All three favourites in India, England and Australia are full of problems ahead of the T20 World Cup. There are issues with their captains, the form of their players and in some cases, the players who were picked. And those who weren’t.
If you’re looking forward to some T20 World Cup betting then here’s why you should avoid betting on all three of them.
For starters, it’s worth remembering what a poor record India have at the WC. They won the very first edition but that’s as good as it got for them, making just the one final since, which they lost to Sri Lanka.
You’d think that with their full XI playing so much IPL cricket they’d be ready for the challenges and pressures of WC cricket, but not so.
They are admittedly ranked Number 2 in the world behind England, so they’ve certainly been consistently good over the last couple of years.
The big problem is that they’ve picked the wrong squad! In the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, they’ve picked two batsmen out of form. Hardik Pandya deserves his place in the team as an all-rounder, but not just as a batsman. When is he finally going to bowl again?
And if there are players there who shouldn’t be there, there are also players who should.
Who should be on India’s team?
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has re-found his groove in the UAE. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan and Sanju Samson are ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively for most runs in the IPL this year. None of them are in the squad.
Wouldn’t Gaikwad have been a better option at the top of the order than Rohit Sharma? So would Dhawan, for that matter. Isn’t Sanju Samson well-suited to batting at three and being super-aggressive, with Kohli in next?
And what about Bhuvi Kumar, who was included? He’s a great bowler who can adapt well to different conditions but is he really the bowler he used to be in T20 cricket? Maybe not. With just five wickets in 10 games in IPL2021, he’s currently just ranked 44th for most wickets. His economy rate of 8.15 isn’t great, either.
Wouldn’t they have been better off going with Harshal Patel? He’s been around for a long time without making many waves, but he’s certainly never bowled like he has this season.
He has 26 wickets in 12 matches and is miles ahead of everyone else. Yes, he’s been a tad expensive at 8.4 an over. But what does that matter when he’s taking over two wickets a game?
India may have made all the mistakes before it’s even started. And that’s without even mentioning how Virat Kohli isn’t a particularly great captain. Maybe that’s one of the reasons this tournament is his last as T20 skipper.
Currently, the best available odds for India to win are 3.6 at Betway…There are too many issues with the team to be backing them at 3.6!
If India made a load of wrong decisions regarding selection, then England’s case is a slightly different one. The English team were extremely unlucky to lose not one, but two, such important players, to injury.
Ben Stokes doesn’t boast particularly great stats in T20 cricket at all. But what he does do is give you something in all three disciplines.
And there’s something else: he’s Ben Stokes. He’s a man who can pull rabbits out of the hat and provide moments of brilliance. If available (he has both mental health issues and fitness issues), he would have played.
You can read about Jofra Archer in greater detail in that same article but suffice to say he was the IPL’s most valuable player last season. That says it all. Especially given what a poor season the Royals had. You can’t replace a wicket-taking fast bowler who bowls with such aggression easily.
Although of course, they’ll be hoping Tymal Mills does just that.
Major Issues with Morgan
If Kohli’s problem is the captaincy, then Eoin Morgan’s is a very different one. The England skipper looks a spent force in cricket as a batsman, not being able to rotate the strike or play the big shots like he used to.
12 knocks from matches in the IPL this season for KKR have yielded just 110 runs. His strike rate is just 100. He’s had three ducks and scored just seven fours and five sixes all season. Those are the figures you’d expect from a number eight or nine, not a number 4 or 5 at the World Cup.
Assuming they stick with him, he’s a so-called ‘passenger’ who is almost in the side just as the captain. But is he that great a captain anyway? You must be brilliant as a leader, both tactically and everything else, to justify playing when you’re so badly out of form.
There are other problems
Chris Jordan, who is their highest wicket-taker ever in T20Is, hasn’t been playing for Punjab. Sam Curran, another who may have fancied his chances of making the XI, has been awful for CSK.
Liam Livingstone, the man pencilled in to replace Stokes, has been poor. Dawid Malan opted out of the second leg of the IPL.
Lots of problems with no quick fix to them…With best England odds at 4.33 at Betway, it’s not worth the trouble.
Quite why Australia are the third favourites to win the World Cup is anyone’s guess. Before we even get on to players, consider this: ranked just seventh in the world right now in the T20I ICC rankings, they’re behind South Africa (twice their odds at 14.0) and even Bangladesh, who are 51.0. To put this in perspective, the odds for Australia are 7.0 at Betway. How this makes sense, I don’t know.
They’ve only ever made one World Cup final, and they lost it.
If this was all of a sudden, a group of players who came together at just the right time, we could cut them some slack. But it’s not.
The first issue they have is skipper Aaron Finch. Not only is he in a race against time to be fit for the first match, but he was badly out of form before getting injured. It was telling that no IPL team came in for him ahead of the 2021 season.
Then there are those who wonder if he’s that great a captain to begin with. Would he have been captain if Steve Smith and David Warner hadn’t been available to lead their country after Sandpapergate? Almost certainly not.
Smith, Warner, Bairstow & Stoinis
The two will probably play Australia’s first match at the World Cup. But they shouldn’t. Smith is Test/ODI player trying to fake his way in T20. It’s always been that way.
But he doesn’t pull it off. That’s because his first instinct is to not lose his wicket and in T20 batting, it’s a possibility you have to be comfortable with. A career strike rate of 125 in T20 is just too slow.
He was fortunate to get an IPL contract at all at Delhi after losing the captaincy and indeed his contract at the Royals, on the back of a poor season in 2020. At Delhi, he’s hardly played at all this year. When he has, he’s scored slowly (precisely he problem), while at times the Capitals have gone with just three overseas players, rather than fielding him.
Warner’s case is even more worrying. After a horrid time with the bat at SRH where he was also skipper in a losing team, he was sacked as captain and dropped as a player.
As it happens, Jonny Bairstow’s decision to opt-out of the second half of the IPL meant he got another chance. The result: scores of 0 and 2 saw him dropped for good.
So, Australia plan to go into their first game with a half-fit opener badly out of form, another opener terribly out of form who has been dropped by his team and in Smith a player who probably shouldn’t even be playing T20, let alone batting at three.
To make matters worse, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is also in a race to be fit for the WC.
It’s not all bad though
Mitch Marsh was excellent batting at three in the recent Series against the Windies and Glenn Maxwell has had a terrific IPL. To stand any chance, Australia need to drop Warner for Mathew Wade or Josh Inglis as opener and leave Smith out in favour of Marsh.
But they probably won’t and are likely to pay the price. It would be a big surprise if they even make the semis. 7.0 with Betway