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ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024: Top four contenders to win the coveted silverware

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024: Top four teams to win the trophy. Australia and New Zealand are among the firm favourites to lift the trophy.


ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 Trophy | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©X_Twitter)
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 Trophy (Images: ©X/Twitter)

The ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 is set to begin from June 2 in the United States of America (USA) and West Indies. This time, 20 teams are participating in the tournament. With T20 cricket getting extremely competitive, it is difficult to predict who would eventually lift the trophy. Even lesser-known teams are capable of creating an upset on their day. 


Nevertheless, here are the top four contenders who are favourites to win the title.


India

India will be entering the tournament on the back of a two-month-long IPL season. They would have the required match practice as they step into the tournament. All the 15 members have been part of IPL with mixed success. But come the World event and the pride of representing the country, they would have the motivation to do well. 


ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024_ Pros & Cons of having Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli in India squad.  Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India have a balanced squad could be a threat to many teams (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)
India's Strength - Right mix of players

Although India have left out Rinku Singh, they have brought in Shivam Dube who could add up as a medium pacer as well. They also have all-rounder Hardik Pandya who would be playing without any captaincy pressure, and would be raring to do well after a below-par IPL season. 


The batting unit is loaded with stroke-makers with all the players among the runs this season. The top four batters – Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav – have scored a ton each in IPL 2024. Sanju Samson has had his best IPL season so far, while Rishabh Pant is back to his big-hitting game after more than a year. 


India have packed their squad with two frontline spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and YS Chahal – and two spin-all-rounders in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. They would be more than handy in spin-friendly conditions in the West Indies. Pacers Jasprit Bumrah has been in great form in IPL while Mohammed Siraj has finally found his rhythm. Arshdeep Singh gives the attack some variety and is a good death-over bowler. Overall, India have a great mix of youth and experience in their squad.


India's Weakness - Fatigue factor

All the players have gone through a two-month grind in IPL and there could be mental fatigue. If they can take some much-needed rest before the start of the tournament and keep themselves fresh, they could be a top contender. Also, India need to play an aggressive and fearless brand of cricket to be a step ahead of opponents. 


CWC 2023, Australia vs South Africa_ Australia beat South Africa in semi-final and will face India in Finals _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©X_Twitter)
Australia has plenty of all-rounders in the squad (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

Australia 

Australia tend to lift their game in the biggest stage and have always done well in the multi-nation tournaments. They are the current holders of the 50-overs World Cup and the World Test Championship. They would definitely like to make it a treble. Strangely, Australia have won a World T20 in their seventh attempt in 2021, and would be raring to make it a double this time. Australia will be led by Mitchell Marsh in the tournament. 


Australia's Strength - Good combination of batters and bowlers

Australia have 10 of their 15 players in the World Cup squad plying their trade in IPL 2024. Hence, they will be match-ready for the tournament. Except for Glenn Maxwell and David Warner, most of these 10 players have been among the runs and wickets in IPL. Hence, they have the T20 form and preparations behind them.


Australia have firepower at the top with Travis Head set to lead the charge after his successful season with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2024. He will be joined by David Warner, who although didn’t get many games in IPL 2024, has tended to lift his game for the country. They have a pack of all-rounders in Cameron Green, Marsh, Tim David, Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, who are handy with both bat and ball. 


Spinner Adam Zampa has rich experience of playing in IPL and it would help him make the most of the spin-friendly conditions in the West Indies. Ashton Agar is also a handy spinner who is difficult to score against. Their pace attack comprises the dependable Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Ellis; each come with their own unique strength. Overall, it’s a great combination of batting and bowling stars in the Aussie squad.


Australia's weakness- T20, not really the forte

Australia have not been as ruthless a T20 squad as they have been in the other formats. Their only World T20 win came in UAE’s batting-friendly conditions. It would be a different ball-game in USA and West Indies. If Australia can boss the conditions to emerge champions is yet to be seen.


ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Group 1, Australia v New Zealand_ New Zealand beat Australia by 89 runs on Group 1 game at T20 World Cup 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_Twitter)
New Zealand squad looks solid on paper (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

New Zealand

New Zealand are yet to win a World title in the shortest format, although they have come close on a few occasions. They were the runners-up in the 2021 World T20. Nevertheless, New Zealand are a great competitive side that pushes above their waist in multi-nation tournaments. They are favourites to make it to the knockouts. With little self-belief and luck, they could probably end their title-jinx in the World T20 this time around.


New Zealand's Strength - Great mix of all-rounders

They will be led by the reliable Kane Williamson who has the knack of motivating his team to give their best, leading from the front. His form will be crucial to New Zealand’s chances in the tournament. Devon Conway, who missed the IPL due to an injury, is back and he will be looking to give the team quick starts at the top. He will pair up with Finn Allen who has a strike rate of over 168.93 in T20s.


New Zealand are blessed to have a great mix of all-rounders to pick from. Daryll Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner is the pool of all-rounders to pick from. Hence, New Zealand are spoilt for choices in this category.


Their pace department is one of the best in the world, with Trent Boult in great form in IPL 2024. Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry will be the support pacers to Boult; each packs a punch. Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner might play together. But, thanks to the bunch of all-rounders who bowl spin, Sodhi might bag the lone spinner’s slot in the XI. Sodhi is too good a bowler to get away with, and can win matches single-handedly. The pitches in West Indies will suit him perfectly.


New Zealand's weakness - Choking?

Expect New Zealand to choke in critical juncture of the tournament. They came close to lifting the title in 2021, but fell in the final hurdle. Similarly, they have lost knockouts in previous editions despite playing well throughout the league stage. It is up to the Kiwis to shed the choker’s tag.


India vs South Africa, 2nd T20I_ South Africa beat India by 5 wickets _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©X/Twitter)
South Africa might surprise many teams (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

South Africa

Just like the Kiwis, South Africa also have been under-achievers in the ICC events. They have great talent in the squad, and now boast of some big-hitters who have set the stage on fire in IPL 2024. But can they lift their game during critical phases of the tournament to go all the way? They are yet to make it to the final of any World T20. However, they are a dangerous T20 team now and a top contender for the trophy.


South Africa's Strength - Big-hitters could be the X-factors

They will be led by Aiden Markram who is one of the biggest hitters of the ball in world cricket currently. Their squad has another big-hitter in Heinrich Klaasen who has set the IPL 2024 on fire for Hyderabad. He has provided the perfect flourish to their innings, and has helped his team go past the 250-mark thrice this season. They also have the veteran Quinton de Kock who will be looking to put his poor IPL season behind him. Reeza Hendricks, David Miller and Tristan Stubbs are the other batters who could take the game away from the opponents in a matter of a few big hits. 


Their pace unit is equally envy-worth with Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee and Anrich Nortje in the line-up. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are spinners of high quality who can make the most of the spin-friendly conditions in West Indies. 


South Africa's Weakness- Lack of all-rounders

South Africa lack good quality all-rounders who can make a difference with both bat and ball. They have too many one-dimensional players and that could hurt the balance in their XI. Besides, South Africa, just like the Kiwis, need a lot of self-belief to go all the way in the World T20.


West Indies could miss out

West Indies have players who are fearless and aggressive; who ply their trade in various T20 leagues across the world, mainly in IPL. Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell have done exceedingly well in IPL 2024. But can these big talented players come together and play as a team in a multi-nation tournament? The truth is West Indies are a fragmented bunch of players. As a team, they are extremely unpredictable. Hence, punting on them may not be a great idea.


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