The tournament, which is organised usually every two years, is now going to be held after a gap of five years. The last edition was held in 2016 with India as the host nation and the West Indies became champions for the second time there.
Champions of the inaugural T20 World Cup India, their arch-rivals Pakistan who were also the winners of the 2009 edition and ODI world champions England are few of the favourites to win the coveted title this time.
TimesofIndia.com highlights the top teams you should watch out for in the mega event:
INDIA (T20 WC Titles Won – 1: 2007)
The winner of the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, India will again start the campaign as one of the favourites.
The Indian team led by Virat Kohli is currently ranked 2nd in the world in the ICC T20I rankings, and boasts a bunch of match winners in Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul among others apart from the skipper himself.
Extending a very warm welcome to the KING 👑@msdhoni is back with #TeamIndia and in a new role!💪 https://t.co/Ew5PylMdRy
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1634486362000
India are the official hosts of this edition, which was postponed from last year due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. But it is now being played in the UAE and Oman due to the pandemic.
Since the last edition of T20 World Cup in 2016, India have played 72 international matches in the shortest format of the game and have a very healthy 65.3 win percentage. During this period, India have registered 47 victories and suffered 22 defeats.
They also have a very good record in the tournament. Overall India have a win percentage of 63.6 in it, registering 21 victories in 33 games at the ICC T20 World Cup.
Kohli is leading the Indian T20I side for the last time, after announcing that he is stepping down from the captaincy after the mega event earlier. And India’s most successful skipper in all formats will definitely be looking to bring the curtain down on his T20I captaincy with his first major senior ICC title as a swansong gift to himself, the team and the cricket-mad nation.
(Mentor MS Dhoni has joined the Indian team ahead of the T20 World Cup in UAE – Photo courtesy – BCCI Twitter)
India’s T20I record since last T20 WC: M:72 | W:47 | L:22 | NR:3
India’s record in T20 WCs: M:33 | W:21 | L:11 | NR:1
WEST INDIES (T20 WC Titles Won – 2 : 2012 & 2016)
Defending champions West Indies are an enigma in the current international cricket circuit. They are not dominating cricket as they used to in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, but in the last decade or so they have been bestowed with numerous match winners in their ranks, especially in T20s.
Skipper @KieronPollard55 timing them nicely! 💥How important is he to the #WorldChamps title defence?… https://t.co/ZIQ3gzOG0V
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) 1634143681000
Not only are the Windies the reigning champions, they are also the only side to win the T20 World Cup twice so far (2012 & 2016).
Cricketers like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo are absolute legends of the format. Even today, their players are some of the most sought after in the various franchise based leagues around the world.
Their only drawback is their inconsistency and this has led to them being at a lowly 9th position in the current ICC rankings.
Since winning the Cup in 2016, they have endured tough times in T20Is, with a win percentage of just 35.8%, winning 24 of the 67 matches they played.
Their performances in the World Cup are more than decent, winning 18 of their 31 games so far, at a 58.1 win percentage.
They can be extremely dangerous in this format and in this competition where they have traditionally dominated. No one can ever forget Carlos Brathwaite hitting Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the last over of the 2016 final, when the West Indies needed 19 runs to win.
The Windies have the players to win crunch games on their own, on their day. And as such, they will be perceived by opponents as a dangerous side who know what it takes to win the tournament.
WI’s T20I record since last T20 WC: M:67 | W:24 | L:36 | NR:7
WI’s record in T20 WCs: M:31 | W:18 | L:12 | NR:1
PAKISTAN (T20 WC Titles Won – 1: 2009)
One of the most successful sides in the format and former champions Pakistan are definitely one the favourites in the UAE.
📸 First day of Pakistan @T20WorldCup squad training session at ICC Academy, Dubai #WeHaveWeWill | #T20WorldCup https://t.co/OJnQRSzlwq
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1634485442000
Pakistan were the runners up to India in the inaugural T20 World Cup, and became the champions in the next edition in 2009.
Currently ranked 3rd in the world in the ICC T20I rankings, Pakistan boast of an impressive 64.8% win percentage in T20Is since the end of the 2016 edition. They have won 46 out of 71 matches played during the period, while suffering 20 defeats.
They also have a good record in the tournament overall, winning 19 of the 34 games for a win percentage of 55.9%.
Led by one of the most exciting batters in recent times, Babar Azam, with the support of experienced campaigners in Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan pose an imminent threat to any team in the competition.
Add to that the familiarity of the playing conditions, where they have spent most of the last decade as their home away from home venue and Pakistan will be a force to reckon with in the UAE.
Pakistan’s T20I record since last T20 WC: M:71 | W:46 | L:20 | NR:5
Pakistan’s record in T20 WCs: M:34 | W:19 | L:15 | NR:0
ENGLAND (T20 WC Titles Won – 1: 2010)
The top ranked T20I side in the world, England, have emerged as the team to beat in the white-ball cricket in the last 5-6 years.
The whole squad together today,And it felt good 👌 #T20WorldCup #EnglandCricket 🏴 https://t.co/nwpJDDjUHU
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 1634486419000
They are the current ODI World Cup champions and had won the T20 World Cup in 2010 – which was the third edition of the tournament to be played. They have the experience and the talent to take on any team in the format.
Under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, England have transformed themselves to an all-round outfit especially in white-ball cricket.
And since the last World Cup, they have registered 30 victories in 50 games in this format for a win percentage of 60%. They, though, have somewhat of an average record in the World Cup overall, winning only 15 of the 32 matches they have played so far in the tournament.
But with the squad they have, England will be one of the teams to beat in this edition too and they will be aiming to add the T20 World Cup title to their ODI World Cup triumph and be world champions simultaneously in both the shorter formats of the game.
England’s T20I record since last T20 WC: M:50 | W:30 | L:19 | NR:1
England’s record in T20 WCs: M:32 | W:15 | L:16 | NR:1
NEW ZEALAND (T20 WC Titles Won – None)
The perennial underdogs New Zealand will definitely also be a team to watch out for this time.
Nau mai, haere mai Tim Southee! Hear from our leading T20I wicket taker after his first training since joining the… https://t.co/WPsUoYD0WI
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) 1634478031000
Ranked 4th in the world, the Blackcaps have a very good white-ball squad led by modern day batting maestro Kane Williamson.
They may not be as flamboyant as the others on this list, but they can get the work done in a very efficient way.
New Zealand have a decent record since the last edition of the World Cup in 2016, winning 27 of the 57 T20I matches they have played. That’s a healthy 47.4 win percentage.
They have slightly better numbers in the tournament overall, where they boast of a 50% winning percentage. They have won 15 of the 30 matches played on the big stage in the T20 World Cup so far.
Will this year be the year the Black Caps achieve something special and win their first T20 World Cup?
NZ’s T20I record since last T20 WC: M:57 | W:27 | L:28 | NR:2
NZ’s record in T20 WCs: M:30 | W:15 | L:15 | NR:0