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  5. What would have been actual Super 8 groups in T20 World Cup 2024 if not for pre-determined seedings?

What would have been actual Super 8 groups in T20 World Cup 2024 if not for pre-determined seedings?

40 matches are done and the real business begins as far as the ICC Men's T20 World Cup is concerned. The Super 8 kicks off on Wednesday, June 19 with the USA taking on South Africa. However, the second round is clouded by all the pre-decided seeding talk. Does it take the fun away?

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: June 19, 2024 8:12 IST
Super 8 schedule has been confirmed after eight teams made
Image Source : AP/GETTY Super 8 schedule has been confirmed after eight teams made it to the second round in T20 World Cup 2024

Slow pitches, inclement weather, some lethal bowling and really quality cricket was on display as the 40-match-long group stage of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup came to an end with the co-hosts West Indies blowing away Afghanistan. It's not often that T20 World Cup starts feeling long but it has happened this time around and the reasons seems to be more than one. The difference in timezones has really made the tournament not just a logistical nightmare for the organisers but for even the die-hard fans to follow with the games happening in the evening, at midnight and early morning as far as the Indian time zone is concerned. The other is pretty evident, the batter-friendly wickets being quite few. Some might argue that it may be a good thing, but not so much when the batters are not even in the contest, especially on the surfaces in New York on drop-in pitches.

The caravan has fully moved to the Caribbean and if the Saint Lucia game on Monday night was anything to go by, the games promise to be a little more competitive and the gulf between bat and ball is likely to reduce, however, the pre-determined seedings have taken a bit of fun out of it. The pre-decided seedings for Super 8 irrespective of the team's position on the table in the group stage might be great from the logistical perspective as the travelling fans would have an idea as to when their respective team will be in action and even the opposition it will be up against, however, it rendered what could have been potential marquee clashes inconsequential.

Thanks to associate nations like Scotland, Nepal and especially the USA, playing their first-ever T20 World Cup, in giving the "bigger" teams a run for their money to make the group stage interesting in otherwise what might have been drab. However, all the reasons which might make this tournament feel like going on for ages, have justified the 20-team tournament as the slow surfaces have reduced the difference between the teams and on a given day, no team could have been taken lightly which should be the way.

But the pre-seedings have meant that India and Australia find themselves in a group together despite their final table finishing suggesting otherwise. India, Australia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are in Group 1 of the Super 8 while the USA, England, West Indies and South Africa are in the other.

A1, B2, C1 and D2 make Group 1. So, if the positions were to determine the groups, India would have been drawn alongside England, West Indies and Bangladesh and A2, B1, C2 and D1 (USA, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa) would have made for Group 2. The seedings have rendered the USA, as many would feel, probably for a lamb slaughter with the two former champions and an in-form South African side being drawn alongside them. The USA can't be taken lightly at all as they have already shown but the three other teams have definitely more experience, especially playing at this level. An upset in Super 8 might just be what the doctor ordered as far as the T20 World Cup is concerned.

On the other hand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would have to play out of their skins to get past India and Australia, in the form the two teams are, to have a shot at making the semi-finals. Mitchell Starc, the Australian seamer, wasn't really a fan of the pre-determined seedings as it meant that the 2021 champions despite topping Group B were seeded as B2. However, the Mitchell Marsh-led side will be now keen to go all the way after the superb show and so do India, who hardly put a foot wrong despite an uneven surface at the Nassau County stadium in Long Island.

Some mouth-watering clashes are on schedule and irrespective of the groups, it feels like the World Cup is finally getting into its own.

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