In Stats: Who Will Be the Next World T20 Champion?
The sixth edition of the T20 World Cup is set to begin on March 8. India start as the favourites for the tournament after registering nine T20 wins in 2016.
But the other teams cannot be written off, as champions are made on the big stage. The team which holds its own in crucial moments will go on to lift the trophy.
The Quint takes a look at the top contenders for the 2016 World T20.
1. Men in Blue in Form
India won the inaugural T20 World Cup back in 2007 and have not been able to replicate it the next four times. Last time they came close, but were outplayed by Sri Lanka in the final in Bangladesh.
2016 is a different story. India have won nine out of ten T20s they have played this year. The Men in Blue won in Australia 3-0, then beat Sri Lanka 2-1 at home and have won all four league matches in the Asia Cup.
Between the 2014 T20 World Cup and 2016, India won only one T20 which was against Zimbabwe. They have stormed back to form in the right time.
2. Mighty Proteas
South Africa are always among the strongest sides in every World Cup. And even in the upcoming one, they are going to pose a threat.
The Proteas have won seven T20s and lost only one since March 2015. The biggest highlight of South Africa’s T20 performance last year was the 2-0 T20 series win in India. That will give them a lot of confidence. They recently beat England 2-0 in a T20 series at home as well.
Though they tend to choke at crucial times, the South Africans fought very hard and reached the 2015 World Cup semi-final.
They will be determined to lose the choker tag and who knows, the Proteas might be able to do it in this World Cup.
3. Caribbean Delight
The West Indians can never be written off in T20. The 2012 champions have dazzled with their T20 skills all over the world in various domestic leagues.
They have the ‘big man’ Chris Gayle who can tear apart any bowling attack and to give him support, there are the likes of skipper Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels.
Although the West Indies have not played a lot of T20 cricket after the 2014 World Cup, they have won four out of the eight games they have played.
The last T20 they played was against Sri Lanka in November last year, which they won by 23 runs.
4. The Underdogs
In a big tournament like a World Cup, surprises are bound to happen. This time the surprise package will be the Bangladesh team. They may not go on to win but they will certainly cause upsets.
The Tigers have been playing some fantastic cricket recently. They comfortably beat Sri Lanka and Pakistan and also sent jitters down the Indian dressing room after they picked up some early wickets in the Asia Cup.
Bangladesh’s strike bowler Mustafizur Rahman sustained a side strain during the Asia Cup game against Sri Lanka. He has been ruled out of the Asia Cup. Hopefully for Bangladesh, Mustafizur will be fit for the World Cup.
They will certainly have no trouble dispatching the likes of Netherlands, Ireland and Oman in the qualifiers of the World Cup to get into the main tournament.
(Statistics by Arun Gopalakrishnan)
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