The T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to kick off in the month of October. After the event was postponed in 2020, the upcoming edition of the T20 WC is awaited with high anticipation. Although India was slated to host the tournament, BCCI took a sensible decision to shift the marquee tournament to take place in UAE and Oman due to a possible third wave expected to hit the country.
While the top-8 teams in the ICC T20 rankings have directly qualified, plenty of other teams will also prove their mettle in the T20 World Cup 2021. A total of eight teams will battle it out in the Round 1 to find a place in the Super 12s. Two teams each from the Groups (A & B) will join the top-8 teams in the Super 12s stage of the tournament.
The 12 teams are divided into two groups with six teams each. Eventually, the top-2 teams from each group will qualify for the Semi-Final of the T20 World Cup. Both the Groups in the Super 12s will have a close competition as all the teams will be vying to finish in the top-2 spots in their respective groups.
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Here's our prediction of Top-4 teams who may qualify in the T20 World Cup tournament 2021
Over the years, West Indies has established itself as the T20 powerhouse in the world. The defending champions will yet again be chief contenders to claim the coveted title. With a great mix of experience and youth, the Caribbean team possesses the might to take down any opposition on a given day in this format.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, the ‘Men in Maroon' have banked upon their T20 veterans as they were roped in for the Caribbean T20 home summer. With the power-hitting abilities of Evin Lewis, Andre Russell, Nicolas Pooran, and others, West Indies will arrive at the marquee event with the most menacing batting line-up.
Skipper Kieron Pollard will hold the key in the middle-order along with his skills with the ball. Chris Gayle, despite not being at the peak of his powers, will also be crucial for West Indies in the upcoming T20 WC.
In the recent past, England has been phenomenal in the limited-overs format. After a disappointing end in 2016, the English T20I team has come a long way in establishing themselves as prime favorites to win the T20 World Cup in 2021. Under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, England has nearly all bases covered in their T20I setup.
The likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, carry the weight of English batting with their power game. For slow pitches in UAE, England has two successful spinners in Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali along with a backup in form of Matt Parkinson.
Their seam bowling attack has enough variety to trouble the opposition. The likes of Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, David Willey, and others, can deliver the goods in the T20 format. In Group 1 from the Super 12s, England can be predicted to qualify for the T20 WC Semi-Final.
Team India is always one of the favorites going into any global ICC event. It would be no different as they host the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE. The Virat Kohli-led side has witnessed a successful run in the T20Is in the last few years. With eight consecutive series wins in varying conditions, augurs well for India's chances at the forthcoming ICC event.
India's likely top-order could see the trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli in their playing XI. An aggressive middle-order line-up could be a way forward for India in the UAE. Players like Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya will be the perfect foil to a dependable top-order.
The hosts also have enough resources in their bowling arsenal. Yuzvednra Chahal could lead the spin department along with Ravindra Jadeja. Among pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammad Shami will be India's prime bet in their starting XI. With teams like New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India should fancy topping their group.
The mercurial Pakistan team is a brave pick as part of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 prediction. The No.4 ranked team in the ICC T20 rankings will be at ease with the conditions in the UAE. In the last few years, Pakistan has played a majority of its home matches in the UAE. This provides them an upper hand as compared to other teams even before the start of the competition. The Babar Azam-led also has a rich history of doing well in the ICC events. They have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Semis along with India from Group 2. Their bowling could be a point of concern but batting seems to compensate for the runs conceded.
The experience of Mohammad Hafeez, and Babar Azam will be handy for such a young Pakistani outfit. Mohammad Rizwan, who's had a dream run in the T20Is this year, will be hopeful of carrying the same form in the T20 World Cup 2021 too.