After a five-year wait, cricket fans around the world will be able to see their national teams compete in the ICC T20 World Cup. The high-octane tournament’s seventh edition will take place from October 17 to November 14.
Due to the current pandemic scenario in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will organize the event in the UAE and Oman. This year’s flagship tournament will be held at the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.
On Friday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed the groups in the presence of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly at a ceremony in Oman. In Group 2, arch-rivals India and Pakistan are pitted against each other.
The cricket fraternity has been ecstatic about the unusual battle between the two Asian superpowers since hearing about it. The titanic battle between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli will now be eagerly anticipated by fans.
Identifying the top two performers from each group
Group 1: England, Australia, the West Indies, and South Africa, Group A winners and Group B runners-up.
🏆 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗮 𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝟮𝟬 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗖𝘂𝗽 🏆— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 16, 2021
📍 England in Group 1 alongside Australia, reigning champions West Indies and South Africa.
📍 Group 2 includes rivals India and Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan.
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Group 1 is more difficult than Group 2 due to the involvement of four heavyweight teams: the West Indies, England, Australia, and South Africa. Two qualifying teams will compete in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup with the four teams stated above.
The current global number one T20I squad, England, finished second in the most recent T20 World Cup in 2016. In the shortest format of the game, they are currently the most destructive as well as the most balanced team. In every section, Eoin Morgan’s team has match-winners. We can anticipate England advancing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals without breaking a sweat.
Meanwhile, the West Indies are the incumbent global champions in the shortest format, having won the 2016 T20 World Cup in India. The Kieron Pollard-led team will also be a force to be reckoned with in the 2019 T20 World Cup. They are among the favorites to win the tournament this year, and if they do, they will become the first side to successfully defend their T20 World Cup title.
Following the retirements of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, the South African side is currently in a transitional phase. Despite having a strong bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Lungi Ngidi, their batting line has failed to demonstrate the consistency required at the international level. In the batting department, they are unduly reliant on Quinton de Kock.
Australia has a formidable bowling attack lead by Mitchell Starc, but the lower middle order lacks consistency. That was demonstrated in the recent T20I series against the Windies. In terms of finishing, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell are the greatest choices available to the Australians. Dan Christian has tried out for the role of Dan Christian in the West Indies series, however he has failed to impress. The presence of Steve Smith in the top of the order may benefit the team because he can anchor the innings while surrounded by disruptive guys.
Prediction: England and the West Indies will advance from Group 1 to the semi-finals.
Group 2- Group B winner India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Group A runners-up
From this group, India and New Zealand will be the favorites to go to the knockout stage of the T20 World Cup. Both countries are currently in form on the international cricket circuit, with balanced sides that can perform well in a variety of circumstances and competent captains at the helm.
However, Pakistan’s chances should never be underestimated, since they have a history of excelling in high-pressure situations. In Group 2 of the T20 World Cup 2021, Afghanistan will be the underdog.
The Rashid Khan-led side has a solid bowling assault and might produce a few upsets in the T20 World Cup 2021. For the first time in two years, India will face Pakistan. The last time the neighbors met was at the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.
During the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021, qualifying teams may find it difficult to survive against more experienced and vicious opponents.