The ICC World T20 2020 is going to take place down under on the beautiful continent of Australia. This will be the 7th edition of this lucrative tournament which started way back in 2007 in South Africa. Over the years, the popularity of T20 cricket has increased so much that the fan following of this shortest and most entertaining format of the game is trying to surpass that of ODI World Cup.
The first match of the seventh edition of the World T20 is going to take place on October 18th this year. The islanders Sri Lanka will take on rookie Ireland in the tournament opener. The venues for the matches are yet to be finalised. The final though will be played at the Big ‘G’ i.e. Melbourne Cricket Ground, the stadium with a sitting capacity of over 1, 00,000.
The tournament will see a qualifying round in which 8 lower-ranked teams will fight it out for those four spots. These four qualifying teams will join the top-ranked 8 sides in Super 12 stage. These teams will then fight it out in groups of 6 teams each. The top two teams at the end of the stage will play semi-finals.
Here, we will take a look at those strongest four sides who can successfully make it to the semi-finals of this tournament on the basis of their current form:
1. West Indies
West Indies are the only side in the history of this tournament to have won it more than once. They did it in 2012 as well as in 2016. Winning two of the last three World T20 titles, they are obviously one of the favourites to lift the title this time around. When it comes to the shortest format of the game, the most unpredictable Caribbean side becomes the most dangerous.
West Indies probably have the bravest batsmen in their batting line-up who can just come out to the crease and hit the ball all over the park. So, despite losing wickets on regular intervals, they can still keep up with a high run rate. This ability of their batsmen makes them one of the sides who can make it to the semi-finals in Australia.
Right now, West Indies cricket is rising after a quiet couple of decades. They have got some young and matured batsmen like Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer in their squad who are showing a great promise as of now. If these batsmen click at the right time in a big tournament like T20 World Cup, then they can surely go the distance for a record third time.
A team which is the most successful when it comes to ODI World Cups haven’t even won a single T20 World Cup so far. It seems pretty odd but the contrast of success in these two tournaments for Australia is such unique that it is too hard to ignore. The best performance in the tournament for Australia came in 2010 when they lost to arch-rivals England in the finals in the Caribbean.
Australia is going to play this tournament in their own backyard will surely reach the semis with the help of their 12th man, the audience. Their fighting spirit has worked wonders for them in the past. Their players will be motivated to add this one elusive title to their never-ending trophy cabinet which has eluded them so far.
With one of the best batsmen in T20, Glenn Maxwell in their rank, as well as the most destructive opening pair of Captain Aaron Finch and David Warner, they will surely go the distance in this tournament. With the best fast bowling on paper which includes Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, Australia are a team to watch out for this time around.
The World Champions England are high on confidence after winning the last ODI World Cup last year. They have also won the World T20 way back in 2010 when they beat their arch-rivals Australia in West Indies. But after that win, their performance has been lacklustre. They had a great chance of winning the tournament second time around in 2016, but fail short after a magnificent batting of Carlos Brathwaite of West Indies who hit 4 consecutive sixes in the final over to Ben Stokes.
England is one team which can score 200 plus in almost every game they come out to set a target for the opposition. Their hard hitters are so relentless that they make a mockery of the opponent bowlers in a matter of time. This makes them so much special over the past four to five years. Right now they are the most lethal batting unit which can easily carry them to the semi-finals.
With the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan in their ranks, England have a very strong batting line-up. They even have world-class backups for all of the batting positions. With Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid to strengthen their bowling department, they are a modern team which can go all-out in the shortest format in pursuit to win their second title after a decade.
One just cannot keep India out of any ICC event’s semi-finals. They are such a formidable side that each and every ICC World Cup they enter, they start as favourites. After reaching two consecutive ICC ODI World Cup semi-finals, one T20 World Cup semi-finals and a final, they are itching to cross that final hurdle of the knockout stages.
With one of the most reliable batting line-up at their disposal, India will most probably make it to the semis of the upcoming World T20. They even have a very good record in the shortest format in Australia. With the world’s best batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan in their ranks they just cannot lose on a good batting surface unless all of them fail at the same time.
India won the first-ever T20 World Cup when it all started in South Africa in 2007. But after that, the title has eluded them for thirteen years. They have come close so many times to win the title back but failed at the last hurdle. They are the most consistent side when it comes to ICC tournaments in the last decade. Let’s see if they come out on top this time around in a World Cup after failing multiple times since 2011.
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