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Man’s Life 2021 T20 World Cup Predictions

Virat Kohli and team


After five long years in the wilderness, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup finally returns in 2021, with 12 nations set to compete for the most prestigious trophy in the shortest format of the game. Chaos has reigned over the first six editions of the T20 World Cup with plenty of upsets, last-over drama and heartbreak, and unpredictability at the very forefront of this competition, where one should expect the unexpected.

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Nevertheless, here is our shot at looking into the crystal ball and predicting what might happen over the next month in the UAE with our Man’s Life 2021 T20 World Cup Predictions.

Final Four and the Champions

England, West Indies, India, New Zealand


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India and England are clearly the best two teams in the competition and are likely to breeze through the Super 12 stage at the top of their respective groups. Accompanying England in Group A will be the West Indies, who have much more firepower than Australia and South Africa despite being ranked 9th in the ICC standings.

Group B is much tougher to call, and although Pakistan have performed well in the shortest format in recent times, I back New Zealand’s experience in pressure situations, their excellent pace attack and the leadership of Williamson to pull them through.

Picking a winner from the final four is pretty much a lottery, but India might just have too much strength in depth and quality across the board: the pitches will suit their spinners, every batter can clear the ropes, and the Jasprit Bumrah factor is just too hard to ignore.

Most Runs


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With India winning the tournament, the safest bet for the highest run-getter has to be KL Rahul, who has elevated his game to different heights in the shortest format over the last few years and is arguably the most complete opener in T20 cricket. Rahul won the orange cap in IPL 2020, was the top run-scorer of the group stages in IPL 2021 and has carried that form into the warm-up games for the Men in Blue. It’s going to be very difficult to stop the Punjab captain, and KL is going to score a mountain of runs in his T20 World Cup debut.

Most Wickets


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If we aren’t counting the stunning nine wickets already taken by Shakib Al Hasan in the qualifier stage, my pick is Mitchell Starc. His lack of an IPL contract (out of choice) has kept him under the radar over the past few years in T20s, but Starc is still one of the best white-ball bowlers going around. The left-armer picked up 27 wickets at the 2019 WC and we can expect plenty of timber with Starc bowling his fast, swinging yorkers at the death. An outside pick for this category has to be the incredible Rashid Khan.

Breakout Star


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It’s very difficult to have a breakout star in the world of cricket, but Liam Livingstone will announce his arrival on the world stage with a couple of fantastic game-defining innings for England. Livingstone had a poor IPL 2021 for the Rajasthan Royals but the right-hander could come alive in a much more settled England set-up. Other players to watch out for include Rahmanullah Gurbaz from Afghanistan as well as Josh Inglis from Australia if he gets some game time. 

Surprise of the Tournament


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The biggest surprise of the tournament will be Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who I back to finish above South Africa and Australia in 3rd in Group A of the Super 12 stage. The Tigers are deservedly the 6th best T20 side according to ICC rankings, and the sluggish conditions in the UAE will suit the spin of Shakib and Mahedi Hasan and the cutters and slower deliveries of Mustafizur and Saifuddin.

Quickfire Predictions:

● Most Sixes: Rohit Sharma / Johnny Bairstow
● Highest Individual Score: Babar Azam
● Biggest Disappointment: Chris Gayle
● Eoin Morgan: To drop himself from the England team after three league matches
● Players who will earn an IPL contract after their performances in the World Cup: Rassie van der Dussen, Roston Chase and Maheesh Theekshana


[Image Credit: Indian Cricket Team]