The T20 World Cup is set to grace Australia for the first, provided the threat of coronavirus subsides by the time tournament kicks off later this year. But let's not delve into the pandemic, it's already hogging too much limelight. And let's focus on the thing we share a common love for, i.e. Cricket.
We have come a long way since the first tournament in South Africa in 2007. The game has grown into an all-action theatre, and it's not about kaboom with the bat only, for the bowlers have become intelligent with their approach, despite the rules getting tweaked to favour the willow. Just like in the Test and ODIs, the more balanced a team is on all front, the more likely it is that that team will end as the winner.
With the ground bigger Down Under, pitches aiding bowlers, and not to mention the scorching heat, it won't just be the skills with the bat and ball, but the mental toughness will also be a key factor in that tournament. A team more complete in all aspects will be the favourite to win the tournament.
But there are few teams always who are more attuned to this format of the game than other teams, and here we discuss those teams and why they are favourite to win the T20 World Cup Down Under!
In 2016, West Indies became the first country to hold two World T20 titles after Darren Sammy-led side defeated England in the final at the Eden Gardens. That was the final for a generation as the Caribbean outfit snatched an unlikely win from the jaws of defeat with Carlos Braithwaite hitting Ben Stokes for the four towering sixes in the last over.
Since then, West Indies struggled in the T20s, plummeting to 10th in the world ranking. But the unpredictability is what makes the West Indies a dangerous outfit in the shortest format of the game. They may lack the consistency of a player like Virat Kohli or the uniqueness of Steve Smith in the batting line-up, but the team makes up for that with a bunch of dynamos who can single-handedly turn the tide of the game in a whiff. Chris Gayle is still going strong in the white-ball cricket, and the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Nicolas Pooran are famous for their no-hold-bar batting approach.
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) also seems keen on taking the right steps, as they paved the way for the senior players into the first-team fold after appointing Kieron Pollard as the captain of the team in both the ODIs and T20s. The Mumbai Indian all-rounder recently played in his 500th T20 game, while Dwayne Bravo – among the seniors to make a comeback – is also in the team.
Andre Russell offers a whole lot of balance to the team with his unrelenting hitting capabilities and the bowling. Sheldon Cottrell‘s stock continues to rise and he will be spearheading the bowling attack which has some proper T20 players.
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