In the new format displayed by the ICC, this year’s T20 World Cup tournament will initially have two groups (A and B) at the qualifying stage spearheaded by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Ireland, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Oman will join Sri Lanka in Group A. Namibia, Netherlands, and Scotland will join Bangladesh in Group B. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the Super 12 round.
|Group A||Group B|
|Papua New Guinea||Netherlands|
Sri Lanka is currently ranked 8. In their latest series against Pakistan in Pakistan, they whitewashed green caps 3-0. Also, they won the World T20 title in 2014 while they were runner-up in 2009 and 2012. Therefore, they seem to grab the first spot in group A.
Sri Lanka is currently ranked 14. Ireland recently drew the series with reigning champions West Indies 1-1 at their home. While the Irish team has been a regular part of all the previous T20 championships. Their experience compared to Oman and PNG and current form makes them a clear winner of the 2nd spot in group A.
Bangladesh is currently ranked 9. Despite losing series against India 2-1 in India, they are still a force to reckon with. They have significantly improved in white-ball cricket. Out of 89 matches in total, they have won 58. They are looking a sure shot contender to qualify for the main round.
Among the Netherlands, Namibia and Scotland, Netherlands have an upper hand. In 2009 ICC T20 World Cup 2009, they stunned hosts England in the tournament opener. Similarly, the Dutch team beat England again in the 2012 edition. Out of 75 matches, Netherlands have won 40 matches. Scotland has won 29 of 65 while Namibia has got 12 victories out of 16.
As far as results are concerned, Namibia has the upper hand. However, the Netherlands has played and won games against bigger teams the most comparatively. Therefore, our prediction would show the Netherlands alongside Bangladesh to qualify into the next round.
T20 is such a fabulous format where prediction can go upside down. The shortest format gives equal chance to Oman, PNG, Scotland and Namibia to punch above their weights and make our prediction wrong. However, the current situation depicts the position mentioned above.
The matches of the main round will kick off from October 24th. The groups of the main round are named as Group 1 and Group 2. Top two teams from qualifying group A will join Group 1. Similarly, the top two sides from group B will make their place in Group 2.
Teams in the main groups are as follows:
|Group 1||Group 2|
CURRENT T20I RANKINGS (AS OF 8TH FEBRUARY)
Usually, when you see the Test & ODI rankings, you find a big difference of rating points among the teams. While on T20 rankings, top 4 teams sit very close to each other. No. 1 Pakistan & No. 4 India has a difference of only 5 rating points. That meagre difference suggests that the semi-finalists teams do not have a far different on the scale of performance.
Therefore, we should consider the top 4 teams as the favourite of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2020 based on rankings & ratings.
PAST T20 WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS
|2012||West Indies||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka|
PERFORMANCE OF HOST TEAMS
|2007||South Africa||Knocked out in 2nd Round|
|2009||England||Knocked out in 2nd Round|
|2010||West Indies||Knocked out in 2nd Round|
|2014||Bangladesh||Knocked out in 2nd Round|
|2016||India||Knocked out in Semi Final|
PREDICTIONS AS PER THE AUSTRALIAN CONDITIONS
West Indies alongside Asian teams India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have produced high-level results in the past. These teams have, majority of the times, reached to the finals unlike Australia, South Africa and England. The former three teams have fared in ODI cricket world cups.
However, this time the situation would possibly be upside down. This time, T20 mega event’s hosts are Australia (for the first time) and Australian conditions mostly favour South Africa, England and New Zealand and Australia (SENA). So, history would definitely be different this time around. Therefore, you can safely assume India and SENA to be the top contenders of the 2020 T20 World Cup title.
PERFORMANCE OF THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS
|2014||West Indies||Semi Final|
|2016||Sri Lanka||2nd Round|
Every defending champion didn’t perform well into the next tournament. So, this is why we can predict Sri Lanka’s performance based on the past (first they have to qualify to play Super 12s). Also, Sri Lanka was whitewashed by Australia in Australia in recent summer.
POSSIBLE CAPTAINS FOR THE T20 WORLD CUP 2020
|New Zealand||Kane Williamson||42||19|
|West Indies||Kieron Pollard||3||1|
|South Africa||Faf Du Plessis||40||24|
Current ICC T20I Rankings (As of 8th February)
1 – Pakistan
Pakistan is having the worst run although they are world number 1. In the year 2019, Pakistan has lost all four T20I series. While they won 10 consecutive T20 series from 2016-2018 under Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy.
2 – Australia
Australia has won 3 out of 3 series in 2019, at home. Aussies beat India, Sri Lanka and current World No.1 Pakistan at their backyard.
3 – England
ODI champs England have won their last three T20 series against Sri Lanka, current T20 champs West Indies and New Zealand in New Zealand.
4 – India
Under Virat Kohli, India has won their last three T20I series. In fact, India has claimed 6 out 5 victories to their name under Kohli’s leadership.
5 – South Africa
South Africa drew against India 1-1 in India, while they won 4 out 4 series before this.
6 – New Zealand
Kiwis won 3 out of 4 series in the year 2019.
10 – West Indies
Titleholders West Indies are not looking in a good position. They have lost 7 out 9 series they played from July 2018. They have recently drawn to qualifying team Ireland at home.
Rankings from 7 to 9 are Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Out of three two will play qualifiers while we don’t see Afghans as the title contenders.
As mentioned earlier, it is always tough to make a prediction in cricket, especially in the T20 format. However, analysis based on past record and Australian conditions we conclude as follows:
|Semi Finalist 1||Australia|
|Semi Finalist 2||India|
|Semi Finalist 3||South Africa|
|Semi Finalist 4||Pakistan/New Zealand|
Featured Image Source: icc-cricket.com