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5 World T20 games you must not miss!

By Aruneel Sadadekar
Last updated on: March 09, 2016 17:28 IST
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A feast of slam-bang cricket awaits fans the world over.

The World T20 Championship is underway, and the carnival of cricket's shortest format will see the best in the business.

Aruneel Sadadekar/ presents five matches you can't miss out.

Australia vs New Zealand

March 18, Dharamsala

aus vs nz

IMAGE: Australia's David Warner walks off the field after being adjudged LBW off Trent Boult's bowling. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The trans-Tasman rivals clash in one of the first big encounters of the month-long tournament.

These teams played the final of last year's 50 overs World Cup, but this is a different ball game and much will depend on how the Aussies and Kiwis tackle conditions in India.

If the recent ODI series in New Zealand is anything to go by, both sides, who are chasing their maiden WT20 title, are evenly matched in the shortest format.

Australia's form is hot and cold, but Steven Smith's boys are world beaters on their day. They have two of the best T20 players in Glenn Maxwell and David Warner. But spin looks a concern for the yellow brigade.

New Zealand will certainly miss Brendon Mcullum, who called time on his international career, but they boast of some of the world's best utility players. A lot will depend on Captain Kane Williamson, and the fast bowling pair of Tim Southee-Trent Boult.

India vs Pakistan

March 19, Kolkata

kohli vs pak

IMAGE: Fans during an India-Pakistan game.

The mother of all sporting rivalries!

Come March 19, the cricketing world is expected to stop as the arch-rivals go head-on at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

After Pakistan raised security concerns this high voltage clash was shifted to Kolkata from its original venue in Dharamsala.

Pakistan suffered a defeat against India in the Asia Cup and reports of infighting may tip the odds in India's favour.

The green brigade has never beaten India in an ICC 50-overs World Cup and World T2O.

Skipper Shahid Afridi will look to break that jinx on the back of his tainted speedster Mohammad Amir who was sensational in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

South Africa vs West Indies

March 26, Nagpur

gayle and ab de villiers

IMAGE South Africa's A B de Villiers, right, congratulated by Chris Gayle of the West Indies. Both big blasters play for the same IPL team, the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Perennial under-achievers versus Twenty20 wildcards.

Little is certain when the Proteas take on the Windies in a 20-overs-a-side game, but one thing you can bank on is entertainment.

The match will see two of the game's biggest power-hitters: Chris Gayle and A B de Villiers.

Certainly, the Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mates will look to outdo each other in national colours.

Despite missing out on star players Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, coach Curtly Ambrose declared that the Windies have a 'great chance' to become the first country to win the ICC World T20 twice.

Putting the players' contract row behind, skipper Darren Sammy said winning the title will be special for cricket in the Carribean.

They are up against a high-quality Proteas side that has transferred their 50-overs World Cup reputation of under-delivering to the World T20. In six attempts, they are yet to reach a final.

South Africa have won six out of the nine matches the two countries have played against each other, but this piece of history will not matter at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground when the sides meet this time.

Sri Lanka vs England

March 26, New Delhi

jayawardene with england

IMAGE: Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena is England's bating consultant. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty.

Defending champions Sri Lanka will take on a team that has undergone a complete revamp in limited-overs cricket.

The Lankans are struggling since the retirement of legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

In a desperate attempt after their early exit from the Asia Cup, pacer Lasith Malinga stepped down as captain while changes were made to Sri Lanka's selection panel, with Sangakkara being included.

While England boast of players suited for the T20 format, their lack of experience -- captain Eoin Morgan being the only player who has IPL experience -- can be a setback for the Three Lions in Indian conditions.

Paul Collingwood, caching consultant and skipper of England's victorious campaign in 2010, expects 'something special' from his side.

Mind games have already begun ahead of the crucial match, with Sri Lanka expressing 'unhappiness' over Jayawardene, their former captain, joining England's coaching set-up.

India vs Australia

March 28, Mohali

warner and rohit

IMAGE: Umpires (in red) and James Faulkner, second left, watch as David Warner, third left, argues with Rohit Sharma, second right. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters.

Two giants of world cricket meet at the business end of the tournament.

This is the final match for both sides in the group phase, and, given the unpredictable nature of T20 cricket, one can't predict if it will be a do-or-die game for either of the teams.

India got the better of Australia in the T20I series Down Under and Dhoni's men certainly have an edge going by their well-balanced side and superb form in the Asia Cup.

The lack of a quality spinner could hurt Australia in Indian conditions, but with three world-class all-rounders in Shane Watson, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh in their ranks, captain Steven Smith is confident of toppling the 2007 champions.

An India-Australia game is never short of drama and entertainment. Expect fireworks at Mohali.

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Aruneel Sadadekar /