ICC World T20 World Cup Preview and Predictions










As India and the cricket fans all over the world warm up to the T20 World Cup tonight, Gaurav Joshi reports live from India summing up the heated scenario…


There have been five different ICC T20 World Cups [World T20] and five different winners. It sums up the unpredictability of the T20 format.   Never has a team been so short priced as India to win a T20 event. However, the fickleness of the format means anything is possible.

We look at the ten team’s chances and make predictions on which team will win the tournament.

INDIA:   They start as the raging favourites and rightly so. The team is playing in their own backyard and their current form is irresistible.   The emergence of Jasprit Bumrah as death bowler and Hardik Pandya as the medium pacer all-rounder has ensured the gaping holes in the India eleven have been filled.

Key Player:   Ravi Ashwin

Predictions:   Winner.

PAKISTAN:   Their pace bowling department is always strong but a lack of quality spinner and vulnerable top order   and their recent poor form in the recently concluded Asia cup means Pakistan will need to produce a miracle to get through the group.

Key Player:   Shoaib Malik

Predictions:   Group Stage.

AUSTRALIA :   No other team boasts a power game like Australia.   The hitting ability of Shane Watson, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh ensures the Aussies will be difficult to beat if the pitches are flat but in reality to win the tournament they will need to overcome the spin barrier later in the tournament.

Key Player:   Glenn Maxwell

Predictions: Semi-Final.

SOUTH AFRICA:  Chokers at ICC World Cup (ODIs and T20) events but no team can dare to underestimate them. Critics tend to forget that South Africa beat India in a bilateral T20 series only a few months ago.   One senses that this team can overcome the disappointment of the World Cup semi-final last year and progress further into the tournament.

Key player: AB De Villiers

Prediction:   Final.

NEW ZEALAND: The loss of Brendon McCullum and Indian pitch conditions are huge hurdles for New Zealand to overcome.   The Kiwis have a knack of exceeding expectations at World events but with lots of young faces this T20 World Cup is likely to test their limits.

Key Player:   Corey Anderson

Prediction: Group Stage.

WEST INDIES: In T20s they do pose a threat with Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo ”“ both can be match winners. Samuel Badree is going to be a handful but the absence of Sunil Narine does lessen their chances. Doubts still remain over unity in the team and that could potentially be difference between a successful campaign and an ultimate disaster.

Key Player: Lendl Simmons

Prediction:   Group Stage.

England:   They are the real dark horses in this tournament.   Under new coach, Australia’s Trevor Bayliss, the England team has learnt to play fearless brand of cricket.   Unlike the past English teams, there is a sense of self belief. With two quality spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid they can really give this tournament a shake.

Key Player:   Moeen Ali

Prediction: Semi-Final.

Sri Lanka: The reigning champions are in a rebuilding stage. Add to it the injury issues to Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews, one can sense the island nation will need a miracle to get out of the group.   There is still too much emphasis on senior players such as Rangana Herath and Tillakaratne Dilshan. The young crop is yet to rise and the results in this tournament will highlight the problems that Sri Lanka faces.

Key Player:   Tillkratne Dilshan

Prediction:   Group Stage.

Then there are the qualifying teams Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They have performed well to join the top eight teams mentioned above. Bangladesh can create a few shocks ”“ especially after entering the final of Asia T20 Cup a few weeks ago.

The World T20 kicks of tonight between India and New Zealand in Nagpur (at 1.00 am on 16th March, Sydney time).


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