lived together. We fought back from 'sandpaper gate' and Covid together and we won the T20 World Cup and Ashes together."

Langer made it clear he has no issue with captain Pat Cummins.

"For the record, I am a great admirer of Pat Cummins. Not only is he an outstanding cricketer but he is also a very good human being," he said.

"Would I have liked him to have backed me more publicly towards the end of my time as coach? Of course, I would. Who wouldn't?"

He added: "Was it always perfect? No, it wasn't? What business, what team is always perfect?

"I have never met a leader who is every single person's cup of tea. Again, that's life.

"And I accept my four years with the team had to come to an end. It's just a shame it happened like it did. But now, it's time to move on."

Luke Wright has been appointed as England men's selector after calling time on his playing career.

Former England all-rounder Wright will input into all England men’s squads and team selections from senior teams to Lions and Young Lions. 

The 37-year-old will share responsibility of selections with coaches, captains, England men's managing director Rob Key, performance director Mo Bobat and player ID lead David Court.

Alec Stewart was among the other names linked with the role, but the former England captain reportedly this week ruled himself out of the running.

Wright has been involved in the New Zealand set-up and will take up his new position in March after finishing his coaching duties with Auckland Cricket, having played his last game for Sussex in June.

Wright said: "It's a huge honour and privilege to take on this role, one that I am incredibly excited about. With the Ashes and ICC Men’s 50-over World Cup next year, I can't wait to get started and try to contribute after what has been a fantastic year for England men’s cricket."

Key stated: "Off the back of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup win and a successful summer for our men's Test team, I'm delighted that Luke will be joining as England selector.

"With his significant experience of playing in England and overseas as well as his in-depth knowledge of county cricket, he will be an important voice in squad selection while also helping to identify the next generation of England stars.

"It’s an exciting time for England men’s cricket, but with the Ashes and the ICC Men’s 50-over World Cup next year there is a lot of hard work ahead if we are to build upon what has been an exciting year."

Suryakumar Yadav struck 111 not out off 51 balls to guide India to a 65-run victory over New Zealand in Sunday's second T20I at Bay Oval.

The sides were foiled by rain in the opening game of their three-match series without a ball being bowled, but India deservedly came out on top in Mount Maunganui.

Suryakumar hit seven sixes and 11 fours to further underline why he is the world's top-ranked T20 batter, while Ishan Kishan chipped in with 36 as India's next highest scorer.

The Men in Blue reached 191-6 and New Zealand fell well short as they were skittled for 126 in the 19th over, with skipper Kane Williamson (61) supplying almost half their runs.

Rain at times threatened the contest, with India 50-1 in the seventh over when players were forced off the field, but play resumed and India wasted no time in wrapping things up.

Spinner Deepak Hooda starred with the ball by taking 4-10 off 2.5 overs, including the last three scalps in the space of four balls.

India shake off World Cup blues

India suffered T20 World Cup semi-final disappointment last week, as did opponents New Zealand, but they bounced back with this well-earned victory.

They have now won each of their past four T20Is with New Zealand, including each of the past four, making this their best ever winning run against the Black Caps in the format.

Southee flourish not enough

Tim Southee gave New Zealand some hope when removing skipper Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar and Deepak in the final over for his second career hat-trick.

But the damage had already been done by Suryakumar, who raced to a 49-ball hundred en route to 111 in his latest dazzling display with the bat.

New Zealand and India were foiled by rain in Wellington as the opening game in their three-match T20I series was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The teams, both beaten in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup last week, were looking to start afresh at Sky Stadium on Friday.

However, persistent rain meant there was no prospect of play, with the first action in the series now set to take place on Sunday at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

The tourists have rested captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for this series, while New Zealand have won their past four multi-game bilateral T20I series and will attempt to extend that to five for the first time.

India were the last team to beat New Zealand in such a series, achieving a 3-0 success a year ago.

New Zealand and India will attempt to put the disappointment of failing to win the T20 World Cup behind them when they start a three-match T20i series on Friday.

England hammered India by 10 wickets at the semi-final stage before beating Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday to lift the trophy for a second time.

The Black Caps missed out once again when they lost to Pakistan in the semi-final, having been runners-up to Australia in Dubai last year.

India will be without captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for three matches against New Zealand in the shortest format, as the experienced trio have been given a post-World Cup rest.

Hardik Pandya will skipper the tourists, with VVS Laxman filling in as head coach as Rahul Dravid is also absent.

Laxman wants to see the India players express themselves in a series that gets under way at Westpac Stadium

He said: "It is important to be flexible. I think in T20 cricket, you are required to express yourself and that is when you will be successful. I think T20 cricket has shown us over the years that the more amount of multi-dimensional players you have, the better for the team.

"You have bowlers who can bat, and batters who can bowl, and that is the way forward. That has already been proven in T20 cricket, the more number of bowlers who can bat will add depth to the team and it allows a lot of freedom for the batters to express themselves.

"That is the need for the format and I am sure more and more teams will try to get that into their selection process and identify players who are multi-dimensional players."

New Zealand have won their past four multi-game bilateral T20I series and will attempt to extend that to five for the first time, with India being the last team to beat them in a series with a 3-0 success a year ago.

 

No Boult to strike for Black Caps

Trent Boult was not included in the New Zealand squad after a request to be released from his central contract was accepted in August.

They still possess a strong attack in his absence, with Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson set to be unleashed and Adam Milne back in the fold along with Blair Tickner

Experienced opener Martin Guptill was overlooked once again, with Finn Allen keeping his spot at the top of the order.

 

India need Pant back to his explosive best

Rishabh Pant only played twice in the World Cup, making three against Zimbabwe before falling for only nine in the crushing semi-final loss at the hands of England.

Dinesh Karthik had been preferred to Pant, but the experienced wicketkeeper-batter is not in the squad to face New Zealand.

Pant is only 30 runs short of becoming 11th player to score 1,000 runs for India in men’s T20Is and India will need him to explode into life.

Kane Williamson will continue to represent New Zealand in all three formats despite his T20I future being questioned following the Black Caps' World Cup exit earlier this month.

Williamson captained his country on their run to the last four at the tournament in Australia, where they suffered a seven-wicket loss to eventual runners-up Pakistan.

That defeat represented the latest tournament shortfall for New Zealand, who also lost last year's T20 World Cup final to Australia and finished as runners-up to England in 2019's 50-over World Cup.  

At the age of 32, Williamson accepts he must manage his workload, but he will not follow the lead of international team-mate Trent Boult by being selective regarding which formats he plays.

"I love all the formats, for different reasons. In fact, playing the three and changing between them is a challenge that is enjoyable," Williamson told ESPNcricinfo. 

"But having said that, there is a balance to strike in terms of just general volume [of cricket], and that's important.

"Everybody is a little bit challenged by that, certainly some of the players that may have done it for a long time, and you're always looking to be clear with that direction – to stay fresh and focused on what is most important with your involvement in any team." 

World Test champions New Zealand have finished as runners-up at three World Cups across the two shortened formats since 2015, but Williamson is not thinking about the prospect of a transitional period as the country's golden generation comes to an end.

"You sort of hope that whilst you're here, and trying to do as well as you can as a team with all the other individuals involved, that there's a real effort to try and grow the game," he added.

"To try and play your role to the best of your ability, to try and improve as much as you can as a player, hopefully that sort of adds to the depth of cricket that we have.

"Focusing on what's in front of you is what's really important, and in years to come there'll be transition, or there's perhaps transition a little bit earlier – that's always there.

"That's always happening in professional sport, and whoever the next group or crop are, I'm sure they'll have a lot of motivation to want to get better as a team and go even further as a side."

New Zealand will look to bounce back from their World Cup exit when they host the first of three T20Is against India on Friday, with that series being swiftly followed by three ODI meetings. 

Trent Boult has been left out of New Zealand's white-ball squads to face India after the selectors gave the priority to contracted players.

The Black Caps left-arm quick made the bold choice to terminate his central contract in August, allowing him more time to focus on family life and franchise cricket.

New Zealand selected the 33-year-old for the T20 World Cup, where they lost in the semi-finals to Pakistan, but he will not come up against India in the upcoming ODI and Twenty20 International encounters.

"When Trent opted out of his NZC contract in August, we indicated that priority would be given to those players with either central or domestic contracts, and that's been the case here," Black Caps head coach Gary Stead said.

"We're all aware of Trent's world-class ability, but at this time – as we build towards more global events, we want to give opportunities and experiences to others."

New Zealand start their three-match T20I series against India on Friday, with a trio of ODIs to follow after, and opted for 23-year-old opener Finn Allen instead of the experienced Martin Guptill.

Allen is far from inexperienced, though, with five half-centuries and a hundred in his 23 T20Is and eight 50-over internationals for New Zealand.

"The emergence and success of Finn at the top of the order in white-ball cricket means a guy of the class of Martin Guptill misses out – that's just the nature of high-performance sport." Stead added.

"With the 50-over World Cup less than a year away we're keen to give Finn every opportunity to keep gaining ODI experience, especially against quality opposition such as India.

"The message to both those players is that there's a lot of international cricket ahead and the door is certainly not closed to them."

Adam Milne was another notable inclusion in Stead's squad as the 30-year-old eyes a first ODI appearance since 2017.

Tim Southee and Matt Henry will feature solely in the 50-over format, while Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner make up the rest of the pace-bowling department for Kane Williamson's side.

New Zealand squad in full:

Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry (ODI), Tom Latham (ODI) (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (T20), Tim Southee, Blair Tickner (T20)

England limited-overs coach Matthew Mott hopes he can lure Ben Stokes out of ODI retirement ahead of the Cricket World Cup in 2023.

Star all-rounder Stokes called an end to his 50-over international career in July as he suggested the workload amid a packed schedule was "unsustainable" alongside his Test captaincy.

The 31-year-old did not bow out of the shortest format, though, and proved his white-ball worth with a vital 52 not out in Sunday's T20 World Cup final victory over Pakistan.

Stokes became just the third player to score 50-plus runs in finals of both an ODI World Cup and a T20 World Cup, having starred against New Zealand in the dramatic Lord's showpiece in 2019.

England are the first side to boast duel limited-overs titles at the same time, and Mott hopes he can convince Stokes to return to defend their ODI crown in India next year.

"When he spoke to me about his ODI retirement, one of the first things I said was that I'd back any decision he made," Mott told Sky Sports.

"He didn't necessarily have to retire, he could just not play 50 overs for a while. I did say 'you could always un-retire'. It's his decision. He'll do what's right for English cricket and he always has.

"It's going to be a World Cup year and we don't play much T20 cricket for a while but it will be a decision that's up to him. The more we can get him is great. He's a world-class player.

"He's doing an amazing job with the Test captaincy but he is a very big cog in the wheel when he comes back to white ball. I can't speak more highly of the way he's been around this group."

Stokes and Sam Curran, who took the second-most wickets by a pace bowler (13) at an edition of the T20 World Cup, both delivered on the biggest stage for England.

But Mott also pinpointed the influential figures of Reece Topley and Jonny Bairstow, who both missed the tournament in Australia due to injury.

"Reece Topley was a big part of our preparation for here," the Australian added. "I was absolutely gutted for him, such an innocuous injury. Seeing him leave our group was hard.

"I must admit he was one of the first blokes I thought of (after England's win) – and Jonny as well.

"Those guys, it's hard for them when you prepare so much to do something like this, and they don't come round that often, to have to miss that opportunity is heartbreaking."

England's success Down Under could be somewhat credited to Australia, though, given Mott was partnered by Mike Hussey and David Saker in his coaching setup.

"Players make coaches, coaches don't make players at this level," Mott continued "There's no doubt it was a real advantage in Australia to have some Australian coaches around.

"A lot of people just said I got my mates in to do the role. But both of those appointments were suggested by players within our group and had worked with both of them before."

Ben Stokes has earned the right to be called an England great after the "once-in-a-generation player" guided Jos Buttler's side to T20 World Cup glory.

That was the message from former England seamer Ryan Sidebottom, who was speaking to Stats Perform after Stokes' 52 not out saw sealed a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in Sunday's final.

The all-rounder came to the crease at the MCG with England 32-2 in their pursuit of 138, but produced a well-crafted innings to record his first T20I half-century on the biggest occasion.

Sidebottom labelled the Test captain as one of England's best players off all time after Stokes became just the third player to score 50-plus runs in both an ODI World Cup and T20 World Cup final.

Asked whether Stokes was now an England legend, Sidebottom said: "I would say so, most definitely. He's probably got to be.

"He could be called Sir Ben Stokes at some stage, but I think he's done it so many times now you can't argue with that.

"With what he's done in the key moments under pressure, he's the man to do it. You have a once-in-a-generation player and when the big occasion comes around, more often than not, he turns up.

"He turns it on, and it makes things happen. Look at the Ashes and the 2019 World Cup. It's almost crazy to say this, but it's almost like he's just playing a regular game in the park.

"He doesn't worry about the situation, or what type of game he's playing in. I think he's just saying, 'I'm out here. I'm just going to play my game. And I'll see us over the line'.

"Once you strip it all back and you keep it very simple, it certainly changes how you play as a player – he's been phenomenal."

Stokes suffered T20 World Cup final heartbreak in 2016 when Carlos Brathwaite smashed him for four successive sixes to win the competition for West Indies.

Sidebottom says the honesty and professionalism of Stokes to respond to that setback is what sets him apart from the rest.

"Having played a professional sport, there's always highs and lows," he added. "There's always negatives, there's always days when it doesn't go your way and maybe your opposition number gets the better of you or you just have a bad day out.

"You'll either learn from that, or you can sulk about it and let it affect you. What Ben Stokes has done after that World Cup final, since then, he has never ever looked back. 

"The things that we've sort of seen away from the cricket, we've all done stupid things. We've all done things that we regret or we didn't mean to do, you grow and mature and he's done that.

"He's done his time. He's been open and honest. With his mental health issues and everything like that. Then his cricket has improved immensely and he's turned himself into a mighty fine cricketer."

Stokes has become accustomed to playing the hero for England in recent years, most notably in the victorious 2019 Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand and in the Ashes at Headingley in the same year.

The calm manner in which Stokes goes about his business is another key facet Sidebottom pinpointed, with his demeanour helping England rally to four straight wins to seal their second T20 World Cup crown.

"Ben Stokes is that calming influence, he doesn't panic. He's very level-headed and I think with someone like him, it runs through the team," Sidebottom continued.

"When you've got a player like that with his stature, when he's so calm at the crease, it certainly goes through the team.

"And the team say, 'we don't need to panic, we can easily win this game.' It showed in the final and in the semi-final.

"It also showed in the Sri Lanka game where it was getting very close. Ben Stokes didn't panic. The whole team are just accustomed now to playing in big tournaments and used to being under pressure a lot more."

Moeen Ali has bemoaned a "horrible" schedule that will see England start an ODI series against Australia four days after winning the T20 World Cup.

Jos Buttler's side became the first team to be both T20I and 50-over world champions at the same time with a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final at the MCG on Sunday.

After playing seven World Cup matches in a period of just over three weeks, England will remain in Australia for a three-match ODI series that starts at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

Moeen is among nine members of the T20 World Cup squad who will face Australia, but the all-rounder feels they should be taking some hard-earned time off.

"It's been happening for a while," he said. "As a group we want to enjoy and celebrate and have that time because you put so much into it as well. It's not just while the tournament is going on, there's the pre-tournament, the build-up and all that.

"Having a game in three days' time, it's horrible. As players we're kind of getting used to it now. But to give 100 per cent all the time is difficult when you're playing every two, three days.

"We have to do it and while we're here we might as well do it, it would be better than going back and then having to come back out another time."

England white-ball head coach Matthew Mott also feels the schedule is asking a lot of the players.

"We always saw that series as being something that we will have to be really professional about," said Mott.

"Cricket is a funny game: we have long breaks off in the white-ball game but when we're on, we're on. We've got to enjoy this victory, they don't come around very often so there'll be no disguising the fact that we will enjoy this.

"But come game day, we've got to turn up and make sure we put out a great effort. For the white-ball team in particular, we get through those three games and then there's a long break. So that'll be the time to properly let the hair down and enjoy it, but the schedule is the schedule and we've got to move with it."

Pakistan paceman Shaheen Afridi has been advised to undergo a fortnight of rehabilitation after limping out of the T20 World Cup final defeat against England.

It was feared Afridi may have suffered a recurrence of a knee injury that kept him out for three months prior to the tournament in Australia.

The left-arm quick left the field at the MCG on Sunday after landing awkwardly while catching Harry Brook.

Afridi was sorely missed as Ben Stokes' unbeaten half-century ensured England became the first team to be world champions in the 50-over format and the shortest format at the same time.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday revealed there were no signs of an injury for Afridi, so the fast bowler could be fit for the first Test against England that starts on December 1.

A PCB statement said: "Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been advised two-week rehabilitation after he landed awkwardly while taking Harry Brook's catch during Sunday’s ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 final in Melbourne.

"The scan conducted on Monday morning prior to the team’s departure for Pakistan, has confirmed there were no signs of an injury and the knee discomfort was likely "due to a forced knee flexion whilst landing".

"The scans were discussed between PCB’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Najeebullah Soomro, and Australian knee specialist, Dr Peter D'Alessandro, and it was reassuring to know that there was no injury. The left-arm fast bowler is feeling better and is in high spirits.

"Shaheen will undergo rehabilitation and conditioning programme that has been designed to strengthen his knee at the National High Performance Centre few days after his return to Pakistan.

"Shaheen's return to international cricket will be subject to the champion fast bowler’s successful completion of the rehabilitation programme and following go-aheads by the medical staff."

Afridi bowled Alex Hales in the first over of England's run chase but was only able to fire down 13 deliveries before making an early exit as Jos Buttler's side won by five wickets.

Eoin Morgan declared England can be "regarded as one of the great sides" after T20 World Cup glory at the MCG on Sunday.

Former limited-overs England captain Morgan skippered his side to Cricket World Cup 50-over success in 2019, before falling short in the semi-finals of the T20 edition of the world competition in 2021.

The 36-year-old stepped down from his role in June, allowing Jos Buttler to take charge of the white-ball sides, and England triumphed in their captain's first tournament at the helm.

A five-wicket victory with six balls remaining over Pakistan in the final means England are now dual white-ball world champions, with Morgan suggesting Buttler's side have cemented their place in history.

"This team deserves it," Morgan said on Sky Sports. "They've been through the mill in the group stages and they've produced close to their very best against India in the semi-final.

"Jos Buttler said, 'We don't want to be known as a team just for our style of play'. We were known like that in 50 overs then won the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

"In T20 they've now won something tangible to be regarded as one of the great sides. They were excellent."

Ben Stokes, as has been the case across multiple formats in recent years, proved to be the hero with an unbeaten 52, seeing England over the line after they were reeling at 45-3 chasing 138.

From Headingley in the Ashes in 2019, to his Lord's heroics in the Cricket World Cup final earlier that year, Morgan heralded Stokes as the man for the big occasion.

"Ben is just such a special player," Morgan added. "In big games he continues to stand up for his country when his country needs him. That is such an incredible skill to have.

"When something has the potential to go awry, Ben is the guy that thinks coolly and calmly under pressure and makes brilliant decisions. He's done it so many times now.

"At certain stages of my captaincy I did take it [Stokes' role] for granted because he continued to be able to produce under pressure all the time.

"He always wants to be in the game and is that player who continually nags you to get in the high-pressure moments. It's a complete luxury to have a guy like Ben Stokes at your disposal."

While Stokes became just the third player to score 50-plus runs in both an ODI World Cup and T20 World Cup final (also Gautam Gambhir and Kumar Sangakkara), Sam Curran played an important role.

Left-arm seamer Curran picked up 1-12 from his four overs, marking his 13th scalp of the tournament – the second-most by a pacer in any single edition of the tournament (Dirk Nannes - 14 wickets in 2010).

"It [Curran's World Cup performance] is extraordinary," Morgan continued. "He really has been a find in all parts of the game. Jos Buttler has brought him on in the powerplay, used him through the middle and the biggest plus has been his death bowling.

"He has really stood up and bowled with a huge amount of skill and clarity. To produce in a World Cup final is extraordinary from someone that young. When his team needed him, Sam Curran did it today."

Jos Buttler labelled Ben Stokes the "ultimate competitor" after his first T20I half-century saw England beat Pakistan to win the T20 World Cup at the MCG.

Chasing a target of 138 after bowling first, England captain Buttler had hit 26 from 17 deliveries himself but departed with his team still needing 93 more runs.

After a slow start, Stokes eventually took the game to Pakistan along with Moeen Ali (19 from 12). Stokes then hit the winning run to end on an unbeaten 52 from 49 balls.

There were five fours and a six in that knock, which finished with the final ball of the 19th over.

"He's the ultimate competitor in anything he does," Buttler said at the post-match presentation.

"He's got a hell of a lot of experience to bank on, he can take a lot on his shoulders. He timed it perfectly, that impetus he and Moeen Ali had at that phase of the game just took it away from Pakistan."

Speaking to Sky Sports after the presentation, Buttler was asked if he had been comfortable leaving Stokes at the crease after his own dismissal.

"I was comfortable after 10 overs, and then I said to someone: 'If he played like that in a Test match, he'd drop himself'," Buttler joked. "He managed to get it done in the end."

Buttler shared the praise around, with England's success scarcely seeming imaginable after a Super 12 loss to Ireland.

"To be able to win the T20 World Cup, I'm just immensely proud of everyone here," he said. "It's been a long journey and a few changes of how we've played over the last few years, and we're reaping the rewards of that.

"It's been a fantastic tournament. We've been away for a long time; we went to Pakistan before coming here, which was a really valuable time for the group.

"This felt a long way away after the Ireland match, but the character we've shown from that point on in must-win games has been amazing."

England limited Pakistan to 137-8 from their 20 overs, with the turning point coming at the start of the 12th over when Adil Rashid (2-22) caught and bowled Babar Azam for 32 before completing a maiden over.

"Absolutely that was a huge swing in the game, that was a fantastic over from Adil," Buttler said. "The last three games especially, he's been outstanding for us. He's always been the guy that we've thrown the ball to to make things happen.

"It certainly wasn't easy, we managed to get away to a decent start, which controlled the run rate. We bat deep as well, which gave us a lot of options and trust."

The T20 World Cup could be shared between Pakistan and England if weather forecasts are to be believed.

The final of the tournament is scheduled to take place at the MCG on Sunday after Pakistan beat New Zealand and England overcame India in the semi-finals.

However, according to the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, there is a 95 per cent chance of rain in Melbourne on Sunday, with predicted rainfall of up to 25mm and chances of thunderstorms.

Should no play be possible on Sunday, the final could take place on Monday, though that forecast is not much better with rain again deemed likely.

At least 10 overs per team are required to complete a final – up from five overs in the group stage – the failure of which would see the strange occurrence of Pakistan and England being crowned joint champions.

In what has been an otherwise exciting tournament, it would be the fourth match lost to rain at the iconic MCG, which saw three matches washed out by the weather in the group stage, including England's clash with hosts Australia.

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