India T20 World Cup 2021 Preview

India T20 World Cup 2021 Preview

All eyes will be on Virat Kohli’s side in the UAE, and given the superstars and wealth of talent in this India squad, the Men in Blue enter the 2021 T20 World Cup as one of the firm favourites to lift the trophy. India haven’t been able to win this competition since MS Dhoni’s led them to victory in the inaugural edition in 2007, but India enter the 2021 tournament as the 2nd ranked T20I side in the world and have won their past six T20I series barring the freak Covid-induced defeat to Sri Lanka in July.


India’s squad for this tournament is littered with top-class players, and the major area of strength has to be the quality of the batting line-up. The sheer amount of high-class top-order batters India produce is evident in the IPL, and with the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant among others, India arguably have the strongest batting unit in this competition. 

The other major strength of this team is the presence of Jasprit Bumrah, who is the best bowler in the shortest format of the game and arguably the most valuable asset in T20 cricket. Bumrah’s ability to bowl in all phases of the game sets him apart from the crowd, and the fast bowler is entering the World Cup on the back of another excellent season with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, where he picked up 21 wickets.


The biggest question mark for India heading into the World Cup is the bowling fitness of Hardik Pandya, which could have a massive bearing on the success of this side in the tournament. The all-rounder bowled a few overs in India’s recent tour of Sri Lanka in July but hasn’t bowled a single ball for Mumbai in the last two IPL’s.

If Hardik can bowl 1-2 overs a game, he is the perfect 6th bowling option that offers flexibility to Virat Kohli, however, if Pandya is still unable to bowl, it upsets the balance of the side and provides a huge selection dilemma for the management. 

Likely Starting XI

The experienced pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will open the batting with Virat Kohli returning to number three as the primary anchor for this side.

The middle order is packed with dynamic, aggressive batters, with Suryakumar Yadav at number four, followed by the enigmatic Rishabh Pant. Hardik Pandya’s recent form is a concern, but the all-rounder is likely to retain his place in the side due to his experience with Ravindra Jadeja finishing the middle order at number seven following his title-winning season with CSK.

Amongst the bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Varun Chakravarthy are certainties to start given their performances over the past few IPL’s, with Mohammad Shami likely to be the 2nd fast-bowler. The final place in the XI could differ from game to game based on the conditions or matchups with Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin or Rahul Chahar emerging as possible options for Virat Kohli.