The 2019 World Cup is done and dusted and international cricket has kicked off once again. India, who exited in the semi-final, is in Florida where they kicked off a three-match T20I series with a win. With the next 50-over World Cup four years later, the focus has now shifted to the T20 World Cup which will take place in Australia next year.
The ‘Men in Blue’ have a hectic schedule. They have quite a few T20Is before the mega event in Australia which is scheduled to take place in October next year. Historically, India have done decently at World T20s. They were the winners in the inaugural edition. However, they didn’t make it past the Super Eight Stage for the next three editions (2009, 2010, 2012). However, they’ve been brilliant in the last two tournaments. In 2014, they reached the final only to lose to Sri Lanka. In 2016, they lost to eventual champions West Indies in the semi-final.
Hence, they will once again be looking to get their hands on the T20 World Cup. In fact, they haven’t won an ICC trophy in the last six years. Thus, they will be eyeing that elusive title and put aside the disappointment of the 2019 World Cup. So, here are five players from the 2019 World Cup squad who can help India win the T20 World Cup next year.
1. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
There has been a lot of talk and hype around Rishabh Pant. The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman will most likely be MS Dhoni’s replacement across all formats. He is already India’s first-choice wicketkeeper in Test cricket and they have once again picked him in the shorter formats as well.
He flew in as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan in the 2019 World Cup. However, he constantly threw away starts in the four games he played in that tournament. The Delhi stumper scored 116 runs at an average of 29.00. Pant’s shot selection was constantly in question.
However, Pant certainly showed glimpses of what he can do. He’s shown that in the IPL as well. He can turn games single-handedly and get the team over the finish line. Thus, he will be one of India’s X-factor players in the T20 World Cup next year.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably one of the best fast bowlers across all formats in the world at the moment. The Gujarat pacer has been around in international cricket for just over three years and yet, he is India’s premier bowler in all three formats. He has churned out wickets consistently and has out-bowled everyone in and around the team.
It was no different at this 2019 World Cup as well. He was India’s leading wicket-taker and spearhead with the ball. Bumrah picked up 18 wickets in nine games at an average of 20.61. Batsmen found it really difficult to get him away. Moreover, every time Virat Kohli needed a wicket, he looked a Bumrah and the Gujarat lad very rarely disappointed.
Thus, Bumrah will be absolutely key for India next year when they travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup. Hus ability to pick wickets at the top and execute those pinpoint yorkers at the death make him lethal. Thus, it won’t be a surprise if Bumrah once again ends up as India’s highest wicket-taker in next year’s mega event.
3. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya is one of the most valuable cricketers going around in Indian cricket at the moment. There are very few who can contribute with both bat and ball as well as Pandya can. The pace-bowling all-rounder from Baroda has been a vital part of India’s setup over the last few years. He is pivotal to the balance of the squad.
Pandya blew hot and cold during the 2019 World Cup. While he was striking the ball well, he never got a big score. However, the biggest positive was his bowling. He consistently bowled his quota of 10 overs and did that really well. Moreover, he was in brilliant form in the IPL as well where he was finishing games for Mumbai Indians consistently.
Thus, Pandya will be absolutely crucial to the balance of the side. Moreover, he might bat at 6 or 7 which is a vital position in white-ball cricket. His ability to hit sixes at will and his knack of giving crucial breakthroughs makes him stand out. Thus, he will most likely be one of the match-winners for India.
4. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli & Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
At one point, Virat Kohli was almost invincible in T20 cricket. People also called him the Bradman of T20 cricket. However, the Indian skipper has faded away just a touch in the shortest format in the recent past. While he’s still scoring runs, he is not as consistent in the shortest format.
However, you cannot count him out on the big stage. Kohli has been the Player of the Tournament for two World T20Is in a row (2014 and 2016). He finished both tournaments as the leading run-getter and almost single-handedly carried India through those tournaments.
In the 2019 World Cup, he scored five successive half-centuries and was in great touch. He played second fiddle in most games. Thus, he will once again be key for India at No. 3 and look to control the innings. Also, this will most likely be his first T20 World Cup as captain. Thus, like the previous two World T20s, he will look to dominate and this time take India all the way.
5. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma during his fifty in 2nd T20I (Photo Source: Twitter)
India’s white-ball vice-captain has been one of the biggest match-winners in the shorter formats. Rohit Sharma has time and again proved that he is one of the best batsmen going around in white-ball cricket at the moment. His ability to bat long and bat big is remarkable. Once Rohit is set, he makes it count more often.
He scored as many as five centuries in the 2019 World Cup which is the most by any batsman in a single edition of the World Cup. The 32-year-old Mumbai batsman was also the highest run-getter of the tournament. He made almost every single opportunity count.
However, he hasn’t had a great time in World T20s. He’s been featured in them since 2007 but hasn’t had a standout tournament. Thus, he will be itching to correct that record. Thus, Rohit will be one to watch out for in next year’s T20 World Cup. He is certainly one of those who can win India the tournament.
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