Covid-19 forced the BCCI to dial the UAE and ask them to play hosts on their behalf. The Covid situation in India had not improved to a level that the country could take the decision to host a 16-team world event. The Emirates understood and opened its gates for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Looking back, India will have all the reasons to be confident of going the distance and, as Suresh Raina said – win the cup for Virat Kohli. Virat, remember, has decided to step down as India’s T20I captain after the tournament.
The team’s form combined with home-like conditions and tracks in the UAE augment its chances. On top of that, the players have had a recent first-hand experience of playing in the UAE, thanks to the second leg of IPL 2021 that concluded as close to the tournament as October 15.
Add to that the return of MS Dhoni to the Indian camp as ‘mentor’ and the prospects start looking even more promising.
(BCCI appointed MS Dhoni as India’s Team Mentor for the 2021 T20 World Cup – Photo courtesy BCCI Twitter)
The stats also back India.
Since the 2016 edition, the team has played 72 T20Is, won 45 and lost 22. It gives Virat & Co. a win percentage of a healthy 62.5%. Two games ended tied and three had no results.
Series-wise, India played 25 series since June 18, 2016. Of these, 14 were away, including 13 bilateral and one Tri-series in Sri Lanka. The other 11 were bilateral affairs at home.
Breaking those numbers down further, India played 32 matches at home since the 2016 T20 World Cup, won 21 and lost 10. One match didn’t produce a result.
The record away from home in the same period reads 40 matches, 24 won, 12 lost, 2 tied and 2 no result.