2021 T20 World Cup | Sportzwiki

2021 T20 World Cup

Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
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Australia To Be Without Aaron Finch On Bangladesh Tour

Australia will be without their regular white-ball skipper Aaron Finch on the tour of Bangladesh, it was confirmed on Sunday (July 25).

Aaron Finch suffered a knee injury while practising in the build-up to the T20Is against West Indies, which he aggravated in the fifth game of that series. He hasn’t featured in either of the two completed ODIs with the tour set to culminate with the deciding one-dayer at Bridgetown, Barbados on Monday.

Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (File photo| PTI)
Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (File photo| PTI)

Australia Skipper Aaron Finch To Head Home For Surgery

The decision to send Aaron Finch back to Australia was taken after the extent of the injury revealed the possibility of the 34-year-old needing surgery to mend his right knee.

Australia will want their captain to undergo the procedure, if needed, and have sufficient time to rest and rehabilitate before the T20 World Cup in October. Aaron Finch though will have to serve out a 14-day quarantine upon landing in Australia before he can undergo the surgery.

“I’m extremely disappointed to be heading home,” Finch said on Sunday (July 25). “This was considered the best course of action rather than traveling to Bangladesh, not being able to play, and losing that recovery time. I will have the surgery if required and start the recovery process ahead of the World Cup.”

Aaron Finch hasn't played either of the two completed ODIs versus West Indies.
Aaron Finch hasn’t played either of the two completed ODIs versus West Indies. © AFP

Aaron Finch could be in a race to be fit for the 2021 T20 World Cup as he faces knee surgery after being ruled out of the remainder of Australia’s tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh.

Due to the complexities around travel arrangements and biosecure bubbles, Australia won’t call up a replacement for Aaron Finch. They have two reserve players on the tour, but paceman Nathan Ellis and legspinner Tanveer Sangha only provide bowling cover.

Alex Carey To Captain Australia In The Final 3rd ODI In West Indies

Alex Carey will captain the side in the final ODI in West Indies while a new T20 captain will be named over the course of time. Matthew Wade is the designated vice-captain of the T20 side and even led a game against India in Aaron Finch’s absence last year. Australia is set to fly out of Barbados on Wednesday with the five-match T20I series in Dhaka set to begin on August 3.

Alex Carey will be Australia's 26th captain in ODIs Getty Images
Alex Carey will be Australia’s 26th captain in ODIs Getty Images
When Aaron Finch missed a T20I against India last season, Matthew Wade led the side. Alex Carey is not a certain starter on the T20I side, unlike the ODIs. Other options could include the in-form Mitchell Marsh or the experienced Moises Henriques. Aaron Finch’s injury leaves Australia without another senior player on a trip to West Indies and Bangladesh where they are already missing David Warner, injured Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis from a likely first-choice batting line-up.
In the 2nd ODI, Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder rescued West Indies from more top-order troubles to level the ODI series in Barbados in the match that was delayed by 48 hours after the Covid-19 scare in the home side’s camp.
In the end, it was Australia’s collapse that proved decisive when they crumbled to 45 for 6 as left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein claimed three wickets in six balls.
The last four wickets turned the innings around by adding 142, which included a 59-run ninth-wicket stand between Adam Zampa and Wes Agar. West Indies too slipped to 72 for 5 – with Mitchell Starc again being brilliant as there was the chance of a remarkable resurgence.
West Indies 191 for 6 (Pooran 59*, Holder 52, Starc 3-26) beat Australia 187 (W Agar 41, Hosein 3-30) by four wickets
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar (Photo: @shoaib100mph)
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar (Photo: @shoaib100mph)
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Shoaib Akhtar Feels Pakistan Will Win Against India In The 2021 T20I World Cup Final

Shoaib Akhtar made a bold claim regarding the finalists for the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE. The Rawalpindi Express feels it will be a repeat of the inaugural edition’s final in 2007 where India will lose to Pakistan.

The T20 World Cup remains the biggest and most-awaited cricketing event this year after it was postponed from Australia, 2020 to India, 2021 and was shifted from India to UAE all due to Covid-19. Set to be held soon after IPL 14’s conclusion in the UAE, the tournament will see 12 teams divided into groups of two in the main draw, after the qualifiers, which will be followed by the semi-finals and the marquee final.

Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)
Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)

Shoaib Akhtar Feels Pakistan Will Win Against India In The 2021 T20I World Cup Final Which Will Be A Repeat Of The Inaugural Edition(2007) Won By India

Ahead of the showpiece event in the UAE, many experts and former cricketers have already started sharing their predictions as to who will walk away with the title in the seventh edition of the T20 WC.

Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar, who doesn’t mince his words and remains a vocal critic of Pakistan cricket, feels the final will be a repeat of the inaugural edition, where Virat Kohli-led India will face-off Babar Azam’s Pakistan.  However, Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar made heads turn by claiming that the Men in Green will storm past India in the summit clash.

“I have a feeling Pakistan and India will play in the T20 World Cup final and India will lose to Pakistan. Conditions in UAE will favour both India and Pakistan,” Shoaib Akhtar told Sports Tak on YouTube.

India lift the ICC World Twenty20 trophy at the end of a thrilling final against Pakistan • Sep 24, 2007 © AFP/Getty Images
India lift the ICC World Twenty20 trophy at the end of a thrilling final against Pakistan • Sep 24, 2007, © AFP/Getty Images

India has not lost to Pakistan in any World Cup, be it in the ODI or T20I format. Thus, Virat Kohli-led India has an 11-0 record versus their arch-rivals in limited-overs ICC tournaments. On the other hand, they didn’t play against each other in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) and aren’t going to square off with each other even in the second cycle’s league stage.

India And Pakistan Last Faced Each Other In 2019 World Cup

The last time India and Pakistan faced each other was in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

Nonetheless, Shoaib Akhtar’s claim can come true as India tasted the last defeat versus Pakistan in an ICC tournament final, during the 2017 Champions Trophy summit clash defeat by 180 runs.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Talking about both sides, they are placed in Group B along with Afghanistan, New Zealand, and two other teams set to join from the qualifying round. Group A, so far, has England, West Indies, Australia, and South Africa, while two more teams will join them from the qualifying round.

The India-Pakistan rivalry is an age-old rivalry and games between the two sides are always highly anticipated by fans from both countries. However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

The two Asian rivals now only play matches during the ICC events like World Cups and Champions Trophy and Asia Cup which relatively has become one-sided affairs with the Men in Blue edging the Men in Green.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI
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Responsibility Will Be Huge On Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma In India-Pakistan Match In T20I WC 2021:Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian opener said that the responsibility will be huge on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma after India and Pakistan were drawn in Group 2 of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. The former India opener reckoned that the senior players will have to control the nerves of the youngsters in the high-pressure match.

Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored with 75 in India’s win in the final against Pakistan in the inaugural T20I World Cup in 2007 feels it is the responsibility of the seniors to keep the youngster teammates calm and composed in the high octane match.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: It’s The Responsibility Of Seniors To Keep Youngsters Calm

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced the groups for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be hosted by the BCCI in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October 17 to November 14. India and Pakistan have been placed in Group 2 of the Super 12s.

“When I played my first international game against Pakistan I was probably much more excited and nervous as compared to some of the guys who have played a lot of cricket against Pakistan. So, it is the responsibility of the senior guys to probably keep the younger guys calm,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show ICC T20 World Cup Special.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter

“Because ultimately it is not the emotion that will win you a game of cricket, it is the contest between the bat and the ball that will end up winning you a game of cricket. So people like Virat Kohli for example, or Rohit Sharma will have a huge responsibility when India take on Pakistan,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir was part of the twin India’s World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011 and has been part of several high-octane clashes with Pakistan. This will be the first T20I World Cup since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in Kolkata.

Robin Uthappa: Every Cricketer Looks Forward To An India And Pakistan Game

Former India batsman Robin Uthappa, who was part of the Indian team which won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa, said that all the cricketers of India look forward to playing against Pakistan in their careers.

“It just brings out so many emotions, expectations and people always look forward to it. I think, any cricketer who has played in the past or anyone who looks to play for India is always looking forward to an India-Pakistan game,” said Uthappa.

“Because it brings out a lot of emotions – at least for the people who watch the game, more than the people playing it,” he added.
Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa (Image Credit: Twitter)

Both Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa also spoke on how Team India should get rid of its “obsession” with 2007 and 2011 World Cup wins.

“It was special (being a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup squad), but I have forgotten about it. To be honest, India needs to move on from that. 2007, it’s what, more than 13 years ago and I think we need to get rid of this obsession of 2007 and 2011,” said Gambhir.

“Of course, for me personally, it is a special moment, but I tend to agree with Gautam Gambhir. I think we have achieved that in 2007, so we know that is achievable,” said Uthappa.

Group 2 will comprise former champions India and Pakistan, apart from New Zealand, Afghanistan, and the other two qualifiers from Round 1. Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.

Ireland, Netherlands, and Namibia join Sri Lanka in Group A, whilst Oman, PNG, and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B. Group 1 features England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Winner of Group A, and Runner Up of Group B.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Will Be An Asset Once He Bowls, Says Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, talked about captain Shikhar Dhawan, how important Hardik Pandya is to India’s chances, and the areas Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal need to improve to regain lost glory before the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was excited about the Indian side in Sri Lanka that has six fresh faces and is filled with players eager to make it big.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. (File)

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan Hopes Shikhar Dhawan Will Come Good

Former Indian cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan believes that Shikhar Dhawan’s presence brings a lot for the Indian side. Shikhar Dhawan will serve as India’s captain for the first time when it takes on Sri Lanka in three ODIs and three T20Is in Colombo from the 18th of July. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan underlined that the southpaw is definitely on the selectors’ minds ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Shikhar Dhawan’s spot for the T20 World Cup later this year came under doubt after his failure at the top against England at home. The 35-year old got axed after only one outing as India tried different opening combinations after that. But he stormed back into the discussion after a consistent run in the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi Capitals’ opener ended as the highest run-getter in the 1st half of IPL 2021 by playing several match-winning knocks.

“With experience and the ability to know what shots to play on different pitches, he’s going to be very very useful always. As captain, he needs to lead from the front, nothing like a captain succeeding.

“The very fact that Shikhar has been taken to Sri Lanka, means that he is very much in the selector’s mind otherwise they would have sent somebody younger. He’s definitely there in the scheme of things,” said Laxman Sivaramakrishnan on Shikhar Dhawan.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

” Prithvi is a very good player on the offside. If he gets through the first few overs and perhaps improves his leg side strokeplay then he will be more than a handful. He just needs to work hard on his fitness, fielding and batting.

“If he brushes up his technique a little bit with the bat coming down straight, he can do well in red-ball cricket as well. He has done well in Test matches. No reason why he can’t improve his technique, get back and be successful.” on opener Prithvi Shaw.

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs). The Delhi Capitals’ opener had scored 308 runs from 8 innings, at a staggering strike rate of 166.49 in IPL 2021.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan: Hardik Pandya Will Have An Integral Part To Play And Will Be The Key For India Once He Starts Bowling After Regaining Full Fitness

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has tipped all-rounder Hardik Pandya to emulate the likes of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in that department. Hardik Pandya is arguably one of the cleanest strikers of the ball. The 27-year old’s transition to the international arena happened through the IPL for the Mumbai Indians. He would be crucial to India’s chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“Rahul Dravid was technically very sound. Probably after Sunil Gavaskar, one of the most technically correct Indian batsmen. That will rub off on the players and he’s a good person to chat with. Players won’t feel apprehensive about reaching out to him,” on Rahul Dravid.

“Hardik Pandya have an integral part to play. The moment he starts bowling after regaining full fitness, I think Hardik will be the key for India. After a long time, we’ve got a seam-bowling all-rounder who balances the side. If Hardik is fully fit, he becomes a tremendous asset to the team.” on Hardik Pandya as bowler.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

” We are still looking to find a good finisher after Dhoni. Hardik Pandya can be an extremely dangerous finisher.Hardik can contribute to all three departments of the game,” on Hardik Pandya as finisher.

“Because of the absence of the Ranji Trophy, Kuldeep has not been able to go back, play for his state and become a better bowler. Hopefully, this all ends soon. Kuldeep is still a young man, who can make a comeback,” on Kuldeep Yadav

“Chahal definitely has to have a little more in his armoury. Now batsmen are more methodical against him. They are finding shots against Chahal. Chahal needs to improve his bowling tactics and keep the batsmen guessing,” he said about Yuxzvendra Chahal.

“Most of the teams don’t have a great idea of what Varun Chakravarthy bowls. Being the mystery bowler that he is and if he has a good tour of Sri Lanka then it will be good. India should not overexpose him and play him as a mystery bowler in the World Cup and you never know, he could be very successful,” on Varun Chakravarthy.

“When you get youngsters in the squad, there is more energy, more athleticism, more positivity. For us, they are Indian cricketers, they are wearing Indian colours. We will route for them hoping they will definitely prove a point. If you are asking for a prediction then it will be 2-1 in both the series in India’s favour,” on probability of a whitewash.

The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have struggled with the white ball in recent times. Thus their fortunes depend vastly on the upcoming Sri Lanka series and then the IPL. However, the former leg-spinner turned commentator Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has pinned his hopes on Varun Chakravarthy ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal as the latter is stagnating.

Mark Boucher. Twitter/@SuperSportTV
Mark Boucher. Twitter/@SuperSportTV
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Teams Will Have An Idea Of Par Score In T20 World Cup After The Conclusion Of IPL 2021, Says Mark Boucher

Mark Boucher said teams will have an idea after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League as to what is a par score for the upcoming T20 World Cup, both of which will be held in the UAE. He added that spinners will play a major role in matches.

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher feels the Proteas side would “probably be playing” the upcoming T20 World Cup in similar conditions as that of in the Caribbean. South Africa defeated West Indies in the T20I series 3-2 on Saturday after registering a 25-run victory over the hosts.
Mark Boucher @Twitter
Mark Boucher @Twitter

Mark Boucher: The Wickets After The IPL 2021 Are Going To Be A Bit Dry

The remainder of the Indian Premier League being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will affect the pitches, which might get worn out and help the spinners “massively” during the ICC T20 World Cup, feels South Africa head coach Mark Boucher.

The 2021 IPL, which was suspended following Covid-19 cases inside the bio-bubble, will be completed in UAE, which will also host the T20 World Cup after the ICC decided to shift the showpiece event from India due to the 2nd wave of Covid-19 prevailing in India.

“We are probably going to be playing in conditions like this in the UAE. The wickets after the IPL are going to be a bit dry,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Boucher as saying.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“It’s not the same as we’re used to back in South Africa where you can go out and bash your way to 180 to 200 runs. You’ve got to be skillful here; you’ve got to be smart,” he added.

The second leg of the IPL is scheduled to be held from September 19 to October 15, while the T20 World Cup will begin on October 17.

Mark Boucher Expect Spinners Will Play A Massive Role In T20 World Cup

Mark Boucher said teams participating in T20 World Cup will have an idea after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as to what is a par score in the UAE for the upcoming marquee event.

“It’s going to be tough to bat on especially at the back end as we saw here. We will have an idea of what scores are going to be by watching the IPL and then taking a look and assess how the wickets are playing during the beginning part of the World Cup. I suspect spinners will play a massive role,” said Boucher.

Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi

The South Africa coach hopes the players who are going through a lean patch will regain form in the upcoming series against Ireland. South Africa will next tour Ireland and play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is.

“If we can get all the guys firing on all cylinders, we’ve got an idea of what could be our strongest line-up and once that happens, then you end up finding an extra 15-20 runs which, in these conditions it becomes a very difficult total to face, especially when it’s so dry,” he said.

The upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be staged in the UAE and Oman due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in India. The tournament will start two days after the IPL 2021 final — October 15.

The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held in Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, from October 17 to November 14, 2021.

Left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi had claimed seven wickets as South Africa won a five-match T20I series against the West Indies 3-2 at the National Cricket Stadium in St George’s, Grenada. Quinton de Kock of Proteas amassed the most 255 runs from 5 games averaging 51 while Dwayne Bravo of West Indies picked 10 wickets.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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Most Teams Will Be Accustomed To The Conditions In The UAE For IPL 2021 Preceding T20 World Cup, Says Salman Butt

Salman Butt highlighted how most teams will be accustomed to the conditions in the UAE, with the second phase of the IPL 2021 set to take place there in September-October before the marquee T20 World Cup.

With the T20 World Cup being shifted to the UAE from India, many experts of the cricket fraternity suggest that Pakistan will have a good chance of winning the tournament as the Middle East country was their home ground for several years due to the Sri Lanka bus terrorist attack in 2009 and security issues.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: India And Top International Players Playing In IPL 2021 At UAE Will Be Accustomed To The Conditions

Salman Butt explained that the Indian players, along with other key international T20 specialists, will have a fair idea of the kind of pitches and conditions to expect in the UAE following their IPL 2021 experience. The former Pakistan batsman said on his YouTube channel that since IPL will take place before the T20 World Cup at the same venues, all players participating in the extravagant league will be confident of a good show.

“IPL will also take place before the World Cup, so Indian players will also play there. All the top international players they will also be part of the IPL.

“So everybody will have a fair idea regarding the kind of pitches, gameplan and average scores. So everybody will be accustomed to the conditions. Even if the World Cup had taken place in India, the conditions there are similar to that in Pakistan.”

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

The T20 World Cup was set to be hosted by India. However, given the health and safety concerns due to the ongoing raging COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI has now officially decided to move the tournament to the UAE and Oman.

Salman Butt Believes Pakistan Can Win For Playing A Lot Of Cricket In The UAE And The Remaining Leg Of PSL 2021

Salman Butt believes Pakistan has a good chance of winning or reaching the finals of the T20 World Cup, given the conditions that will be on offer in the UAE are expected to assist spinners. However, the former tainted batsman also added that teams with good fast bowlers will also be a threat in the competition.

Pakistan played their home games in the UAE for several years as they were barred from hosting matches in their own country amidst security concerns by Test-playing nations after a terrorist attack on Sri Lankan players in 2009.

Butt explained: “Pakistan has played a lot of cricket in the UAE, and the remaining leg of the PSL was also played there. Pakistan is in with a good chance because spin bowlers come into play. But if we get pitches like we did in Abu Dhabi, then whichever team has better fast bowlers they too will come into action. Fast bowlers who can hit good length can create a lot of trouble.”

Hasan Ali came in clutch for Islamabad United Pakistan Super League
Hasan Ali came in clutch for Islamabad United Pakistan Super League

Salman Butt further highlighted how the top wicket-takers in the PSL were fast bowlers. Out of the top six wicket-takers in PSL 2021, five were pacers. Mohammad Nawaz (6 wickets, SR 26.00, Eco 7.50), Hasan Ali (13 wickets, SR 18.38, Eco 6.75), Shaheen Afridi (16 wickets, SR 15.00, Eco. 7.30), and Shahnawaz Dahani (20 wickets, SR 12.10, Eco. 8.42) were the standout performers in the recently concluded PSL 2021.

Between 2009 and 2016, Pakistan’s home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates. However, due to the increase in security and comparatively fewer terrorist attacks, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015.

These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team, with England scheduled to tour in October 2021.

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One Can’t Rule Joe Root Out From T20 World Cup 2021 Squad, Says Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan has confirmed Joe Root is in contention to be part of England’s T20 World Cup squad later this year. The white-ball England skipper admitted that Joe Root who played an excellent inning of unbeaten 79 in victory over Sri Lanka in the 1st ODI could play a similar role to the one he did in 2016 in T20 World Cup for the national team.

Joe Root celebrates a half-century in his 150th ODI AFP/Getty Images
Joe Root celebrates a half-century in his 150th ODI AFP/Getty Images

Eoin Morgan: One Can’t Rule Joe Root Out For Excellent Performances In The Last 2016 T20 World Cup

Joe Root was England’s leading run-getter in the last T20 World Cup 2016, notching up 273 runs at a strike rate of 146.77. He top-scored for England in the final, scoring a 36-ball 54 in vain as they lost to West Indies by four wickets. Speaking to the media after England beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the first ODI, Eoin Morgan touched upon Joe Root’s T20 World Cup 2021 prospects.

“I think there are a lot of people who are (in contention) and certainly, you can’t rule Joe out. The role he played in 2016, the runs he scored and the manner in which he scored them as well went a long way towards getting us to the final. His knock in the final as well was outstanding.”

Joe Root has been in excellent form with the bat for England of late in T20 World Cup 2016 © Getty Images
Joe Root has been in excellent form with the bat for England of late in T20 World Cup 2016 © Getty Images

Although Joe Root was not part of the recent T20 series against Sri Lanka, he showed his mettle in the first ODI between England and Sri Lanka. The star middle-order batsman scored a match-winning unbeaten 79 as he guided England to victory. Joe Root steadied the ship with England being 80/4 at one stage, and Eoin Morgan was full of praise for the 30-year-old.

“He just does the basics unbelievably well and never seems to struggle, even though the wicket might have been a little bit two-paced. So it was a joy to watch him see the team home.”

Eoin Morgan: Circumstances In The Last 2 Years Haven’t Allowed Joe Root To Play Much T20 Cricket To His Liking

Eoin Morgan (Source: Instagram)
Eoin Morgan (Source: Instagram)

The cricket fraternity wants Joe Root to make it into England’s T20I squad at least. Joe Root at no.3 could be the perfect foil for England’s aggressive and methodical approach in white-ball cricket, according to many fans and experts as pitches are set to be two-paced in the UAE where T20I World Cup 2021 is going to be staged.

In the 1st ODI, Sri Lanka lost 3 for 45 at the top of their innings, and then their last seven for 40, making an eventual 185 that was miles from being sufficient. Man of the Match Chris Woakes was particularly disciplined and skilful as he claimed 4 for 18 from his 10 overs.

Then Jonny Bairstow blasted a 21-ball 43, and Joe Root scored an unbeaten 79 and Moeen Ali accompanied him through a 91 run stand. England had bowled out Sri Lanka out inside 43 overs. They surpassed their score inside 35 overs, with five wickets to spare.

England 189 for 5 (Root 79*, Chameera 3-50) beat Sri Lanka 185 (Perera 73, Hasaranga 54, Woakes 4-18) by five wickets

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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Rajeev Shukla : Board Officially Informed ICC That T20I WC 2021 Can Be Shifted To UAE

Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president has said that the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus situation in India forced the cricket board to shift the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the board has officially informed ICC that the marquee event can be shifted to UAE.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

Rajeev Shukla: It Has Been Decided BCCI Will Inform The ICC To Move T20I World Cup To The UAE Due To Prevailing Covid-19 Situation In India

However, the BCCI will remain the host of the event.

“As far as T20 World Cup is concerned, today (June 28) was the deadline as we had to inform the ICC about our decision so today there was a conference call between BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Secretary Jay Shah, Treasurer Arun Dhumal, me and the Joint Secretary,” Shukla told news agency ANI on Monday.

He continued, “We looked at the COVID-19 situation and nobody is sure what is going to happen after two-three months, looking at everything, it has been decided that Secretary Jay Shah and President Ganguly will inform the ICC to move the tournament to the UAE.”

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Rajeev Shukla also termed UAE as the ideal venue after India to host the marquee event and said considering the scale of the T20 World Cup, BCCI took the decision.

“UAE is an ideal venue after India. We all wanted to host it in India, but you know it is an international tournament and that too of big size, so it was very hard to predict what is going to happen with the COVID situation, after due consideration, now the BCCI has decided to move the T20 World Cup to the UAE,”Rajeev Shukla said.

The T20 World Cup scheduled to happen in India will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the health and safety concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly.

The T20 cricket event is to be held in October-November. This development came after the pandemic forced the postponement of IPL,  the second part of which will be also held in the UAE in September-October. BCCI was also mulling if Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Pune could host a three-city event with the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium. But there were several complications on that front, too.

Rajeev Shukla: Dates For The T20I World Cup 2021 Will Remain Unchanged

Rajeev Shukla also said that the dates for the event remain unchanged and will start from October 17, two days after the IPL 2021 final. He added that Oman and Muscat could play host to the qualifying matches.

“The dates are going to be the same, immediately after the IPL, the tournament will start. The format for the World Cup has already been decided by the ICC, qualifiers may take place in Oman and Muscat. The rest of the matches will be in the three grounds — Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah,” he said.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

The ICC T20I World Cup will be played in three stadiums of the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah — and Oman’s Muscat. It said that each group will have matches in the UAE and Oman. Round 1 will include 12 matches that will be played between eight teams. Out of these, four teams would qualify for the super 12s.

In the super 12s, four teams from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea will join the others. In super 12s, 30 games will be held. Following the conclusion of the super 12s, four teams will move to the semi-finals. The dates of the finals and the semi-finals have not been decided yet,

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)
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Mohammed Shami Not An Automatic Choice As Pacer For T20 World Cup, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes pacer Mohammed Shami is not a sure-shot pick as a Team India seamer for the upcoming T20 World Cup slated later this year.

Mohammed Shami was the standout Indian bowler in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. His four-wicket haul in New Zealand’s first innings helped India stage a late comeback in the summit clash but India’s defeat and lacklustre performance by other pacers raise questions on whom to pick as pacers for the T20 World Cup in a packed international schedule.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra On Mohammed Shami

Aakash Chopra was asked in a video shared on his YouTube channel, whether pacer Mohammed Shami could replicate his performance in the WTC final at the T20 World Cup. The cricketer-turned-commentator responded that the right-arm seamer is not a certainty in the Indian T20I team.

“Shami is not an automatic choice. You want him to be there. He did well for Kings XI Punjab in Dubai but he was just about okay for Punjab Kings here. He was coming back from injury and did not have the rhythm.”

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Aakash Chopra added Mohammed Shami could be in the Indian team’s scheme of things for the T20 World Cup if he performs up to expectations in the five-Test series against England and the remainder of IPL 2021 for Punjab Kings to be held at UAE. He picked 8 scalps in as many matches in IPL 2021 and did well last season too where he picked 20 scalps averaging 23 in 14 games in the UAE.

“If you talk about T20, it is the one format where Shami doesn’t walk into the team straightaway. But if the player keeps on doing well, he will play the five Tests and then the IPL, if he is carrying forward that form, of course, why not.”

Mohammed Shami has scalped 12 wickets in as many T20Is he has played for Team India. He has proved to be quite expensive as well, having conceded an average of 9.80 runs per over averaging a high 35.67.

Aakash Chopra: Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar Are Ahead Of Mohammed Shami In Pecking Order For T20 World Cup

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Mohammed Shami does not have great numbers in the shortest format of the game as he feels pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should play ahead of Mohammed Shami.

“Shami’s T20 numbers are alright. They haven’t been extraordinary ever. And because of that, he is not part of every T20 team as well. Especially if you see this team, you will put Bumrah in this T20 Team without any hesitation. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar are ahead of him on this list or standing at par. Then there will be T Natarajan. You will want to consider him as soon as he is fit and available.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The 43-year-old signed off by picking Mohammed Shami at the fourth spot in his pecking order of Indian seamers for the T20 World Cup.

“If I have to give my first three choices – Bumrah is No.1, Bhuvi is No.2, I am going with Deepak Chahar as No.3 and then I have got Shami at four. I have got Natarajan at five. But then Shardul Thakur is also there, there is actually a crowd – Siraj and Umesh are also there. But this will be my pecking order.

“Shami is there in my top four but he is not there in my first two. My first two will be Bumrah and Bhuvi and I will want to start with them only, ” said Aakash Chopra.

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are likely to be India’s first-choice seamers if they are fit and available. India though may not field Bhuvneshwar and Deepak Chahar together in the playing XI, whereas the newest acquisition T Natarajan could steal a march over Mohammed Shami for the left-arm variety and his ability to bowl yorkers at the death.

Mohammed Shami picked up 4/76 and Ishant Sharma claimed 3/48, which restricted New Zealand’s first-innings lead to 32, whereas Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless in the WTC final.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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T20 World Cup 2021 To Start From October 17 In UAE: Reports

T20 World Cup 2021 is set to start from October 17 in the UAE, with the final for the 16-team tournament scheduled for November 14. T20 World Cup 2021 will start a few days after the IPL final, which is likely to be held on October 15. The remainder of IPL 2021 will also be played in the UAE, starting September 19.
Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

T20 World Cup 2021 Will See 4 Teams To Qualify For Super 12s Phase

While the BCCI is yet to write to the ICC officially about shifting the T20 World Cup 2021 to the UAE, it has already set the ball rolling in terms of planning for the tournament to be held in the middle east.
According to the current plan, the first round of the T20 World Cup 2021 will be split across two groups and played in the UAE and Oman. Round 1, which will include 12 matches, will comprise eight teams from which four (top two from each group) would qualify for the Super 12s.
Four teams from this lot of eight – Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea – will then progress to the Super 12s, joining the top eight ranked T20I teams.
The Super 12s phase, which will comprise 30 matches, is scheduled to start from October 24. The Super 12s, where teams will be split across two groups of six each, will be played at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah which will be followed by three playoff games – the two semi-finals and the final.
The Super 12s phase of the T20 World Cup is likely to be held at three venues in the UAE - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Abu Dhabi Cricket
The Super 12s phase of the T20 World Cup is likely to be held at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah Abu Dhabi Cricket
With Round 1 being co-hosted by one of the venues in the UAE and Oman, the BCCI is confident that will offer enough time to refresh the pitches across the main grounds in the UAE for the Super 12s.
The Super 12 Phases, the most important part of the tournament would start from October 24, split into two groups, played across three venues –  Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah – with semi-final and final to follow, on November 14. However, the ICC is yet to confirm this development, with the tournament scheduled to start in the last quarter of this year.

T20 World Cup 2021 To Move To UAE After 2nd Wave Of Covid-19 Hit India And 3rd Wave Expected Soon

On June 1, the ICC granted BCCI until the end of June to announce whether India will be able to host the T20 World Cup. Since the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the global cricket calendar last year, the ICC postponed the 2020 World Cup, which was originally scheduled to be held in Australia, and decided India would host the tournament in 2021 with Australia hosting the 2022 edition.
The Middle East is expected to host the T20 World Cup in 2021Twitter
The Middle East is expected to host the T20 World Cup in 2021Twitter
However, the grim pandemic situation in India, due to the second wave this summer, forced the BCCI to abruptly suspend the IPL 2021 midway in May which instantly cast doubts on whether India could be fit to host the multi-team T20 World Cup 2021 after travel between cities was identified as a prime area of concern for teams getting exposed to outside the bubble during the IPL.
The BCCI had shortlisted nine venues for the T20 World Cup 2021, but an ICC team, meant to carry out inspection, had to cancel its visit in April. Despite the pandemic numbers climbing down since the alarming peak of the April-May period, public health experts have predicted India will face a third wave later in 2021.
The BCCI is expected to make its decision public on moving the event outside to the UAE with the ICC deadline expiring in a few days.