It has been nothing short of a disastrous showing by the Indian national team at the T20 World Cup to this point, as they face a nervy wait to see if they will reach the semi-final stage. India were listed by many of the leading sportsbooks as the clear favourites to win the competition this winter, but have drifted out to as far as 30/1 with some bookmakers to achieve the feat.
But, are their hopes of reaching the latter stages already effectively over after two straight defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand?
Indian Hopes High Ahead Of World Cup
That is the golden question as we approach the final games of the Super 12 stage. Many heralded India as the untouchable nation in the T20 World Cup before a ball was bowled, and for many, there weren’t exactly any indicating signs that this capitulation would follow.
India saw off England in a warm-up game before getting their campaign underway, which had experts purring at the thought of seeing the two nations squaring off later in the tournament when both were at full tilt. However, the best chance that India have of that happening now will likely come in the semi-final. But, they will need an almighty slice of luck to even get that far in the competition based on the two previous results that they have recorded.
Defeats Leave India On The Brink
India’s two defeats to start the T20 World Cup were completely unexpected. Even after their ten-wicket defeat against Pakistan, many expected them to come back into form against New Zealand in their second game. However, there wasn’t much by way of a response, as India hit just 110/7 in their 20 overs against the Kiwis. Even the magic of Virat Kohli looks to be missing during the World Cup, as he hit just nine from 17 balls in that defeat.
New Zealand certainly made the Indians pay, as they won with 33 balls remaining in the second game of the Super 12. India now need favours off other sides to reach the next round, but will also need to improve their own performance levels, as they come up against an Afghanistan side in their next game, who also have eyes on the second spot in Group 2 behind Pakistan.
Who Are The Team To Beat?
With India seemingly being on their way out for an early exit, the attention will swiftly turn to the nation that are in the best position to win the T20 World Cup. The two teams at the top of the respective Super 12 groups surely look like the ones to beat. Pakistan have been very impressive in India’s group, following up their ten-wicket win over Kohli’s men with five-wicket victories over both New Zealand and Afghanistan.
However, it’s England that looks like the nation that everyone needs to beat. The country captained by Eoin Morgan have looked irresistible to this point, with Jos Buttler in the form of his life. The 31-year-old continued his strong start to the World Cup with another 101 runs in the victory over Sri Lanka, which has taken his tally for the competition to 214, which is a World Cup-high. England have much more talent in reserve, with Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone, who both shone for the Birmingham Phoenix at the iconic Edgbaston cricket ground, yet to be given their chance to fire.