T20 World Cup 2024 Knockouts Preview

T20 World Cup 2024 Knockouts Preview

Welcome to Wicky’s preview of the 2024 T20 World Cup knockout games. In this article, we’ll be updating our thoughts, team news, predicted XIs, venue insights, and fantasy picks for the semi-finals ahead of the action.

You’ll also find all this for the final right here once we know who’s contesting the ultimate showdown!

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South Africa v India

Sat 29/6, 10.30am (Local)

Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados


Wicky’s Final Preview 28/6 – Someone’s guaranteed to end a long dry spell without an ICC trophy on Saturday at Bridgetown. India v South Africa is a final full of opportunity – to vanquish the ghosts of the past and discard the tag of nearly men.

For India, the current wait for a senior men’s ICC trophy is 11 years. For South Africa, the interregnum presently stands at 26 years. You wouldn’t know it looking how they got here, though – both registered commanding wins in their respective semi-finals against England and Afghanistan.

But dig a little deeper, and prior to the semi-finals, India have generally looked more assured. South Africa have won all their games but they’ve cut it close on multiple occasions. Three of their wins have come by single-digit run margins.

Just on recent head-t0-head form, though, there’s little to choose between the two. After a three-year interval, India and South Africa began playing T20Is against each other in 2022. In the 10 completed games since, the teams are 5-5.

The stakes are much higher on Saturday, though – a title beckons for the winner. The slightest advantage could be critical between two such closely matched sides. India have played at Barbados before in this World Cup – the win against Afghanistan – but South Africa haven’t.

Predicted XIs

The benefit of both sides winning their semi-finals comfortably is the confidence you can have in unchanged XIs on both sides for the final showdown.

There was a small chance left arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi might be sacrificed in the SF v Afghanistan for an extra pacer. Given South Africa’s excellent bowling performance, including Shamsi’s own 3-6 in 11 balls, that chance has likely vanished into the ether. The Proteas will be unchanged.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

For India, the only possible variation is a shift in the bowling workloads of a settled side.

Against England, Axar Patel finally came to the party with 3-23. Him and fellow left arm ortho Ravindra Jadeja took on a larger-than-usual role, bowling 4 and 3 overs respectively.

Should Rohit Sharma similarly trust this pair of finger spinners again in the final, the overs will come out of Hardik Pandya’s quota. He only bowled a single over against England, conceding 14.

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah

Key Players

South Africa

Quinton de Kock’s importance to this team can’t be overstated. Not only is he South Africa’s leading scorer with 204 runs by a long way (next best: 148), his strike rate of 143 in this T20 World Cup is the only one in the Proteas’ squad with a modicum of respectability.

The next best of their frontline sticks is Henrich Klaasen’s 112. Two others, Tristan Stubbs (94) and Reeza Hendricks (87), are clocking in under a run a ball.

Expect South Africa’s spark to come from de Kock. It helps that has a good record against India in T20Is. Meanwhile, David Miller and captain Aiden Markram, haven’t exactly lit up this World Cup but they, like de Kock, enjoy facing India.

This pair both made fifties when South Africa beat India in the last T20 World Cup. Miller’s individual record is even more superlative – averaging 43, striking at 159 – and includes a hundred at Guwahati.

But on current form, the lineup will struggle to match India’s pace with the bat. South Africa are a bowling team at this World Cup. Their run to the final has been powered by a potent and varied attack.

As mentioned in the SF 1 preview, the wickets are shared around in this attack. This group is also facing its toughest test yet – an India side that has handled them superbly in the past. There are two notable exceptions though. Kagiso Rabada hasn’t taken a hatful of wickets against India in T20Is – only 8 in 12 games – but he’s often been economical (7.31). Meanwhile, Keshav Maharaj has been incisive – a wicket every 3 overs – but proved more expensive (8.53).

We think these two are the South African bowlers most likely to succeed against India on the day. Also watch out for some handy spin from Markram. The captain’s 8 overs in this World Cup have cost 6.62 per over – pretty useful for a sixth bowler.


The semi-final against England told us nothing we didn’t already know – and didn’t already cover in our preview of India v England. Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav are India’s main run getters – and were the two top scorers in SF 2 – while Kuldeep Yadav again shone with 3-19. Virat Kohli and Shivam Dube failed to make their mark yet again.

Expect the top performers from India to be same old.

Venue Notes

Bridgetown is a decent batting surface, so expect runs to flow more freely than in Tarouba. It’s not as good as St Lucia, but still the conditions are still helpful. As noted in our SF 2 preview, in this World Cup, Barbados has seen 1.6 fours hit for every six. That’s one of the three lowest ratios for West Indies grounds in this tournament alongside North Sound (1.55) and St Lucia (1.46).

If that’s not enough to convince you, the balls per six for Barbados in this World Cup is 16.87. That figure is roughly half of Tarouba and Guyana, and not far off the aforementioned North Sound (14.40) and St Lucia (13.34). These are the 3 best batting grounds in this World Cup and maximums should be reasonably plentiful in the final.

The average first innings score in this World Cup is 142.875 – healthy rather than colossal. This figure, however, includes a Scotland first innings against England cut in half by the rain (and the game was washed out from then on) and a few cases of Associate nations batting first against Full Members and being bundled out for below average scores.

The mismatches are definitely skewing things somewhat – Australia put on 7-201 here and India themselves posted 8-181, suggesting if Full Members had first crack with the bat, a big score is not out of reach.

One World Cup game at Barbados ended in a tie, another was a no-result. Across the remaining six games, wins batting first and chasing are split 3-3.

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Wicky’s Picks

Axar Patel is owned by 76% of players at time of writing – and he is in elite form. He’s scoring runs, taking wickets at regular intervals, and holding on to important catches. We reckon he could also be your captain/vice-captain pick.

David Miller is another one to consider – owned by just 23% of players, bats at #5. You might call South Africa ‘chokers’, but this man steps up in the knockouts.

Fade Options

Hardik Pandya is at 91% ownership; he is historically known to give away a lot of runs against South Africa. Just from the angle of a batter, there are much better options available in Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant.

The ownership makes this a brave call. But, if Patel and Jadeja eat into his overs as mentioned above, we reckon Hardik is worth avoiding.

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India v England

Thu 27/6, 10.30am (Local)

Providence Stadium, Guyana

Semi Final 2

Wicky’s SF 2 Preview 27/6 – It’s a repeat of 2022, India v England in a T20 World Cup semi-final once again. At Adelaide last time, it was a total blowout.

Alex Hales and Jos Buttler launched a fearsome counter-offensive in the run chase to overhaul India’s 168 as England trounced India by 10 wickets. They went on to win their second T20 World Cup.

England haven’t played like holders in 2024 though. Their only defeat of a Full Member in this World Cup was the 8-wicket win against the West Indies, having lost to both Australia and South Africa.

There’s more room for debate on what England’s best team looks like while there’s little doubt with India’s settled XI, with Kuldeep Yadav successfully integrated as the World Cup switched entirely to the West Indies.

But England are still here, still in the fight, and still with a chance of going back to back in T20 World Cups. India have had a considerably less chaotic path through the round robins – but then, that’s never been their problem.

With a few players out of form, they arguably have room to improve themselves as they confront the familiar jeopardy of a knockout game.

Neither side has played at Providence Stadium in this World Cup although India have known well ahead of time that this is what lay in wait should they progress to the semi-finals. The real problem in this one, however, is the threat of rain in Guyana.

There are an extra 250 minutes to play with should the weather turn foul but no reserve day. England need the weather to hold more than their opponents – not only do India advance if SF 2 is washed out but we need a more exacting 10 overs a side to have a game instead of 5.

Predicted XIs

India enter SF 2 on the back of three straight wins in the West Indies leg of their T20 World Cup campaign. With the winning formula identified, the key addition of left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav (7 wickets in three games in this World Cup) rounding out a spin trio, don’t expect much deviation.

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah

England’s patchy form goes hand in hand with a lack of certainty over their best XI. As such, they may be more willing to experiment than India and shift the balance of their side in order to find the winning combination for a knockout game.

The main selection questions concern the extra batter and Mark Wood. All-rounder Will Jacks, whose off spin could be handy in the spin-friendly Providence Stadium, is the leading contender to be that extra stick.

If selected, he would slot in at #3, with Bairstow et al moving down a spot. Jacks has been very quiet in this World Cup though, and Ben Duckett is also in the squad.

The extra pace of Mark Wood is also tempting. Whether England select the extra batter or Wood, left arm seamer Reece Topley is most likely to make way.

England: Jos Buttler (c/wk), Phil Salt, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley

Key Players


On current form, captain Rohit Sharma, India’s top scorer in this T20 World Cup, and star T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav seem most likely to play a big innings. Twice each in this T20 World Cup, the pair have top scored for India.

Rohit’s aggressive approach up front, so vital to India’s dominant run to the 2023 ODI World Cup final and on full display against Australia the other day, both maximises the powerplay and relieves the pressure on the struggling Virat Kohli at the other end to accelerate from the get-go.

He’s had more than a few low scores in this World Cup but when it comes together, Rohit’s contribution is enormous and game-breaking – again, see his 92 against Australia.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has been deployed at #3 in this World Cup, helpfully breaking up a parade of right handers in the top 4.

He’s made lots of little contributions but lacked a big score – his best so far is 42 – but between winning back the gloves on his return from injury and the new batting role, he’ll be very heavily involved across the whole game.

Jasprit Bumrah has been absolutely fantastic with the ball, proving a consistent and reasonably prolific wicket taker (11 in 6 games) but an outstanding economy in the 4s has been much more valuable.

It’s not out of the question he takes a hatful of wickets but look instead to India’s leading wicket taker, the left armer quick Arshdeep Singh to conjure a game-breaking early spell, especially if there’s any movement around.

Kuldeep Yadav is another strong contender to deliver such a performance.

Also watch out for Hardik Pandya, now empowered with a much larger bowling role (in excess of 3 overs a game on average), to play a key part. He was India’s top wicket taker against Ireland. Like Pant, the new role means he’ll be heavily involved throughout.

The most unimpressive trio for India so far have been opener Virat Kohli, spin bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and middle order stick Shivam Dube.

Kohli has scraped together a miserable 66 runs from 6 innings. Jadeja hasn’t got many opportunities with the bat and has played a marginal role with the ball, averaging just 2 overs a game and only picking up one wicket at 78.

Meanwhile, Dube has been tepid in the middle order, striking at 107 for his 106 World Cup runs. It’s easy enough to hide Jadeja in this team but as the opener, India need more from Kohli.

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There’s a problem with England’s frontline bowlers – too many of them have frequently been too blunt. All of Wood, Curran, and Topley have only taken wickets in one game each – the former against Oman, the latter two against the USA.

Their only consistent wicket taking threats, on current form, are quicks Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan, and leg spinner Adil Rashid. It’s this trio you should expect the most from with the ball for England.

Archer and Rashid have only gone wicketless twice, once in the rained-out Scotland game, while Jordan has only failed once.

So where are their other wickets coming from? Spin bowling all-rounders Moeen Ali (off spin) and Liam Livingstone (offies to lefties, leggies to righties) have picked up three wickets each, striking here and there while bowling more than a couple of overs an innings on average.

Plus, with the assistance on offer for slow bowling at Guyana, their spin will be more handy than usual and may be called upon more frequently.

Not unlike Afghanistan, England’s batting is heavily dependent on their openers Jos Buttler and Phil Salt, their two top scorers. Watch out for Harry Brook in the middle, however. He’s striking at 164 and has top scored for England twice in this T20 World Cup (more often than Salt).

If anyone past the opening pair can hold the innings together, it’s Brook. On current form, the rest simply don’t match up.

Check out more of our T20 World Cup content here!

Venue Notes

As seen in our SF 1 preview, Providence Stadium has seen around 62% of runs come in fours and sixes in the CPL since 2020, well clear of both Tarouba (venue of SF 1) and St Lucia.

Notably, its fours-to-sixes ratio was the largest of all grounds considered, including the two aforementioned T20 World Cup grounds.

Interestingly, so far in the tournament, this trend has continued. Guyana has seen a six hit for every 2.64 fours – almost one more than Bridgetown (1.6) and more than that compared to North Sound (1.55) and St Lucia (1.46).

There’s also been a six every 34.32 balls at Guyana this World Cup – more than double the figure of the other three grounds. Expect to see many more fours than sixes.

3/5 wins here in this World Cup have come batting first, although treat this with appropriate caution given two of those wins were horrible mismatches with Uganda on the receiving end.

Spin is a key weapon at Providence Stadium, which is hosting its first World Cup game in 18 days. Don’t count out the quicks, however – for every Akeal Hosein 5-fer, there’s been a Fazalhaq Farooqi 5-fer.

These two were the top wicket takers in 2 different games here, with Farooqi sharing that honour with Rashid Khan in a third game.

The other two games have seen a three-way and a six-way tie for top wicket taker among various seamers and spinners.

Wicky’s Men’s T20 Portal breaks down batting and bowling stats by opposition, venue, and phase of game, plus batting records by bowler type and individual head-t0-head matchups from T20 leagues around the world!

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Wicky’s Picks

Virat Kohli is just 55% owned at time of writing – this is a no-brainer. A player of his class could turn up at any moment and you simply can’t afford to miss out on him in a high intensity, high stakes match.

He could also be your captain/vice-captain pick.

Jonny Bairstow is an even bigger point of difference, a #3/#4 batter owned by just 26% of players at time of writing. He is inconsistent but the day he’s in touch, he’ll hit all bowlers to all parts. A little risky, but worthwhile.

Wicky’s new cricket chatbot answers your questions about T20 cricket!

Fade Options

Arshdeep Singh has been in great form in this tournament but with the quality openers England have, it’ll be very difficult for him to succeed. They’ll look to put him under pressure early-on.

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Afghanistan v South Africa

Wed 26/6, 8.30pm (Local)

Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad

Semi Final 1

Wicky’s SF 1 Preview 26/6 – The first semi-final of the 2024 T20 World Cup promises an exciting and historic outcome – we’re guaranteed a first-time finalist in either Afghanistan or South Africa!

The toss is key because chasing is Afghanistan’s jeopardy. Their two defeats in this World Cup – to West Indies and India – have come batting second.

In their element defending runs on the board, striking early with their incisive quicks Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq and following it up with a spin choke, Afghanistan could be forced by South Africa at the toss into the awkward position of chasing – at odds with the most successful version of their gameplan.

Add to this the pressure of a chase to win a place in your first World Cup final, and the task doesn’t get easier.

Neither team is exactly battle-hardened in these conditions. Afghanistan, though, have actually played a game at the Brian Lara Stadium in this World Cup – a 7-wicket win against Papua New Guinea. This is South Africa’s first-ever T20I here.

Predicted XIs

Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper-opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the leading run scorer in the T20 World Cup, suffered an injury in the last game against Bangladesh. Mohammad Ishaq replaced him behind the stumps.

There’s no official word yet on Gurbaz’s availability for the semi-final. Should he be ruled out, Ishaq will take the gloves but likely not the opener’s spot (he’s a middle order player).

If Afghanistan are happy to make two changes, left hander Hazratullah Zazai could come in at the top of the order while Ishaq keeps wicket and bats lower down.

If they aren’t, Ishaq will take the gloves and slot into the middle order while Gulbadin Naib could be pushed to open.

He made 69 against Scotland in a warm-up game as an opener.

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (c), Nangeyalia Kharote, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was player of the match for his 3-27 in the last game v the West Indies. His performance is hardly at fault and South Africa may not want to change a winning team.

But it’s Shamsi’s spot that’s most under threat in case the Proteas want another quick for the conditions. Should that happen, the likely beneficiary is Ottneil Baartman.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

Key Players


If Gurbaz is indeed out, it’s a huge loss for Afghanistan – the openers are their backbone.

Afghanistan’s average score in this T20 World Cup is 136.28, their average first wicket partnership is 65. The opening stand is worth almost half their total score on average.

Gurbaz’s partner Ibrahim Zadran will have to shoulder a greater burden. Diving a little deeper, in 4/7 games so far, Gurbaz has top scored for Afghanistan.

Zadran has only done so once. The gaps between their scores haven’t always been large, but Zadran has definitely played the supporting role more often.

If Gurbaz is absent, Zadran will have to step up with the other opener also a decent shout to play a big innings.

In the bowling department, Farooqi and captain Rashid Khan are the safest bets to dominate with the ball (one quick, one spinner; neither is well clear of the other though), but watch out for all-rounder Gulbadin Naib.

He has 7 wickets of his own this T20 World Cup. Interestingly, he was also Afghanistan’s top wicket taker in two games v West Indies and Australia.

South Africa

South Africa are a bit more of an ensemble cast. However, Quinton de Kock is the undisputed star, top scoring for the Proteas three times this T20 World Cup.

That middle order certainly plays a bigger role for them compared to Afghanistan. All of Miller, Klaasen, and Stubbs have top scored in a game for South Africa at some point in this tournament. But they’re quite a fluid trio, regularly shuffled up and down.

Watch out for promotions or demotions in the semi-final based on game state. De Kock has the form but, perhaps even more importantly, the security of role to play a decisive hand against Afghanistan.

The wickets are usually shared around but Shamsi is an exception. He has twice collected player of the match awards in this T20 World Cup for a 4-19 and a 3-27 – their only bowler who has picked up the most wickets for them in a game more than once this World Cup.

He’s a bit high risk, high reward – the bowler most likely to catch fire on the day and steal the show from the rest of the pack but also the one, as mentioned above, most at risk of losing his spot.

Venue Notes

Though not a minefield, the Brian Lara Stadium isn’t the most batting-friendly venue in this T20 World Cup.

In the CPL since 2020, the ground has seen 57% of runs come in boundaries – well behind Guyana, to name one comparison point – and a relatively modest 1.71 fours for every six.

Place that next to the Daren Sammy Stadium (1.49) in St Lucia, for instance, and Tarouba looks positively tepid.

Scores on Thursday likely won’t be too outlandish either way. If CPL games here are any guide, though, they’ll lean towards the lower rather than higher end.

2024 t20 world cup semi finals afghanistan v south africa brian lara stadium stats

Unfortunately there’s not much we can tell from games in this T20 World Cup. 3/4 previous games here involved at least one Associate team and the mismatches were huge. All six of those innings featured double-digit team scores.

Only one match involved two Full Members: West Indies’ 9-149 was enough to beat New Zealand by 13 runs. In all, there have been 3/4 chasing wins.

Fast bowlers should enjoy themselves here. Spinners have only taken 13/55 wickets to fall at the Brian Lara Stadium in the T20 World Cup.

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Wicky’s Picks

Heinrich Klaasen is owned by just 46% of players at time of writing. He could be a real game-changer in the semi-final and that low ownership is a point of difference.

He plays spin well – Afghanistan have a battery of slow bowlers and Klaasen will be key in taking them down – and is the backbone of SA’s middle order.

You just can’t miss out on Rashid Khan for this one. The Afghanistan skipper is a must-have in your fantasy squad.

He’ll give you valuable points both with the bat and the ball – Rashid is one of two spearheads of Afghanistan’s bowling attack along with Fazalhaq Farooqi.

We reckon he’s a strong choice for your captaincy pick as well.

Fade Options

Especially as the ball does a bit, it’d be very difficult for the openers to get going at the Brian Lara Stadium. Accordingly, we reckon you should avoid Quinton de Kock.

He is currently owned by 89% of players so this is a brave call. But we think you should make Heinrich Klaasen your WK choice.

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Wicky's Dream11 Example team 2024 t20 world cup sf afghanistan v south africa
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