ICC WORLD T20 2021

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icc world t20

ICC WORLD T20 PREVIEW

The 7th edition of ICC World t20 is scheduled to be held in October 2021. The global tournament is to be staged in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. This will be the 1st shortest format tournament in the last 5 years. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to be held in India.  However, it was shifted to the UAE amidst the Covid-19 situation.

Cricket fans are over the moon and anticipating a competitive set of matches. The top 8 teams in ICC’s T20i ranking have already qualified for Super 12. These teams include WestIndies, England, Newzealand, India, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Afghanistan. The other 8 teams (Srilanka, Bangladesh, Ireland, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, PNG, and the Netherlands) will play a qualifier group stage tournament.

ICC WORLD T20 GROUPS

icc world t20

The top two teams of both Group A and Group B will qualify for the super 12 stage.  Following that, the top two teams of Group 1 and Group 2 in Super 12 will qualify for the knockout stage. The tournament commences from 17th October. The final will be played on 14th November 2021 in Dubai. 

ICC WORLD T20 SCHEDULE

Find the complete schedule here: https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/2222023

In this piece, we have articulated a Wt20 preview, focusing on the already qualified teams for Super 12.

ICC WORLD T20 TEAMS

1) WEST INDIES

The first up are the bad boys of cricket, the mighty Windies. You never know what the men in maroon are up to. They are the only team to win the tournament twice (2012 and 2016). They are the defending champions of the tournament. The team has got together once again under the leadership of Keiron Pollard and will look to make it three times. You can never write off West Indies. On their day, this team can hurt your favourite team very badly.

The induction of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russel and Andre Fletcher has invoked a new spirit in the team. These players are the true ambassadors of the game and have played in a lot of t20 leagues around the world. West Indies are placed in Group 1 along with Australia, England and South Africa. West Indies are one solid contender for the semi-final spot with such strong team. Bowling could be a bit of concern for the team due to inexperience. However, they have got enough firepower with the bat to neutralize the effect.

 2) ENGLAND

The English team is one of the most balanced teams participating in the competition, if not the most. They are the winners of 2010 and runners up of 2016 edition. Eoin Morgan will look to lead his team to another world cup glory after the successful campaign at ODI World Cup 2019. 

The biggest setback to the English team is the unavailability of Ben Stokes. Ben has taken an indefinite break from cricket. He has been a part of all the historical victories England has achieved in the past three to four years. Despite his absence, the English team looks phenomenal on paper. With the likes of Johnny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan strengthening the batting, Eoin Morgan will be quite relieved. The spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will play a vital role for England considering the slow pitches of UAE. Placed in Group 1, England is the favourites to qualify for the next stage.

3) INDIA

The Indian cricket team is currently at the peak of its golden times. Indians will enter into the tournament as hot favorites. They have an exemplary batting order and formidable bowling attack. The 2007 champions and 2014 runners, India will look to end its trophy drought after 14 years. The whole Indian team is a module of Virat Kohli’s aggression. 

Players to watch out for are Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and the skipper himself. India bat deep with some really good all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. The bowling department will be spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah, and the spinners will have to play their role. The strongest team of the tournament as it stands, India is placed in Group 2 along with Pakistan, Newzealand and Afghanistan. It will be a shocking situation if India fails to qualify for the semi-finals. 

4) NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is one of the most disciplined and well-organized cricket teams in the world. New Zealand will enter into the tournament in search of its first-ever title. However, the nation and cricket fans believe in Kane Williamson’s leadership qualities expect New Zealand to make it big this time around.

Upon close inspection of the team, one would feel that New Zealand missed the trick by missing out on Ross Taylor and Colin Munro. Ross has been the backbone of the batting lineup for a decade, while Munro has had the experience of playing on the UAE pitches. The rest of the team looks good on paper with the likes of Martin Guptill, Devon Conway and Trent Boult. Kane Williamson however will be concerned with his team’s records on Asian pitches. New Zealand is placed in Group 2 with India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It will be a challenge for the team to get through Super 12 competing against all Asian giants on slow pitches.

5) PAKISTAN

Unpredictable Pakistan has done well in the t20s historically. Babar Azam will prospect to commission his troops towards repeating the 2009 glory. The best thing about Pakistan cricket is that you cannot predict anything about them. Every day, they emerge as a new team.

Pakistan will have all their hopes aligned with the skipper Babar Azam, and the highest t20 run-getter of 2021, Mohammad Rizwan. The experience of Mohammad Hafeez and some really good bowlers in Hassan Ali and Shaheen Afridi portrays Pakistan as a team to look out for. However, the concern for the team is their middle-order woes, which can hurt them very badly. The revised squad sees the inclusion of veterans Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, to provide some stability in the struggling middle order. Positioned in Group 2, Pakistan will also try to remove the stain of losing against India at every world cup face-off. The chances for Pakistan to qualify for the semi-finals are very bright, but after all, they are Pakistan, so you never know.

6) AUSTRALIA

5 times world ODI champions Australia have never been crowned as the world t20 champions. They were the runner ups in the 2010 edition and no good since then. Australia has never performed up to the mark whenever the tournament was held in Asian conditions, and the case is the same this time around. Skipper Aaron Finch has got a very tough challenge to face in the upcoming edition.

The team will heavily depend on David Warner, Aaron Finch and Mitchel Starc. The concern for the team is the lack of match-winning spinners that can provide utility on UAE pitches. Ashton Agar will need to be a bit more envisioned for his bowling. The Kangaroos nevertheless, have got a strong lineup and you can never write them off. Australia is positioned in Group 1.

7) SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa has been in a spot of bother for the past couple of years. The players are delivering individual performances, but the team is not clicking as a combined unit. Skipper Temba Bavuma will have to spark a new vision into the team and lead by an example on their journey to win the first-ever t20 world cup title.

The Proteas have some extraordinary players in Quinton De Cock, Rassie Van Der Dussen and David Miller. These players can turn the game on their heads with scintillating knocks. The bowling department has the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortche and Tabraiz Shamsi, having the ability to demolish any batting line in the world. With a team like this, South Africa can fancy their chances only if they work in a unified direction.

8) AFGHANISTAN

Termed as the dark horses of this world cup, the Afghan cricket team has shown some really good improvement in recent years. The players are making names in t20 leagues around the world, and the team itself looks formidable under the leadership of Muhammad Nabi. The induction of Ande Flower as head coach is also a boost for the team.

With the likes of Rashid Khan, Hazaratullah Zazai and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, this team has every capability to upset its opponents in Group 2 and qualify for the semi-final spot. The team plays with grit and passion and has given really tough times to its opponents whenever played at the global stages. 

PREDICTIONS..?

On paper, as the AlphaInforms team views it, India, Pakistan, England, and the West Indies are most likely to feature in the semi-finals. India and England are undoubted, the best sides in the world. The Windies have got that firepower to nullify all the external effects, while Pakistan is the most familiar with the conditions in UAE. And as mentioned, being the most balanced sides in the tournament, India and England are favorites to play the final. All in all, this world cup might not see a new winner once again. 

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