After more than five years and two 50-overs World events, the ICC T20 World Cup will return when 16 teams lock horns against each other in India. The tournament will be played for around a month in October and November. Interestingly, the last T20 World Cup was also played in India, where West Indies beat England in a thrilling final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The tournament was originally going to be held in 2020 in Australia, but due to the global pandemic of coronavirus, the event down under was shifted to 2022. This tournament will be slightly different as well, as this is the first World event that might be played with players staying in bio-securing bubbles. We might also see the tournament being played behind closed doors.
The format of the tournament has also changed since the last time it was played. The top 8 of the 16 teams will be divided into two groups. The rest bottom 8 teams will compete with each other with only four of them joining the top eight. The knockout stages will be played after the Super 12 round. So, let’s have a look at-
3 favourites to win the T20 World Cup 2021 title
As hosts of the tournament, India will start as overwhelming favourites. The Indian team has been performing quite well since the last World Cup in 2016. In Indian conditions, the side has played 31 matches and won 20 out of them in this duration. This is a reflection of how consistently they have performed at home in the shortest format.
In addition to this, the players of the Indian team play at least 14 IPL matches each year in these conditions. The experience and understanding of playing T20 cricket on Indian surfaces is something that makes them favourites. However, Virat Kohli and his men would be fully aware of how five years ago, even after being favourites, India was knocked out in the semi-finals.
Another thing that falls in India’s favour is the fact that there is an IPL season, from where the management can get a feel of how certain players respond to certain situations. It has also been rumoured that the hosts will play two more T20I series at home before the World Cup. If they carry on with that, then the team is likely to be prepared when the summit tournament begins.
The last time the T20 World Cup was played, England just missed out on their opportunity to win their second title. Carlos Braithwaite broke the hearts of all English fans as Ben Stokes wasn’t able to keep his nerve. However, five years since then, Stokes has won a World Cup for England and his team has become one of the favourites to take home the 2021 title.
England’s rise in the shortest format has a lot to do with more and more players participating in the IPL. From Jos Buttler to Eoin Morgan to Stokes, there are several English players who have been top buys for the IPL franchises. The experience of each of these players, having played in the cash-rich league will give them a broad understanding of the Indian conditions.
In the 43 T20Is played since the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup, England has won 24 matches. In the recent series in India, they showed why their line-up is a serious contender for the upcoming World Cup. On top of that, they have an inspirational, calm captain who has an arsenal of players who provide him with the luxury of using various combination and still get results.
3. West Indies
The defending champions have gone wayward and then came back on track right before the T20 World Cup. When they won their second World Cup title, they had players who were somewhat specialists in the shortest format. In 2021, some of the stars of that World Cup-winning team would return to India, to defend their crown.
The Cricket West Indies (CWI) has done really well in recent times by giving opportunities to deserving candidates in the T20 format. They have some power hitters like Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis and their captain Kieron Pollard. Andre Russell who has been such a star in the IPL is also expected to make his return to the national side for the big tournament.
Given their team structure, the only thing they would be worried about will be their bowling. They also won a recent T20I series 3-0 at home against Sri Lanka, where the bowlers had done a pretty good job. But, it will be interesting to see how they perform in Indian conditions. They also have a captain in Pollard, who has won five IPL titles and knows how to handle the pressure at a big stage.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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