Favorites India eye glory in unchartered territory
The 2021 edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup is set to begin in less than 10 days and excitement amongst the fans is gradually increasing.
The tournament will feature 12 teams in the main round who will compete for the ultimate prize of lifting the trophy on November 14 in Dubai.
Team India will be coming in the contest as one of the hot favourites to lift the title for the second time.
The Men-in-Blue will be at an advantage compared to all the other teams participating in the competition as all the players who have been selected for the mega-event have taken part in the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is being organised in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Therefore, the players would’ve had the much-needed match practice, that too in the conditions where the mega-event will be played.
Record in T20Is:
India have never played a T20I in the UAE which might make it tough for the players. However, their record in the last two years in the 20-over format has been nothing less than impressive where they registered 17 wins in just 25 matches which included only seven defeats.
The Men-in-Blue have the second-best win percentage in the history of the ICC T20 World Cup where they registered 21 wins in 33 outings which included 11 defeats whereas one match ended without a result.
India have played two finals in the history of the competition—in 2007 and then later in 2014. In the first edition, the side managed to beat arch-rivals Pakistan in a nail-biting encounter to lift the title under the leadership of MS Dhoni whereas, in the other final, they suffered a defeat against Lasith Malinga-led Sri Lanka.
India’s batting unit is once again looking solid as most of the players have the ability to turn the game upside down on any given day.
The side’s overall batting will be revolved around captain Virat Kohli, who will be accompanied by star opener Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul.
These four batters will have the responsibility of laying down a foundation for the likes of wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya to take advantage of and help the team in posting a competitive total.
India’s bowling has improved significantly over the last few years and it should not come as a surprise that they will enter the contest as one of the most dangerous unit.
The pace bowling will be led by star fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah who will be accompanied by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur.
In the spin department, the Men-in-Blue will have options in abundance with the likes of Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy all having the ability to use the conditions to good effect.
India are placed in Group 2 alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, 2019 ICC 50-over World Cup runners up New Zealand, Afghanistan whereas the two teams will be decided after the qualifying round.
Their opening match is against Babar Azam-led unit on October 24 whereas their final round-robin fixture is scheduled to be played on November 8 in Dubai.