Top Teams Jostle as T20I World Cups Looms
Cricket’s T20I World Cup is a little over ten weeks away, and all eyes are on the handful of teams jostling for contention in this year’s tournament.
With the last tournament finishing less than nine months ago, it’s a strange space for international T20 cricket to be in.
We take a look at the favorites heading into the 2022 T20I Cricket World Cup, and break down the bookies odds as well.
Can Cricketing Behemoth India Finally Lift an ICC Trophy?
There’s no doubt that India is the elephant in the room when it comes to cricket’s biggest titles.
Not only are they the giant of cricket—both in terms of participation numbers and financial clout—but they’ve also failed to win a major ICC title in over a decade, with their last World Cup win coming in the ODI format of the game, in 2011. The last time India won a T20I World Cup was fifteen years ago.
For a nation that lives and breathes cricket, including hosting the largest T20 tournament in the world, the pressure is on for India to win this World Cup.
In terms of form, India’s T20 results last year were bitterly disappointing—losing to Pakistan and New Zealand in their opening pool matches of the 2021 World Cup, meaning they did not progress from the group phase.
Since then, the side has bounced back, sweeping 2021 runners up New Zealand 3-0 in a series played only days after the tournament’s end. This year, India have swept the West Indies 3-0, Sri Lanka 3-0 and Ireland 2-0, while also defeating England 2-1 and drawing with South Africa 2-2. Currently, they are 2-1 up against the West Indies in a best-of-five series.
These results see them sit atop of the T20I world rankings, however, their form is only worth so much in the eyes of the bookies. India sit at third favorite to take out the title in this year’s World Cup, with odds of +350.
Who Will Prevail Out of England and Australia?
Ranked second and sixth in the world respectively, England and Australia are joint favorites to win the T20I World Cup this year.
It’s no surprise that Australia are heading into this tournament with odds of +300, given their performance at the World Cup nine months ago—which ended with them trouncing New Zealand by eight wickets to lift the trophy.
Since then, Australia have only played nine T20Is, eight of which have been against Sri Lanka. Their form has been good, with a record of 7-2, and both losses coming in dead rubber games.
England, however, have been somewhat patchier.
Since falling in the semi-finals of the T20I World Cup last year to New Zealand, England have amassed a record of 4-7 in T20Is, losing each of the three series they’ve played against the West Indies, India and South Africa.
Why the ICC has Australia sitting at sixth in the world rankings, and England at second, is anyone’s guess; however, the bookies say they are even chances of winning the title at +300 each.
Black Caps a Dark Horse, Again
New Zealand have a pretty good record of punching above their weight when it comes to ICC tournaments recently.
Last year, they finished runner up in the 2021 T20I World Cup. Earlier in the year, they won the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. In 2019, they were robbed of the ODI World Cup by England, having also finished runners up to Australia in 2015.
They head into this tournament ranked fifth in the world, with a little form under their belts, albeit against minnow teams. New Zealand have just finished beating Ireland and Scotland, 3-0 and 2-0 respectively in T20Is.
These were the only T20Is the Black Caps have played since November 2021, where they were forced to play a series against India just days after losing in the 2021 T20I World Cup final—which ended in a dire 3-0 sweep to India.
New Zealand will be comfortable with their position as underdogs, heading into this year’s tournament fourth favorite at +700.
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