T20 World Cup 2021 Tournament Preview & Prediction
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played from 17th October to 14th November across 4 venues in UAE and Oman. While the tournament venue had to be changed due to the second Covid-19 wave in India, BCCI are still the hosts. With arch rivals India and Pakistan clubbed together in Group 2, the tournament is all set for a sensational start.
2021 World Cup Team Previews:
India has failed in the knockout stages in recent ICC events. Champions Trophy, World Cup 2015 and 2019, and the WTC final are the major events where Kohli failed to be a match-winner for his side. They may be just one step away from the ‘chokers’ tag.
The bench strength of India gives the skipper and team management many options to choose from. Indian players will be familiar with the venues in UAE having played the complete 2020 and half of the 2021 IPL season here. India start as favourites to win this tournament.
Australia missed out on a chance to host the T20 World Cup in 2020 due to the pandemic. The number 5 ranked T20 team has lost a T20 series against West Indies and New Zealand in 2021. Before that, Australia had lost a T20i series to India at home in December of 2020.
Mitchell Marsh is a likely candidate for the T20 World Cup squad and will be an important figure in the playing XI. While Australia’s got some of the best finishers in the world, they are placed in Group 1 along with England and West Indies. The race to the title will be a tough challenge for Australia in these UAE conditions.
The world champions in the 50-over format will be coming to UAE with a strong T20 squad. Their approach to the game has been very aggressive and it has worked well so far.
Dawid Malan’s inconsistency will be a talking point for England going into the World Cup. English players have shown maturity in their game and are likely to deliver in a close encounter against Australia or West Indies. England are frontrunners to be crowned the T20 World Champions in 2021.
The Blackcaps showed up in the finals of ICC events only to be on the losing side for quite some time. It finally ended with their triumph in the WTC and the 2019 World Cup runners are likely to secure a spot in the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-finals.
Plenty of all-rounders in the side add depth in the batting lineup and will put NZ in a strong position in a run-chase. India will be their biggest challenge in the group stage. Kane Williamson and the team has the ability to hold their nerves in tough situations and not let the game slip away.
Babar Azam will be hoping his team’s experience of playing in UAE will come handy in the T20 World Cup 2021. There are some good bowling options in the side and promising young batsmen with big-hitting ability in the middle-order.
However, Pakistan has struggled to find players who are a great fit for a tournament. They are likely to end up relying on a few good players to deliver consistently while the rest may not live up to the expectations.
Unlike most other teams, the defending champions are looking up to their senior players in the T20Is lately. They might introduce new faces in the bowling department like Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh who can be successful on the UAE pitches.
Most of the top and middle-order batsmen in the Windies lineup have adopted an attacking approach. Big finishers like Pollard and Russell will be seen in big roles for West Indies in the tournament. However, they have also been a very inconsistent team in the T20Is and in a difficult Group 1, chances of their 3rd title are bleak.
There are a few world class T20 players South Africa will enter the tournament with like Miller, Rabada, de Kock, and Nigidi. However, as a unit, South Africa don’t seem threatening enough to dominate other teams in their group.
They should be confident to take on the Windies after having won an away T20 series against them. South Africa has a strong middle-order with potential for a great finish. While they may deliver some impressive performances, they don’t have a strong case for winning the title.
Afghanistan have surely made a huge impact at the international stage in recent years. In the 2019 World Cup, they were part of some close encounters against India and Pakistan. In 2018, they tied a match against India in the Asia Cup.
Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Qais Ahmed are only a few of the many talented players in this Afghanistan team. In a group with India, New Zealand, and Pakistan, they don’t have a strong chance of making it to the semi-finals.
Top Players to Watch in World Cup
The Indian opener is a great tournament player and has plenty of experience at the big stage. Not only his big-hitting ability, but also his composure and understanding of the game makes him a class apart.
The England wicket-keeper batsman has been in great form in the T20 format. His aggressive approach and impeccable timing got the better of many world class bowlers in recent times.
Rizwan has cemented his position in the Pakistan lineup as a wicket- keeper and an opener in the T20s. He has delivered consistently and often at times where the rest of the lineup has failed miserably.
The batting all-rounder has carried his BBL form to the international stage and other T20 leagues around the world. He can be a match-winner with both bat and ball for Australia.
A clever cricketer with a big heart who can get you bowled with his wrong-un just after being hit for a six, Yuzi Chahal is the one to watch for in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Overall T20 World Cup Tournament Winner Prediction:
The rise of T20 leagues is accompanied with an increase in the quality of T20 cricket played today. No matter where the teams are in the ICC T20 rankings, they’ve all got some world-class players who’ve dominated the best in the world in IPL, BBL, CPL, and other such leagues. While India and England are best equipped to win the title, the defending champions cannot be counted out.
Our prediction for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is for India to win their second title.