Revealed: Jerseys of all teams at T20 World Cup 2022 - in pictures

First round matches begin in Australia on Sunday

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The T20 World Cup 2022 got under way in Melbourne on Saturday with the captains of all competing teams fielding questions from the media on the eve of the opening round.

The tournament begins on Sunday with first round matches between eight teams who will be competing for a spot in the main Super 12 stage of the tournament.

UAE, Namibia, Sri Lanka and Netherlands are in Group A of the first round, while Ireland, Scotland, West Indies and Zimbabwe in Group B.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super 12 stage that starts on October 22.

Australia are the defending champions at home, having won the title after defeating New Zealand in Dubai last year. But captain Aaron Finch admitted his team was "tired" and needed to freshen up.

The reigning champions head into the showpiece tournament after a lacklustre three-match series against England.

They lost 2-0 with the third game abandoned Friday evening due to rain, culminating eight matches for Australia in 26 days - three of them in India.

"I think the guys are probably a little bit tired at the moment," Finch said.

"The schedule has been so packed over the last six to eight weeks that we identified a couple of months ago that we wanted to make sure that we're in a position to be peaking at the right time of the World Cup and not beforehand.

"So it's going to be important over the next couple of days to try and freshen everyone up as much as we can."

However, England skipper Jos Buttler insisted Australia were still the team to beat.

"T20 is one of those games that can be unpredictable, but I think history tells you that, generally, the host nation are slight favourites in big tournaments," he said in Melbourne.

"Many of us have travelled and played in Australia and know the conditions, but of course no-one is going to know the conditions or be as accustomed to them as the Australian team.

"They are also reigning champions, so you have to pick them out probably as favourites for the tournaments."

Meanwhile, India captain Rohit Sharma said his team has the bench strength to make up for the absence of injured star players.

Mohammed Shami has been added to India's 15-man squad to replace pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who is out with back issues.

Key all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also missing the tournament due to injury, but Sharma said the team was ready for the challenge with the players at hand.

"Injury is part and parcel of the sport. Injuries will happen if we play so many matches, so our focus for the last one year was that we had to build bench strength," Rohit said.

"Our focus is to try and create backups and give them opportunity. The bowlers, who have come with us in the World Cup, have played enough matches."

India, who last won a global title with their 2013 Champions Trophy, begin their campaign against Pakistan on October 23 in Melbourne.

Also, UAE will be led by CP Rizwan in the first round. The national side begin the campaign on Sunday against the Netherlands, face Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka on October 18 and finish the opening round against Namibia on October 20. All matches will be played in Geelong.

Updated: October 15, 2022, 7:06 AM
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