The Indian cricket team has just concluded an ODI series against Australia, and the Men in Blue were humbled and how. They lost the series by a margin of 4-1 matches and the lack of bowling talent in the team was clearly visible. A lot of talks about how Dhoni should step down as captain were also raised. Luckily, the management has decided to keep him as the skipper till the T20 World Cup is done with.
Coming to the ICC World Cup, it is going to begin on 8th March and will culminate on 3rd April. The host country is India and that should give the team, the home crowd advantage. A total of sixteen countries, including India, will battle it out for the coveted trophy. The countries participating in the T20 World Cup are Bangladesh, Netherlands, Oman, Ireland, Scotland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England, India, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan.
The format is such that the minnows will play against each other in two separate groups and the winner of each, will join the other teams. The lineup puts India, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan in one group while Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies and England form the other one. This makes the competition really tough as all the teams are heavyweights on paper and only the top two in each draw will make it to the knockouts.
The semi-finals will be held at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi and the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The venue for the final will be the gigantic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
There are no particular favorites for this tournament as the format is highly unpredictable. This is the main reason why no country has won the title more than once. Out of the the five T20 World Cup’s that were held, the winners have been India, Pakistan, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively.
Team India came close to clinching the title in the last tournament, but due to a batting collapse, Sri Lanka emerged victoriously. If one has to put their money on any team, then it would have to be one of the subcontinent ones. The ICC World Cup in 2011 showed us how the pitches and weather, favored the teams in this region as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India made it to the final four.
The T20 World Cup is almost here and given the country’s obsession with cricket, the matches will have packed stadiums. Team India will get a lot of support from the home crowd, who will cheer them on.