Who Will Win the World Cricket T20 in Australia?
Almost incredibly, it’s almost time for another edition of the cricket World T20 tournament. The last tournament took place in the UAE and Oman late last year, with Australia beating New Zealand in the final to claim their first title in this format. Now, Australia will be the host and will welcome 15 other participants between October and November this year.
FanDuel Sportsbook has a market on each side's odds of taking home the prize, so let’s take a look at the tiers of teams taking part before I offer my pick on who will take home the trophy at the tournament’s end.
The three leading contenders for the trophy this time round are India, hosts and holders Australia, and England. India has won 10 and lost two games in T20i’s since the end of the last World Cup and has an impressive 7-4 record in games in Australia. They have unearthed some exciting youngsters; Ishan Kishan is their leading run-scorer since November 2021 with 369 runs in the format.
Australia has only played nine games since lifting the World T20 back in November, but they have won six with two losses and a No Result. They are a tough nut to crack on home turf with 31 wins, 17 losses, and one tie in 51 home T20i. Skipper Aaron Finch has led the way with 247 runs in their last nine games, and Josh Hazlewood has 14 wickets.
England lost in the semi-finals to New Zealand in the last World T20 and have only played five games in the format since, losing three and winning only two. They remain one of the most powerful white-ball sides in the world based on their explosive batting and plentiful bowling options. They have a disappointing record on Aussie turf in T20s, with a single win against seven losses in matches played Down Under.
The next tier of teams contains New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and the West Indies. Of the four, Pakistan is the most dangerous while also being the most enigmatic. They have won six and lost one of their seven T20s since the last World Cup where they reached the semi-finals. Mohammed Rizwan has 316 runs in this time, and Mohammed Wasim leads the way with 15 wickets.
New Zealand came up just short against Australia back in November but has lost all three of their games in this format since then. Martin Guptill has 152 runs in this time while Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee have four wickets each.
The Plucky Underdogs
The third tier consists of three teams currently struggling to establish themselves in this format in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
All three can put up strong numbers and can be relied upon to win regularly against each other, But, when coming up against the big guns, they may struggle for consistency, and getting beyond the first round will be a struggle for any of them.
The final tier contains the long-shot outsiders, but that does not mean that these teams should be completely overlooked.
Namibia, Ireland, and the UAE all have winning records in T20i’s since the last World Cup, and Ireland can boast a 2-1 record in games played in Australia.
Scotland and the Netherlands face the toughest road of any of the known teams at this stage given that neither of the sides has played a single T20 since the end of the last World Cup. The global qualifiers, who will not be known until closer to the tournament, will undoubtedly find themselves part of this tier.
My Pick: India (+340)
They are favorites for a reason, and that is why my pick for this year’s iteration of the trophy is India.
As a nation, they have embraced this format of the game more so than anyone else in the world, so it must be a source of great annoyance that they have not won this tournament since its first edition back in 2007. They have just a single appearance in the final since then.
They have a talented team, a strong captain, and a whole host of batting and bowling options. I believe they will put an end to their World T20 hoodoo this year and will be lifting the trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this November.