The T-20 world cup is one of the most wide-open tournaments in all sports. The margins are razor-thin, and it is partly the reason why the West Indies have shocked the world not just once but twice in this tournament. The best team does not always win a T-20 tournament.
Instead, it is the team that delivers in every match. However, I think this Indian team ranked second behind England is poised to win their second T-20 title in 2021.
Below I state five reasons why I think the Men in Blue will win this tournament.
Number 5-Group 2 is the easier draw
India has a favorable draw based on the teams that they will face in the group. India will face Pakistan and New Zealand as the only top-tier teams. They will be able to rotate players in their three other contests against Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland.
The importance of keeping players fit and fresh will be the key in this competition. The group is a definite contrast to Group 1 which will be a case of survival of the fittest with teams such as England, West Indies, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. The teams that emerge from Group 1 will expend so much energy that there is little left for the semifinal round.
T-20 is a pressure-packed form of cricket that requires a level-headed captain. India has one of the best captains in world cricket with Virat Kohli as their leader.
According to Cricinfo, he is ranked 8th all-time with 45 international T-20 matches as captain. In those matches, he has won 27, lost 14, tied 2 and 2 games ending without a result. Therefore, his win percentage of 65.11% is higher than MS Dhoni’s 59.28%.
As a captain for at least 40 matches, he is second behind only Afghanistan’s Asghar Stanikzai win percentage of 81.73%. The management has bolstered their leadership in the dressing room by having Dhoni join the team as a mentor.
Number 3-Knowledge of conditions
The players that played in the IPL will be at an advantage when the T-20 World Cup bowls off in the United Arab Emirates. The Indian players have been exposed more than any other team.
Therefore, they know the pitch conditions and atmosphere in the UAE. Teams like Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, and even the West Indies will need to make big adjustments based on the slowness of the pitch and the ball not coming on to the bat.
The tournament will be decided by who can exploit the conditions with the ball. Ravichandran Ashwin is one of three specialist slow bowlers selected along with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.
The trio has picked up 38 wickets in a combined 41 matches in the IPL 2021. Ashwin makes his return into the T-20 format from his last appearance in 2017. Chahar with his leg-break and spinning googly has the potential to breach the defense of top batsmen. Varun can make the best batsmen dance to his extra bounce and unpredictable angles.
Number 1-Batting lineup
Teams may be inclined to bat first and try to put up a big total against this Indian team. Sadly, it will be to their peril with a tremendous lineup consisting of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Kohli himself. Rahul and Rohit are an exceptional partnership to start the innings.
The pair ranks 9th overall in the history of t-20 opening partnerships with 1047 runs in 20 innings and an average stand of 55.1. Pant will replace Dhoni as the wicketkeeper-batsman and be the innings finisher. In the 2021 IPL, he scored 419 runs in 16 matches at an average of 34.91.
The 32-year-old Kohli is a batting genius and he has shined in the past two tournaments by being named Player of the tournament. The stats show he has scored 777 runs in the 16 matches with a ridiculous average of 86.33 in this tournament.
He also has 9 fifties which is the most in the tournament’s history. Yes, based on the lineup and capable batters in reserve, this team can set up and chase big totals.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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