Updated: Mar 26, 2021 12:00 pm
India hasn’t tasted success in the ICC World T20 since the inaugural edition in 2007 which propelled Mahendra Singh Dhoni among many players to superstardom. Post that the biggest and most popular T20 league in the world, IPL kicked off which has given a lot of exposure to youngsters from India to get exposed to T20 conditions and playing against the best players around the world.
Despite that their record in World T20’s since then hasn’t been good. They came very close in 2016 when the champions West Indies beat them in the semi-finals and lost out to Sri Lanka in the finals of the 2014 edition. Now with the ICC World T20 scheduled to take place in Australia later on in the year, the Indians have played a lot of T20Is in preparation and also recently they defeated the Kiwis 5-0 in their own backyard.
Men in Blue’ have had a hectic schedule. They have quite a few T20s, including two months of high profile, high voltage action in the IPL before the mega event in Australia which is scheduled to take place in October this year. Historically, India has done decently at World T20s. However, they didn’t make it past the Super Eight Stage for the next three editions (2009, 2010, 2012).
Hence, they will once again be looking to get their hands on the T20 World Cup. In fact, they haven’t won an ICC trophy in the last six years. Thus, they will be eyeing that elusive title and put aside the disappointment of the 2019 World Cup which still hurts their fans as they were so explosive and destructive in the build-up to the sem-finals against the Kiwis and lost out rather timidly.
Here’s looking at five impact players from India who can help them win the coveted ICC World T20 in Australia later on this year:
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably one of the best fast bowlers across all formats in the world at the moment. The Gujarat pacer has been around in international cricket for just over three years and yet, he is India’s premier bowler in all three formats. He has churned out wickets consistently and has out-bowled everyone in and around the team.
Bumrah is India’s most lethal weapon in T20i’s and is among the world’s finest exponents of the yorkers in the death overs in world cricket off late. He has 59 wickets in 49 T20Is at a very good economy rate of 6.67. His value was felt in the T20Is against the Kiwis recently where despite not picking up any wicket, he managed to put the breaks on the oppositions scoring at crucial junctures of the game.
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Thus, Bumrah will be absolutely key for India next year when they travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup. His ability to pick wickets at the top and execute those pinpoint yorkers at the death make him lethal. Thus, it won’t be a surprise if Bumrah once again ends up as India’s highest wicket-taker in next year’s mega event.
Rishabh Pant’s loss is KL Rahul’s gain. Rahul has been prolific with the bat ever since having been given the role of playing India’s batsman-wicket keeper in both ODIs and T20Is off late in the absence of MSD and with Pant not impressing in the chances he has received thus far.
KL Rahul has shown that he can play a perfect role at the top of the batting order as well as double up as the finisher when required. It’s his extremely good adaptive skills that is going to be a huge bonus for India as they head into the World T20 and look to win the tournament after winning it in the inaugural edition. An inform KL Rahul will help India’s cause tremendously.
Hardik Pandya is one of the most valuable cricketers going around in Indian cricket at the moment. There are very few who can contribute with both bat and ball as well as Pandya can. The pace-bowling all-rounder from Baroda has been a vital part of India’s setup over the last few years. He is pivotal to the balance of the squad.
Pandya blew hot and cold during the 2019 World Cup. While he was striking the ball well, he never got a big score. However, the biggest positive was his bowling. He consistently bowled his quota of 10 overs and did that really well. Moreover, he was in brilliant form in the IPL as well where he was finishing games for Mumbai Indians consistently.
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Thus, Pandya will be absolutely crucial to the balance of the side. Moreover, he might bat at 6 or 7 which is a vital position in white-ball cricket. Pandya has a destructive strike rate of 145.75 in T20Is for India and also he has scalped 39 wickets in 25 games. He will definitely required to bowl the four overs in Australian conditions and also be at his brutal best with the bat to provide the desired results that Virat Kohli would be seeking- a title win.
India’s white-ball vice-captain has been one of the biggest match-winners in the shorter formats. Rohit Sharma has time and again proved that he is one of the best batsmen going around in white-ball cricket at the moment. His ability to bat long and bat big is remarkable. Once Rohit is set, he makes it count more often.
Sharma made his T20I debut against England at Durban on September 19, 2007. He has played 94 T20s for India so far and scored 2,331 runs with an average of 32.37 and a strike rate of 137.68, including 4 centuries and 16 half-centuries. His value something goes unnoticed but a prolific run of form in 2019 was among the key factors for India’s success in ODIs and T20Is.
However, he hasn’t had a great time in World T20s. He’s been featuring in them since 2007 but hasn’t had a standout tournament. Thus, he will be itching to correct that record. Thus, Rohit will be one to watch out for in this year’s T20 World Cup. He is certainly one of those who can win India the tournament.
At one point, Virat Kohli was almost invincible in T20 cricket. People also called him the Bradman of T20 cricket. However, the Indian skipper has faded away just a touch in the shortest format in the recent past. While he’s still scoring runs, he is not as consistent in the shortest format.
However, you cannot count him out on the big stage. Kohli has been the Player of the Tournament for two World T20s in a row (2014 and 2016). He finished both tournaments as the leading run-getter and almost single-handedly carried India through those tournaments.
He will once again be key for India at No. 3 and look to control the innings. Also, this will most likely be his first T20 World Cup as captain. Thus, like the previous two World T20s, he will look to dominate and this time take India all the way.