As the Indian Premier League is almost about to meet its conclusion, the Indian fans have already turned their attention towards the upcoming biennial extravaganza, T20 World Cup. It will be kicking off with a Group A match between Oman and Papua New Guinea. This, however, will not be a crowd-puller as the actual drama begins on the 23rd of October with the clash of two T20 giants, Australia and South Africa.
This tournament will bring together a host of legends, many of them being a part of their last World Cup as age is slowly catching up. UAE will stay witness to one of the grandest unravelling as the tournament will bring in stars of the world flying to the stadiums with an extraordinary brand of cricket that will know no ends, no limits and most importantly will be emotionally overwhelming for everyone who has been waiting for this tournament for five years now.
The T20 World Cup will be bringing in the likes of illustrious outfits that include the reigning champions, West Indies, the last time finalists, England, heavy contenders, India and dark horses like South Africa and New Zealand. Amongst all the glitz and glam, cricket will once again find its home as this will be the first congregation of the cricketing nations, jousting for the throne of the world in the shortest format of the game.
In this story, we will take a quick look at the probable four semi-finalists of the tournament and also to give you a heads-up, this is a perspective-based article instead of concrete driven by numbers. Hence, please feel free to share your opinions.
Semi-finalist 1: India
Needless to say, but the squad with which India will be coming to this tournament simply contains the best of cricketers in every single position. Spanning from the likes of Rahul and Rohit in the opening to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the death, this team is a result of years of diligence and proper scouting. They also have a fair blend of youth and experience as Kohli, Sharma and Ashwin will be joined by the likes of Varun, Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Chahar. More importantly, they will have their most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket, mentoring them. You bring them all together and it will be nothing short of magic.
Semi-finalist 2: Australia
Irrespective of the fact, how vulnerable the Australian team seems to be before any major tournament when they come to the prestigious showdown in the World Cups, they are unstoppable, untenable and simply a joy to watch. We will take a glance at their bowling line-up first as it comprises Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson. They will be joined by Swepson and Zampa, two wily spinners who can make great work of the turning tracks in the UAE. With all said and done, Australia’s main prowess lies in their batting as it stars Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and David Warner. Even if one of these batters click, it can be a living hell for the opposition.
Semi-finalist 3: South Africa
You can call this outrageous, especially as no one has choked as hard as South Africa in the World Cups but they are the dark horses of the tournament. Even though they will have to cross the ocean of West Indies, Australia and England, there are reasons for one to believe that they will be the second team from Group 1 to qualify. Firstly, coming to England, they are a very good team undoubtedly but the man who has always managed to deliver the English hopes to the shores of glory, Ben Stokes will not be a part of the tournament. Secondly, their star fast bowler, Jofra Archer will also be watching the games from the sidelines. This takes out the competitive edge of the English squad. Now raving a bit about West Indies, they are the reigning champions for sure but the squad that they have travelled with, most of the players are old warhorses and it will need something extraordinary from all of them to deliver day in day out. This is exactly what opens up the door for the South Africans. Taking a quick look at their side, they have one of the finest openers in Quinton de Kock. He will be laced with Rassie van der Dussen who is deemed as the perfect successor of a Richard Levi at his peak. Add to that the pace triptych of Rabada, Nortje and Ngidi. Believe me, from afar, the Rainbow Nation will be coming to this tournament sniffing blood.
Semi-finalist 4: Pakistan
Though there is a thin chance of the Blackcaps replicating their success in the 2007 T20 World Cup, yet one must never write Pakistan off. On top of that, they will have a couple of scores to settle as they cross swords with India and New Zealand. They are coming to this contest with a very talented team that features Babar Azam as their captain and a decent combination in the middle, boasting the likes of Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez and Mohammad Rizwan. However, the scary part about Pakistan is their menacing bowling line-up that contains a good deal of pace in the form of Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain. This World Cup can very well be a moment of reckoning for the rising force that Pakistan wants to herald in the near future.