The T20 World Cup is back !
Yes! Today is the day that will embark the start of an enthralling tournament in itself, after a 5 year long hiatus, the T20 World Cup is back in UAE & OMAN who are hosts to India. As we come to end of the qualifiers, now the best 12 teams will be competing against each other in their groups respectively in the heist of a World T20 Title.
Bangladesh, Srilanka, Scotland and Namibia are the four teams that have qualified for the World Cup securing top two spots in their respective groups. The qualifiers were really exciting as we saw some terrific matches like Scotland defeating the Bangladesh Tigers, Namibia winning their first T20 World Cup match and the cherry on the top was them getting that spot in the Super 12, what an achievement ! The Srilankan Lions qualified easily winning all of their three qualifiers to seal their spot into that 12 teams. The world cup will begin with the super clash of Australia and South Africa on Saturday, 23rd October at 3.30 pm. Runner ups England will take on the defending champions West Indies in the evening clash. Sunday will mark the biggest match of the arch rivals India and Pakistan, the most awaited match for any cricket fans around the world. India would love to start their campaign with a win following their comfortable wins in the warm-up games against England and Australia.
The Indian team management certainly will have some happy headaches of whom to choose in the eleven amongst this amazing set of players who have done a little wrong in the warm up games. Rahul looks in sublime touch alongside the vice-captain Rohit at the top. The middle order select themselves with Virat, Surya, Pant filling the spots alongside Hardik and Jadeja fulfilling the finishers role. The bowling department looks interesting as well with inform Shami and Bumrah with fixed spots, it will be interesting to see if India goes with Shardul who provides them with depth in batting or Bhuvi who swings the bowl and strikes early in the innings.
On the other hand, the ODI World Cup Winners and the Current No.1 T20 team England will also start as one of the favourites considering their recent white ball form, skipper Morgan has also considered stepping down midway if his string of poor form continues in the World Cup matches too, but England will be vary of that already missing the services of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran to injuries. Pakistan will also be the one’s to watch out for as the current no.3 ranked team’s T20 record over the years has been phenomenal with their Captain Babar Azam and vice captain Rizwan being the pillars of their side. While the Kiwis have been in the top three of the world T20 rankings for many years now but following a series loss against Bangladesh has thrown them to the number four spot. The Kiwis will field a full strength team in their quest of winning a limited over ICC title.
The World No. 5 South Africans will also be booming in confidence finally after winning 2 back to back away series. Temba Bavuma will lead the side comprising of a lot of youngsters. Tabraiz Shamsi the T20 Number 1 bowler will be the one to watch out for with his mystery spin along with Aiden Markam who had a really positive IPL gig. The Kangaroos on the other hand have been thrown to the number 7 position in the ICC T20 Rankings following their heavy losses to West Indies and Bangladesh. That really is a shame for the Aussies who play cricket with pride. They wont start as automatic favorites but they have some amazing players to watch out for including the Big Show (Maxwell), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Stoinis to name a few. The Afghan team which is placed under Australia in the rankings will field the team with a new captain and some oldies getting back to the National team. Rashid Khan will be the one to watch out for along with their captian Nabi and Wicketkeeper Batsman Mohammad Shahzad coming back to International Cricket after serving a one year ban.
Last but not the least the defending champions who are currently placed at number 9 in the rankings have named a full strength squad ahead of the World Cup in their title defense. Pollard who has been in Red-Hot form will lead the team consisting of some exciting talents like Shimron Hetmeyer, Nicolas Pooran, Hayden Walsh Jr. , Oshane Thomas and vastly experienced players in Chris Gayle, DJ Bravo, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons. Their overall outfit looks steamy and breezy both looking at such a fiery set of players and definitely cannot rule them out of defending their title.
Overall this World Cup will consist of some towering sixes, toe-snorkling yorkers, exquisite cover drives and much more to watch out for. Glue to your TV sets from 3.30 pm today to enjoy the action on the Star Sports Network.