The Indian cricket team will begin their ICC World T20 2021 campaign on October 24 against Pakistan in Dubai and they will be aiming to end their 14-year wait for their second title.
The IPL 2021 is just two days away from completion. But, immediately after that, the ICC World T20 will be played in the UAE and Oman. While the competition will begin from October 15 with the qualifying rounds for the Super 12, the Indian cricket team will start their campaign on October 24 against Pakistan. The arch-rivals have a storied history in the ICC World T20. Just like in the 50-over World Cup, Pakistan has never managed to beat India in the ICC World T20. In five matches, Pakistan has never won against India.
Looking back at history, Pakistan had two glorious chances to win against India in 2007 but they blew it. Since then, the contest has been skewed heavily in favor of India. Here is a look back at India’s performance in the ICC World T20.
India had played just one Twenty20 International and that was against South Africa. They won the match but there were not many takers for it. In the 2007 ICC World T20, they were ranked outsiders. A washout against Scotland did the Indian fan no favors. 2007 was a difficult year for India, having been eliminated in the league stages of the World Cup.
But, in the game against Pakistan, everything changed. The match ended in a tie and India won by a bowl-out. After that, India did not look back. They lost to New Zealand in the Super Six stage but defeated England and South Africa. The match against England saw Yuvraj Singh become the first player in T20Is to hit six sixes in one over. Stuart Broad felt the brunt of the fury as Yuvraj scored the fastest fifty in T20 cricket of 12 balls.
In the game against South Africa, Rohit Sharma scored a fifty. India not only won the match but dumped the hosts out. The semifinal against Australia witnessed yet another masterclass from Yuvraj as he hit 70 off 30 balls. India won the match and entered the final where they would face Pakistan. Gautam Gambhir hit 75 as India reached a decent total. Pakistan tried to stay in the game but it was Misbah ul Haq who stole the show. The final over saw Pakistan needing 13 runs to win and an inexperienced Joginder Sharma was bowling. The equation boiled down to five runs from four balls. Misbah then mistimed his scoop and Sreesanth took the catch. India had won by five runs to win the first ICC World T20 title. The IPL was born in the aftermath of the win and cricket never became the same again.
India came to England as the defending champions of the ICC World T20. However, their fortunes had suffered a dip. After beating Ireland and Bangladesh comfortably, India encountered some hostile, short-pitched bowling when the knock-out stages arrived. India lost at Lord’s against West Indies which was a big setback. However, in the next subsequent games against England and South Africa, they lost by narrow margins. The inability of the lower middle order to bundle India out of trouble was missing. It was a disappointing way for India to go. To add salt to their wounds, their arch-rivals Pakistan won the title in grand style.
The carnival moved to the Caribbean for the first time. Once again, India showed inconsistency at the wrong time. In the league stages, Suresh Raina created history as he became the first Indian player to hit a century in all three formats. His century against South Africa gave India a big win. After the victory over Afghanistan, India was expected to dominate the tournament. But, in the knockouts, their batting proved to be their downfall.
In the game against West Indies in Barbados, Chris Gayle smashed 98 and ensured West Indies won for the second time against India. During the match against Australia, India was simply blown away by the hostile pace of Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes, and Mitchell Johnson. Rohit Sharma blasted 79 but India suffered a big loss. In the final match against Sri Lanka, India needed to win by a big margin to ensure they reached the knock-out stages. But, Sri Lanka, boosted by Angelo Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera’s knocks in the death put up an all-round show to ensure India was knocked out.
The aftermath of the exit saw plenty of criticism for the Indian team, with questions being raised about their fitness and commitment.
Yet again, another tournament where India came close but fell at the final hurdle. They started brightly again, beating England and Afghanistan clinically. They reached the Super Six stage where they would have to face Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.
India was completely outplayed by Australia, with Shane Watson taking 3/34. Watson then partnered with David Warner as the duo totally blasted the Indian bowlers out of the competition. Watson lashed 72 and Warner chipped in with 63 as Australia chased down 141 in just the 15th over. This impacted India’s Net Run Rate badly. However, India gave themselves hope by thrashing Pakistan thanks to Virat Kohli’s 78.
But, with South Africa losing all their previous two games and with Pakistan securing wins against the Proteas and Australia, they had gone through. India needed to beat South Africa by a margin of 30 runs or more to enter the semi-final. But, South Africa went past the target and allowed Australia to sail through. India won the match by one run but it was scant consolation.
Around this time, the Indian cricket team was on a high when it came to ICC events. Despite the setback of the 2012 ICC World T20, India had won the 2011 World Cup and had completed the set by winning the 2013 Champions Trophy. The early signs in 2014 pointed out that India would emerge as the winner.
India started the campaign on a high by beating West Indies, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Australia comfortably. In the semi-final against South Africa, India was boosted by Ravichandran Ashwin’s splendid spell of bowling and by a brilliant fifty from Virat Kohli. India coasted into the final where they would meet Sri Lanka. Kohli yet again stepped up to the plate with a magnificent fifty. But, in the death overs, Sri Lanka raised their game to a whole new level.
Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Sachithra Senanayake ensured India conceded under 20 runs in the last four overs. What should have been a score in excess of 150 was instead curtailed to 130/4. The struggles of Yuvraj Singh, who hit 11 off 21 balls, was a sorry sight. Kumar Sangakkara hit fifty as Sri Lanka calmly inched closer to the title. Thisara Perera hit three sixes and helped Sri Lanka win the World T20 for the first time in their history.
The 2016 edition was the first ICC event held in India since the 2011 World Cup triumph. Expectations were sky-high. But, in the very first match, India was jolted by New Zealand in Nagpur. The Kiwis made 126 on a turning pitch. But, boosted by Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Nathan McCullum, India was shot out for a woeful 79.
India bounced back by beating Pakistan thanks to yet another fifty by Virat Kohli. In the game against Bangladesh, they were on the cusp of elimination. Bangladesh needed two runs with three balls to spare to knock India out in Bangalore. But, inexplicably, Bangladesh lost three wickets off the last three balls. The final ball was a run-out effected thanks to the speed and awareness of MS Dhoni. India had hung on by the skin of their teeth.
In their last league game against Australia in Mohali, the visitors managed a score of 160/6. India kept losing wickets but Virat Kohli played a knock for the ages. His unbeaten 82 and his acceleration towards the end gave India one of their best wins in the modern era. India reached the semifinal where they would face the West Indies. Kohli was the star yet again as his 89 helped India put up a mammoth score of 192.
India started brightly with a couple of wickets. But, in the middle overs, they bowled a couple of no-balls that benefited Lendl Simmons. The batsman went on to score 82. Aided by Johnson Charles’ fifty and a brutal knock by Andre Russell, West Indies won the match by seven wickets to knock India out in dramatic style.