Overlapping the months of October and November this year, the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a tournament that promises to have cricket fans on the edge of their seats. In March this year, two of the favourites met when England toured India, although the visiting side was quite literally bowled over by their hosts.
Despite a positive start for England winning the first match by 8 wickets, India rallied to win the second by 7 wickets. After another solid performance earned victory for England by 8 wickets in the third encounter, India once again levelled the series winning the fourth match by 8 runs.
Then came the moment when everything fell apart for the England T20 side. In the fifth and final match of the series, India put on a display of absolute superiority, crushing the visitors by 36 runs. Indeed, such was the margin of victory, the 224/2 score achieved by India was their fourth highest T20 score of all time.
Given that superb match victory and the overall series win, bookmakers are now tipping India as 9/4 cricket betting favourites to win the T20 World Cup. After licking their wounds and pondering what they must do to improve, England have now been handed 4/1 odds to win the tournament, although they will need to raise their game significantly.
England selectors will need to ponder their team selections very carefully, even if certain players are guaranteed to form part of the T20 World Cup squad. Dawid Malan remains top of the ICC T20I Batting Rankings, following the latest ratings updates at the start of April. However, only one other player features inside the top ten of any other categories.
Adil Rashid has climbed up to fourth position in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, based on the consistency of his performances. Meanwhile, the ICC T20I All-Rounder Rankings feature Ben Stokes way down in eleventh position. England still remains top of the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, with a rating of 277 from 22 matches.
By comparison and with the recent series for India factored into the calculations, India has moved up to second position in the latest ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, earning a rating of 272 from 25 matches. Insofar as individual players, several Indian players have made significant leaps up the ICC rankings.
Virat Kohli holds fifth spot in the ICC T20I Batting Rankings, while Lokesh Rahul features in seventh position. That said, breaking the resolve of rival batsmen is clearly an area which needs improving for the India T20 team. Washington Sundar is their highest ranked player, 13th in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, mostly based on his performance against England.
Rather than outstanding individual contributions, even with a quality pool of talented players to choose from, the key for India against England was overall team performance. Able to produce consistently solid results whoever takes to the field, this is why India will undoubtedly be the team to beat at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.