England legend Michael Vaughan airs T20 World Cup fears ahead of Australia clash

Silverwood wants England to build on good start at T20 World Cup

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Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan believes Pakistan are the biggest threat to any team in the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai. Vaughan had previously suggested Pakistan could beat any team in the world in the current conditions. 

Pakistan have won all three of their games at the Super 12 stage so far, including a historic win over bitter rivals India.

The Men in Green had never defeated India in a world cup match across any format, losing all seven of their ODI World Cup meetings and all five of their T20 World Cup matches – including the inaugural final of the tournament, when India won by five runs. 

While Vaughan originally picked Virat Kohli’s side to win, he warned of the threat of Pakistan – a warning that was vindicated when they got the historic victory. 

They continued their fine form with a five-wicket win over Afghanistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium after following up their India victory with a tight triumph against New Zealand. 

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Vaughan believes that the clash between England and Australia on Saturday has added significance as both teams will want to avoid Pakistan in the semi-finals.

“Tomorrow’s England vs Australia game is a monster,” the 47-year-old told Cricbuzz on Friday. 

“Whoever wins is going to finish top. I am sure Pakistan are going to finish top in their group. I would not want to face Pakistan in the semi-final.

“I’ll be more than happy to play in the other semi-final and hope someone knocks them out. 

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“We are a long way off from the final but they seem to have everything.”

Vaughan believes Pakistan have identified their ideal batting lineup, with the opening combination of captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan proving to be formidable. 

They are followed by the experienced duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik as well as finishers and a top-tier bowling combination.

Vaughan labelled the team as ‘terrific’ after Asif Ali hit four sixes in the penultimate over to seal the win over Afghanistan on Friday. 

“To get over the line in the fashion that they ended up doing, it sends quite a strong message,” the former England captain added.

“They were pushed into a corner by Afghanistan and they came out with a fantastic victory because of a team contribution. 

“It’s concerning for all other teams in the competition.”

Vaughan’s former side England have started brightly, winning both of their opening games in Group 1 against West Indies and Bangladesh.

Thanks to their net run rate of 3.614, England are atop the group – narrowly ahead of great rivals Australia. 

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