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Three dark horses for the forthcoming T20 World Cup

Three dark horses for the forthcoming T20 World Cup
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The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2021-09-15T14:40:15+05:30

The T20I World Cup will be getting underway in just a few short weeks. Most of the pundits are convinced that it is going to be a shootout between India and England. Here's the thing, though, major tournaments in any sport rarely go to form – just look at the recent Euro and Copa America football tournaments for evidence of that, where Italy and Argentina blew away the favourites.

By its very nature, T20 can be even harder to predict. Unlike longer forms of cricket, where things have time to even out, one golden spell can change the whole destiny of a match. Here, we pick some outside shots who have a real chance of lifting the trophy. We've also checked some of the sites on SportBetting.net.in to see what India's bookmakers think of our choices.

New Zealand

Whatever the format, there's a basic axiom in cricket: never underestimate New Zealand. Yet people do it time and again. The Black Caps are in the same group as India, and have been something of a bogey team for the tournament favourites over the years.

New Zealand have never won a cricket World Cup in any format, and are long overdue to do so. The team's confidence is sky high after winning the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, and it's a settled squad that excels in every format. Williamson is a strong leader, and with Guptil and Taylor, the team can post big runs fast. Meanwhile, they bat all the way down and the likes of Southee and Boult are masters as pressure bowling. The bookmakers are quoting them at 8/1 for the tournament.

West Indies

It seems odd to call the defending champions dark horses. However, the team has been cracking at the edges in recent series, and on the face of it, you'd say they haven't a hope. The thing is, though, that's exactly what everyone thought in 2016.

The men from the Caribbean always manage to set aside their differences and turn it on for the biggest events. Chris Gayle is still Universe Bossing it as only he can, and Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard are also power hitters who can destroy any bowling attack on their day. Can they surprise us and win it again? The bookmakers have them at 7/1 to do just that.

Pakistan

The thing about Pakistan is you are never sure which team is going to turn up. The same XI can be no-hopers one day and world beaters the next, and that inconsistency means the odds on them lengthen in longer tournaments. Right now, most bookies have them around 10/1.

If they can hold it together, though, they could be in with a real chance in the World T20. The move to the UAE means they are essentially playing on home turf. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are among the best T20 batsmen in the world right now. If the bowlers can keep their heads, anything is possible.

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