Is India ready to win the t20 World Cup 2021?

Auritro Ghosh
The Business of Sports
5 min readMar 19, 2021

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Before the series began it was amply clear that India was still looking for its best t20 eleven.

The five match series against England was thus an opportune time for India to try out its bench strength.

In the first t20 India rested Rohit Sharma, but instead of trying out a new player India again went back to Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan is a good player but more suited to the fifty over version of the game. Dhawan’s opening partner KL Rahul looked out of touch as well. At number three was Virat Kohli,who had promised that India will play a new brand of aggressive cricket in t20’s. But aggression became recklessness as India were 20/3 in 5 overs. Try as they might, India could never recover from that setback.

Shreyas Iyer tried in vain with a half century. India could only muster a mere 124 in their 20 overs. Special mention must be made off Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, for the lengths they have bowled to the Indian batsmen, not only in the first match but throughout the series. Roy, Buttler and Bairstow finished the match in just over 15 overs, first blood England.

The second t20, India finally dropped Shikhar Dhawan and brought in Ishan Kishan. Kishan, the diminutive left hander, has been doing consistently well for his franchise, Mumbai Indians, in the IPL and deserved the chance. India also dropped the highly inefficient, in t20’s, Axar Patel and gave a chance to Surya Kumar Yadav. England batted first and were restricted to 164.

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar stood out for India. Bhuvi’s return augers well for team India in t 20’s. KL Rahul failed for a second straight game, but his opening partner Kishan went slam bam from the get go. Kishan and Kohli put on 94 for the second wicket in just ten overs. Kishan scored 56 of those runs in just 32 balls, match gone from England’s grasp. India won with thirteen balls to spare and Kohli looked like he was finally getting back to some kind of form. Series 1–1.

The third t20 saw India continue to experiment as they dropped Surya Kumar Yadav and brought back Rohit Sharma. Ishan was dropped to number three. Why, nobody knows, and what the Indian captain says and does are completely different things. And you can’t ask him such questions also, because he usually starts snapping back if asked about things he doesn’t want to talk about, so why take a chance. Ok, so now back to cricket. Yes, so the captain’s favorite KL Rahul again went for a duck. With that, in the first three matches KL Rahul had scored a grand total of 1. It’s too much to expect Kishan to bat well opening and then ask him to do the same at no.3. He failed, expectedly!

At 24/3 the match was as good as gone but Kohli played a few shots, and took India to 156. Was never going to be enough against an England side which plays t20 cricket the way it’s supposed to be played, see ball hit ball. Also, in this current England setup apart from two or three members almost everyone plays IPL cricket in India, so they know all about the conditions, the Indian bowlers, the strategies etc. England took just eighteen overs to finish the match. Jos Buttler scoring a fluent 83 of just 52 balls. Series 2–1 England.

The fourth t20 saw more experiments from Kohli. I should have said India, but well they are one and the same, so…

Ishan Kishan was dropped this time, well if he ever spoke to Rishabh Pant he will know this is just the beginning. So again India batting first, opening with Rohit and Kannur Lokesh Rahul. Rahul scored 14 in the match. His grand total for the series after four matches is 15. His full name has seventeen letters. Life is tough!

Surya Kumar Yadav who shouldn’t have been dropped in the first place took the bull by its horn in this match and punished the English bowlers for 31 odd balls, scoring 57 runs in the process. The way he got out was dubious. A catch which clearly was not, was claimed by the ‘never following the spirit of the game, but always enforcing it on others’ English team. Terrible!

Thanks to Surya, Pant and to some extent Iyer India posted 185. A total which could be defended. England lost Buttler early, and that was a big blow. Ben Stokes tried hard but could not finish the match. Indian spinners, specially Washington should have a hard look in the mirror, his performance was very poor. But one saving grace is that he plays for RCB in the IPL so the captain might be a little lenient on him, as he has been on Chahal in the past. In the end Bhuvi and Shardul supported by Pandya saved the day for India. Series 2–2.

India must plan with the World Cup in mind

Right now this India team is not good enough to reach the Finals of a T20 world cup, a semifinal appearance is the best it can do.

India’s selection policies have been flawed in this series, again! If you select a player and he does well don’t change his batting order or worse still, drop him. How will a player gain confidence if this continues to happen. Ishan Kishan has been harshly dealt with. Kohli himself was miserable in the England series in 2014, a walking wicket for Jimmy Anderson, but he was still given chances. Dhoni the captain saved Kohli the batsman, and allowed him to blossom and prosper.

Also India must start looking beyond Yuzvendra Chahal. It’s time!

India needs a sixth bowling option in the eleven as well. One bowler can have a bad day anyway, a sixth bowler is a must specially when due becomes a factor. And in India due will always be a factor in a day- night game.

Team for the decider, the 5th and final t20

Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Surya Kumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar.

England will play the same unchanged eleven from the 4th T20

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