Daryl Mitchell will be in the New Zealand squad for the T20 World Cup despite suffering a fractured finger.

The batter was a doubt for the tournament in Australia after breaking the fifth metacarpal on his right hand when he took a blow in the nets last week.

Mitchell was ruled out of the pre-World Cup T20I Tri-Series encounters with Pakistan and Bangladesh but will travel to Australia.

Black Caps head coach Gary Stead revealed Mitchell may not be ready for New Zealand's first match of the tournament against the hosts at the SCG, but he hopes the 31-year-old will face Afghanistan four days later.

"The good news is we have made a decision about Daryl Mitchell, and he will tour with us to the World Cup," Stead said on Monday.

"When we thought about the value Daryl brings to the team and the likely time frame... we are still hopeful he'll be right for the first game but probably more realistically the second game.

"There will still be four pool games to go and then hopefully semi-final and final after that. 

"Daryl has showed the value to this team, and we feel it was the right decision to make."

The Black Caps are monitoring the fitness of fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who has been sidelined with an abdominal injury.

Shreyas Iyer hit a magnificent century as India trounced South Africa by seven wickets in Ranchi to level the ODI series.

South Africa had won the first match by nine runs in Lucknow, after a 2-1 reverse in the preceding T20I series, but India made light work of their chase in Sunday's second tussle between the teams.

Iyer hit 15 fours in his ODI career-best 113 not out, with Ishan Kishan weighing in with 93 as the third-wicket pair put India firmly on course for victory.

A stand of 129 for the third wicket between Reeza Hendricks (74) and Aiden Markram (79) underpinned South Africa's 278-7, with Heinrich Klaasen (30) and David Miller (35no) also making handy contributions lower down the order.

Opening bowler Mohammed Siraj took 3-38 from his 10 overs, including the wickets of Hendricks and opener Quinton de Kock. The paceman bowled the final over of the innings, from which South Africa could only prise three runs, putting the hosts on a high heading into their reply.

India lost openers Shikhar Dhawan, who captained the side, and Shubman Gill before the score reached 50. However, Kishan and Iyer soon took a grip on proceedings, putting on 161 for the third wicket.

Kishan had clubbed seven sixes and went down on the attack, caught by Hendricks while attempting to pull away a delivery from Bjorn Fortuin. 

Sanju Samson joined forces with Iyer, making 29 not out in the supporting role before Iyer chopped away the winning boundary, taking India to a winning score of 282-3 with 4.1 overs to spare.

Get set for Delhi decider

This three-match series will come to a head on Tuesday, before the teams head off to the T20 World Cup. India go there on a high after the batting exploits of Iyer and Kishan.

Kishan might be kicking himself at missing out on a century, with his previous highest score in ODIs having been a modest 59.

Iyer had one previous ODI century, a 103 that he scored against New Zealand in Hamilton in February 2020. In his last six ODIs, he now has one century, four 50-plus scores, and a 44.

Super Siraj

'Death' bowling can be a thankless task, but Siraj showed himself to be a classy finisher as the Proteas were left frustrated. His innings haul gave him his best bowling figures in ODIs, beaten only by his 3-29 against West Indies at Ahmedabad in February of this year.

England's T20 World Cup preparations are on track after an entertaining win by eight runs in the first match of their T20I series against Australia on Sunday.

Openers Jos Buttler (68) and Alex Hales (84) were central to England setting a commanding target of 209 in Perth, with their stand of 132 almost double that of any other partnership for either team.

No one else managed more than 13 for England, but Chris Woakes (13 not out from five) provided a late injection to help them pass 200 and set Australia a significant target.

Australia's response was valiant. David Warner (73) looked sharp, aided by Mitchell Marsh (36) and Marcus Stoinis. During the latter's 35 off just 15 balls, Australia looked to have turned the tide.

Mark Wood (3-34) was key to disrupting Australia's momentum as he claimed the scalps of Stoinis and Warner, though the hosts still went into the final over knowing 16 runs would seal victory.

Matthew Wade's (21) four at the start of the last over stoked hope, but Sam Curran ensured there was no dramatic late turnaround with two wickets in the space of three balls.

Hales a double threat

While Curran played an important part at the end and Buttler gave England's innings some real potency, Hales starred both with the bat and in the field.

Hales' match-high score came from 51 balls as he found a fine balance between power and composure to hang around until the 16th over, while he also made two catches.

Curran repays the faith

Having the ball for the final over was not only a show of faith, but also a real test for Curran – Australia's target of 16 at that point was hardly inconceivable.

But he held his nerve, eventually claiming two wickets and seeing England over the line in an exciting finish to the first of three clashes between the sides.

Matthew Wade says a crushing defeat to England in the last T20 World Cup was a "lightbulb moment" for Australia as the two sides prepare to do battle in a three-match series.

England hammered Australia by eight wickets with 50 balls to spare in the group stage of the T20 World Cup last year, but Aaron Finch's side went on to win the title for the first time.

Australia opted to go with a longer batting line-up after that crushing loss rather than pick five bowlers and reaped the rewards, beating New Zealand in the final.

The holders start the defence of their crown on home soil against the Black Caps at the SCG on October 22, but before then they take on an England side who are among the favourites to dethrone them.

Wicketkeeper-batter Wade feels the manner in which they were dismantled by England was a "turning point".

He said ahead of the opening match of the series at Perth Stadium: "They destroyed us in the World Cup. It was probably a turning point for the way we go about playing T20.

"We had to start to go a little bit harder, especially towards the top and then back end it with seven batters. We stuck to that formula after they destroyed us in the World Cup.

"So we're looking forward to playing them and see whether our game style [continues to work] – since then [it] has changed a little bit and hopefully we can go blow for blow with them.

"We've got seven batters now – we played six batters for a long time … but now we've got the power and we've got the depth of batting that I think you need to go with a team like England. You need to be able to score 200 to beat them on their day."

Captain Jos Buttler returns for a calf injury to lead England and Test skipper Ben Stokes is back after missing the 4-3 series win in Pakistan, but Liam Livingstone (ankle) remains sidelined.

England have won four of the past five T20Is between the two fierce rivals, but Australia have been victorious in seven of the last eight contests on home soil.

 

Smith in the spotlight

Australia completed a 2-0 whitewash of West Indies at The Gabba on Friday, but Steve Smith missed out once again as he fell for 17.

The former captain has not scored a T20I half-century since November 2019 and could do with some runs against England.

With Tim David having staked his claim for a place in the side and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis returning, Smith is in the spotlight.

Hales and Salt battling for opening berth

The return of Buttler at the top of the order means England will have to choose between Alex Hales and Phil Salt for the other opening spot.

Hales made a half-century in his long-awaited England comeback in the first match of the series against Pakistan, but fell for under 20 on three occasions.

Salt blasted a stunning unbeaten 88 from 41 balls in the sixth T20I in Lahore, but it remains to be seen if he will retain his place.

India bowler Deepak Chahar faces a race back to fitness for the T20 World Cup after being ruled out of the final two ODIs against South Africa due to a back injury.

The 30-year-old was absent for the first match of the ODI series on Thursday, which South Africa won by nine runs, after struggling with a back issue in the third T20I against the Proteas earlier in the month.

With the World Cup following in Australia later in October, India have been dealt another injury blow having also lost quick Jasprit Bumrah to injury.

Chahar was named as a reserve for the World Cup, alongside fellow seamer Mohammed Shami, though the extent of the former's injury remains unknown as he heads back to Bengaluru to be monitored.

It is not the first time Chahar has suffered injury problems having already missed six months of action this year due to fitness issues.

All-rounder Washington Sundar has been called up as Chahar's replacement for the remainder of the ODI series in South Africa.

Lockie Ferguson could miss the entire T20I tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh as New Zealand aim to protect the fast bowler's fitness for the T20 World Cup.

The 31-year-old missed last year's World Cup due to a calf tear and, after a minor abdominal injury, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has suggested Ferguson could miss the ongoing tri-series in Christchurch.

The Blackcaps are already without Daryl Mitchell after the batter fractured his hand in training on Friday, while spinner Mitchell Santner will join the squad on Sunday after a paternity break.

"Lockie has a little ab injury at the moment. We're just managing that and the most important thing is we get to the start of the World Cup and Lockie is ready to go," Stead said.

"He's a very, very important cog in our bowling line-up. Unfortunately for him, he missed last year's World Cup with the injury he had then.

"I mean we are mindful of it and we want to make sure that he's right and ready for those early games in the World Cup.

"There is that chance [of him missing the entire tri-series]. We will just see how he responds to treatment over the next few days."

Adam Milne is another Blackcaps bowler to suffer from persistent injury issues, with New Zealand aiming to rebuild the 30-year-old's fitness ahead of the World Cup later this month.

"It's the first time I've had eyes live on Milne at the nets and he looked really good," Stead said.

"We're pleased with what we are seeing there and again he is coming off a reasonably extensive injury break as well, so just managing him and making sure he's right will be the most important thing for us in these four games."

While New Zealand scramble for options in their fast-bowling department, Mitchell hopes to be back in action ahead of the first game of the T20 World Cup against Australia on October 22.

"Obviously, not ideal timing, but we've got some good news around where the fracture is in the hand and the time frame to be ready for the first game in Australia in a couple of weeks' time," Mitchell told Spark Sport on the sidelines of New Zealand's tri-series opener against Pakistan on Saturday.

"We'll do everything we can to try and be ready and fingers crossed that I'll be good to go."

England captain Jos Buttler says he is "100 per cent" fit for the T20I series with Australia after recovering from a calf injury.

Buttler suffered the injury while playing in the Hundred in August and did not take part in England's series win over Pakistan.

But he returns on Sunday against world champions Australia, where they will play three matches ahead of the World Cup.

"I'm back to 100 per cent," Buttler said. "Had a good time in Pakistan rehabbing, probably could have played earlier, but with the World Cup around the corner, it was the right thing to do."

Buttler is expected to open with either Alex Hales or Phil Salt, and he is confident in England's batting capabilities.

"We have great options at the top of the order with guys in really good form in Pakistan," he added.

"They're both excellent options. Whoever I partner with will have a great go at it."

Buttler also revealed that Liam Livingstone is a doubt for the World Cup, starting later this month.

He explained Livingstone is "a little way off at the minute", saying: "Hopefully he'll get back to full fitness before the start of the World Cup."

David Warner made a blistering half-century and Mitchell Starc starred as Australia beat West Indies by 31 runs at The Gabba to seal a 2-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash.

Holders Australia continued their preparations for the T20 World Cup on home soil with another victory in Brisbane on Friday, Warner making 75 off 41 balls and Tim David 42 from just 20 deliveries in their total of 178-7.

The Windies could only muster 147-8 in reply, Starc the pick of the bowlers with 4-20 and Pat Cummins (2-32) taking his 50th Twenty20 International wicket.

Australia will now travel to Perth for the start of a three-match T20I series against England on Sunday, while West Indies will have to come through their first-round group to qualify for a World Cup Super 12 spot.

The excellent Alzarri Joseph (3-21) dismissed Cameron Green in the second over, but Warner and Aaron Finch got Australia up to 45-1 at the end of the powerplay.

Warner raced to his half-century in 30 balls, but was caught and bowled by Odean Smith in the 12th over after captain Finch fell for a scratchy 15.

Glenn Maxwell was run out for only one and Steve Smith (17) was bowled by Joseph, but David cleared the rope three times in a swashbuckling knock to give Australia some impetus before he was trapped lbw by Obed McCoy (2-33).

Kyle Mayers was brilliantly caught and bowled by Starc in the first over of the Windies' run chase, but Johnson Charles and Brandon King steadied the ship with a stand of 50.

Adam Zampa redeemed himself for dropping Charles on two by getting King (23) stumped and Starc returned to see the back of Nicholas Pooran.

An unconvincing knock from Charles (29) was ended by Green as the wickets continued to tumble, Starc doing the bulk of the damage as Akeal Hosein's knock of 25 came with the Windies never really looking like squaring the series.


Warner sets the tone

Opener Warner was outstanding at the top of the order, laying the foundations for a total that proved to be too big for the Windies to chase down.

He demonstrated his great power and sweet timing, striking three sixes and hitting another 10 boundaries as he registered a brilliant 23rd half-century for his country in the shortest format.

Starc fires, Cummins brings up half-century

Australia will be relying on Starc to be firing on all cylinders when they attempt to retain the World Cup and he bowled beautifully in Brisbane, with a mixture of control and variety.

Cummins was more expensive, but the Test captain reached the 50 T20I wickets landmark in his 44th match.

New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell is an injury doubt for the T20 World Cup after fracturing his hand in training on Friday.

Mitchell has been ruled out of the T20 Tri-Series encounters with Pakistan and Bangladesh, having taken a blow on his right hand while batting in the nets.

The 31-year-old has broken his fifth metacarpal and Blacks Caps physio Theo Kapakoulakis confirmed he wear a cast for at least two weeks.

New Zealand will face hosts and holders Australia at the SCG in their first game of the World Cup in a repeat of last year's final on October 22.

Black Caps head coach Gary Stead will not rush into deciding whether Mitchell will fly out with the squad on October 15.

"It's a real shame for Daryl to suffer this injury on the eve of an exciting period of cricket for the side," Stead said.

"Daryl's become a really important player to our T20 unit and we're certainly going to miss his all-round skills and versatility in the Tri-Series.

"With our first game of the World Cup in just over two weeks we need to take some to consider Daryl's recovery timeline and his potential involvement in the tournament."

South Africa all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup with a fractured left thumb.

Pretorius sustained the injury during the Proteas' victory over India in the final match of the T20I series on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old will play no part in the three-match ODI series against India or the upcoming World Cup in Australia.

"The nature of the injury requires surgical intervention and Dwaine will consult the Cricket South Africa designated hand surgeon on arrival in South Africa," Cricket South Africa chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said.

"Normal rehabilitation procedures will follow to ensure he speedily returns to playing cricket."

Pretorius was the joint-highest wicket-taker for South Africa in the T20 World Cup last year.

He is set to be replaced by Marco Jansen or Andile Phehlukwayo, who were named as reserves along with Bjorn Fortuin.

South Africa had already lost batter Rassie van der Dussen due to a fractured finger.

Australia captain Aaron Finch declared his side will continue "tinkering" until the start of the T20 World Cup after starring in a three-wicket win over West Indies on Wednesday.

The Windies set a total of 145-9 before reducing Australia to 58-5 within eight overs on the Gold Coast, but Finch (58) and Matthew Wade (39 not out) led the hosts' successful recovery.

Taking an unfamiliar role at number four in the batting order, Finch moved to within 27 runs of becoming the first Australia batsman to score 3,000 runs in T20I history.

The world champions have experimented with their line-up in recent outings, including when Cameron Green opened during last month's tour of India, and Finch expects that to continue. 

"Both teams were sloppy if they are honest with themselves," he said. "But it's good to get across the line.

"We knew that total would be a challenge on that wicket, we did really well early and they took wickets in the middle.

"It would have been nice to get us over the line, I was trying to target the boundary but mishit one. I didn't like getting the first one in the head, but I really enjoy batting in the middle order. 

"It was just something different, we might change it up in the next match. We are going to keep tinkering with things until we get to the World Cup."

Australia will begin their defence of the World Cup against New Zealand on October 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Rilee Rossouw took the India attack apart with a stunning 48-ball century as South Africa secured a consolation 49-win Twenty20 International run victory.

After a pair of ducks in the opening two matches, Rossouw cracked 100 not out on Tuesday as the Proteas rattled to 227-3, before limiting the hosts to 178 all out at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

India, armed with a 2-0 lead, were seeking to seal a series sweep ahead of three ODIs, but they did not threaten to get near South Africa's total.

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock made 68 from 43 deliveries and shared in a second-wicket stand of 90 with Rossouw, before the latter cut loose, with eight sixes in his maiden T20I ton.

India suffered a wretched start to their reply as they lost Rohit Sharma (0) and Shreyas Iyer (1) inside 10 balls.

From 4-2, they recovered somewhat, stepping up the run rate significantly, but Rishabh Pant (27) and Dinesh Karthik (46) had to keep going to make it competitive. Both were gone by the end of the seventh over, and so in essence was India's hope of victory.

India were seven wickets down by the time they got halfway to their target and a late flurry from the hosts serving essentially as crowd-pleasing batting practice. Lungi Ngidi took 2-51, in the process becoming the sixth South African bowler to reach 50 T20I wickets.

Dwaine Pretorius claimed 3-26 as the tourists finished the series on a high note.

Curious life of Rilee 

Rossouw's ducks in the first two matches of this series were his third and fourth in T20Is, which is hardly ideal considering they were just his 18th and 19th innings in the short format. He has 12 sub-20 scores (including a 19no) in T20Is, but showed his class with a stunning century. It came as a mesmerising rate, with Rossouw topping his previous best of 96 not out, which came against England in Cardiff in July of this year.

A word, too, for De Kock, who passed the 2,000-run mark in T20Is, becoming the second player, after David Miller, to achieve that feat for the Proteas.

Twenty20 20 sets a record

Umesh Yadav's unbeaten knock of 20 was the highest individual score by an Indian batter coming in at number 10 or below in the batting order in men's T20Is. It made ostensibly no difference, but coach Rahul Dravid was seeking runs all the way down the order so would have taken that as a small positive.

Captain Aaron Finch doubts Cameron Green can force his way into Australia's T20 World Cup squad, even if he dazzles in two warm-up games against West Indies this week.

Green was not included when Australia picked their 15-man group five weeks ago.

The impressive form of the 23-year-old since that selection has caught the eye, with two half-centuries in three innings against India last month showcasing his attacking talent.

Yet Finch sees his squad as being settled, with Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis on the way back to full fitness after respective ankle and side strain injuries.

Asked about Green's prospects of playing in the tournament, Finch said: "I'm not sure at the moment – I don't think so."

This is not to say Finch cannot see Green contributing immensely to Australia in the short and long term, but the World Cup decision has been taken.

"It's just one of those things," said Finch. "He had a really good tour of India, it was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting, so he'll get more opportunities.

"He'll get an opportunity at some point in this series. The reason we've carried him is to have an extra bowling resource as well.

"Obviously his batting is exceptional, and he shows a lot with the ball. He keeps developing and he keeps improving every time he gets an opportunity."

David Warner and Mitchell Starc have returned to the Australia ranks after missing the short India series.

Australia have won two of their last three men's T20Is against West Indies (L1), including an eight-wicket victory in their most recent meeting last November.

Wednesday's series opener in Carrara will be the fourth men's T20I between the teams in Australia, and the first since West Indies won the last such game in February 2013, having been beaten in their previous two against the hosts.

Finch, Hazlewood, Cottrell closing on landmarks

There is a landmark for Finch to chase, since he is 85 away from becoming the sixth player to score 3,000 runs in men's T20I history and the first from Australia.

The skipper has struggled against the Windies, however, averaging 19.5 in eight previous T20I innings, with a high score of 53 against the Caribbean side.

West Indies have been pushed into a World Cup squad change after batter Shimron Hetmyer failed to make his intended flight, with Shamarh Brooks promoted to take his place.

Brooks is not yet in Australia, where the coming games will see a pace bowler from each side look to reach 50 wickets in T20I matches.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood is on 49, putting him one away from becoming the third Australian man to reach 50 wickets in the short format, after Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc.

Wednesday's game will be Hazlewood's 34th T20I, and only three quicks have reached 50 wickets in fewer matches: Mark Adair, in 28 matches for Ireland; and Mustafizur Rahman, who reached the mark in 33 games for Bangladesh.

West Indies' Sheldon Cottrell has 48 wickets in the format to date, two short of becoming the fourth men's West Indies bowler to take 50, following Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine.

Mitchell Marsh will return to the batting order when Australia step up their T20 World Cup preparations against West Indies on Wednesday, captain Aaron Finch has confirmed.

Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis is expected to return for Sunday's opening T20I against England, having joined Marsh in missing the recent tour of India.

Marsh has not featured since an ODI outing against Zimbabwe in August after sustaining an ankle injury, leaving Cameron Green to deputise throughout last month's 2-1 series defeat in India.

While Marsh will not bowl against the Windies, Finch believes a place at number three is his to lose, saying: "One-hundred per cent, he's made that spot his own in T20 cricket. 

"I think the way that he played in the lead-up and then through the World Cup [last year] is so important for the way that we want to play and gives us a lot of flexibility through that middle order.

"I think he had his second bowl yesterday and he felt really good. He pulled up well from it. So that's a really positive sign.

"I think for the balance of the side, it's better when they [Marsh and Stoinis] are both bowling because you can get caught a little bit short if you go in with five bowlers. But we'll work that out."

Having suffered a side strain in early September, Stoinis has not travelled to the Gold Coast for Australia's meetings with the Windies, but will join the squad in Perth for the first of three matches against England.

Finch is hopeful over Stoinis' fitness, highlighting the role of logistics in that decision as he added: "He's at a level where we think that he'll be fully fit for that first game against England.

"We were just conscious of the travel with a quick turnaround. It can be quite a high-risk game for some guys with some soft tissue injuries so he's just still planning and preparing there. 

"He's such an important part of our side and the make-up of it, especially with his bowling."

While Green performed well in India, recording scores of 62 and 52, Finch doubts whether he can force his way into Australia's 15 for the World Cup if Marsh and Stoinis stay fit.

"I don't think so," Finch added. "It's just one of those things. He had a really good tour of India. It was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting.

"I think he'll get an opportunity at some point in this series. Obviously his batting is exceptional and he shows a lot with the ball. 

"He keeps improving every time he gets an opportunity but over the next few weeks, he'll get a run, no doubt."

Australia begin their World Cup defence against neighbours New Zealand on October 22

England batter Jonny Bairstow has no idea when he will be able to return after breaking his leg in three places and suffering a dislocated ankle in a freak incident.

Bairstow was ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia following an accident during a round of golf last month.

The 33-year-old, who has been outstanding for his country this year, slipped at the side of a green and has undergone surgery in London.

Bairstow on Monday revealed it is far too early to say when he will be back on the field.

He posted on Instagram along with some horrific pictures of the damage done to his left leg: "I am just writing this to give you all an update on my injury and progress.

"The actual injury was as such... a broken fibula in 3 places which required a plate, I dislocated my ankle which in turn meant I did my syndesmosis joint and lateral ligament along with a couple more bits. All in all I have done a proper job on it!

"Anyway... on the positive side the operation went well and I am now 3 weeks post surgery and my staples have been removed. It's now all about swelling prevention and getting my ankle moving once again. These next few weeks/couple of months are the key to the recovery.

"As for a timescale on return to play I'm afraid it is too early to say, the first targets in mind are getting me back on my 2 feet again and making sure it's right.

"One thing is for sure and that is I shall not be partaking in anything more during 2022... however I cannot wait for what 2023 holds!!"

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