How will India fare in the T20 cricket World Cup?

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Have you bought tickets for some matches for the ICC Men’s T20 cricket World Cup to be held in Australia from 16 October to 13 November this year? If not, do it now as over 500,000 fans have already booked their tickets.

According to Cricket Australia, “Cricket lovers from 82 different countries have purchased tickets to watch the world’s best players from 16 international teams, marking the return of full stadiums at ICC events for the first time since the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020, which culminated with 86,174 fans for the Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).”

All your favourite teams including India and Australia will participate at different venues; Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart and Geelong.

The teams which reached the Super 12 phase of the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup automatically qualified for the current mega event. They are India, Australia, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Surprisingly West Indies and Sri Lanka failed to do so. Along with Zimbabwe, Scotland, Ireland, United Arab Emeritus (UAE), Netherland and Nambia they are kept in the Group stage of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Imagine Afghanistan and Bangladesh qualifying automatically and the West Indies and Sri Lanka not! Especially because West Indies had won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016 and Sri Lanka in 2014.

Previous winners of ICC T20 World Cup: India (2007), Pakistan (2009), England (2010), West Indies (2012), Sri Lanka (2014), West Indies (2016) and Australia (2021). West Indies is the only team to win the Cup twice. Australia is the reigning champion.

The 2022 T20 World Cup commences on 16 October with matches between Sri Lanka and Nambia at 3 pm at Geelong and between UAE and Netherlands on the same venue at 7pm. The 12 qualifying matches continue till 21 October when the winners and runners-ups of Groups A and B are decided.

Australia will meet New Zealand in Sydney and England will face Afghanistan at Perth on 22 October. Now to the major clash we have been awaiting for long, India meeting Pakistan in Melbourne on the 23rd.

Below is given the Itinerary of matches concerning India and Australia.

The matches India under the leadership of Rohit Sharma will play against are:

·       Pakistan at Melbourne on 23 October.

·       Runner-up of Group A at Sydney on 27 October.

·       South Africa at Perth on 30 October.

·       Bangladesh at Adelaide on 2 November and

·       Winner of Group B at Melbourne on 6 November.

The matches Australia under the leadership of Aaron Finch will play against are:

·       New Zealand at Sydney on 22 October.

·       Winner of Group A at Perth on 25 October.

·       England at Melbourne on 28 October.

·       Runners-up of Group B at Brisbane on 31 October and

·       Afghanistan at Adelaide on 4 November.

If they qualify, India and Australia will meet each other in the semi-final stage on 9 in Sydney or on 10 November in Adelaide. The FINAL will be staged in Melbourne on 13 November.

T20 World Cup records:

Most runs: Mahela Jayawarddene (SL), 1016.

Highest batting average: Virat Kohli (Ind), 76.81

Most runs in one World Cup: Virat Kohli, 319 in 2014.

Highest score: Brendon McCullum, 123, NZ v. Bangladesh, 2012.

Most wickets: Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh, 41.

Most catches: AB de Villiers (SAf), 23.

Most dismissals: MS Dhoni (Ind), 32.

The 15 member Indian squad

Batters: Rohit Sharma (capt), Virat Kohli, K. Lokesh Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya*.

Wicket-keepers: Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik.

Fast-medium bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh.

Spinners: Ravichandra Ashwin, Axar Patel*, Deepak Hooda*, Yuzvendra Chahal.

*Pandya, Axar Patel and Hooda are all-rounders.

It is a fine mixture of veterans and youngsters under the experienced and inspiring coach Rahul Dravid. But injured dynamic all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will be missed.

How will India perform in Australia? Of late they have been disappointing having failed to lift the T20 World Cup in 15 years. But this month they have jumped back to form beating Australia 2-1 in T20 Internationals in India with Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Lokesh Rahul and Axar Patel in fine touch.

Last night they defeated South Africa by 8 wickets at Thiruvananthapuram with fast-medium bowler Arshdeep Singh and batsman Suryakumar Yadav in terrific form.

However, the above matches were played in India. To perform successfully in Australia may pose a few problems.

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