India are currently ranked #1 in the ICC T20I rankings and have been one of the most successful teams in the history of ICC World T20. After conquering the tournament’s inaugural season in 2007, they have played the semi-final twice and the final once.
However, they lost two semis and one final in the three T20 World Cups played between 2012 and 2016. Every time, they were within touching distance of claiming the title, but somehow, they fell short.
The last edition of the T20 World Cup didn’t bring any joy to them as they were knocked out in the group stages.
Can they bring the World Cup home this time? And do they have the squad to make it happen? This blog will answer all these questions and provide detailed insight into India’s chances in this World Cup.
So, let’s begin.
T20 World Cup 2022 India Team Analysis
The 15 members and four reserves who made the cut for the T20 World Cup 2022 India team are:
Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh
Reserves: Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj
Indian squad is laced with plenty of batting talent. There is a decent amount of experience in the spin department, but the pacers look short on experience.
In a nutshell, the squad has:
- 5 specialist batsmen (Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahu & Deepak Hooda)
- 2 wicket-keeper batsmen (Dinesh Karthik & Rishabh Pant)
- 2 all-rounders (Hardik Pandya & Axar Patel)
- 2 specialist spinners (Yuzvendra Chahal & R Ashwin)
- 4 fast bowlers ( Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel & Arshdeep Singh)
Potential Starting XI
India’s team combination looks settled, and Rohit will back their tried and tested formula of five regular bowlers + Hardik Pandya. Here’s their likely starting XI:
- Rohit Sharma (c)
- KL Rahul
- Virat Kohli
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Hardik Pandya
- Dinesh Karthik (wk)
- Axar Patel
- Harshal Patel
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Mohammad Shami
- Yuzvendra Chahal
India have an important selection call to make between the two wicket keepers – Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. Rohit has shown more trust in DK, and at the moment, there are no signs of Pant getting included in the first-choice XI.
The choice of the third fast bowler (Bhuvneshuwar and Shami are certain to play) is another point to ponder for them. For now, Harshal Patel seems to be the strongest candidate for that position.
Strengths of the Indian Squad
India have a mixture of experience and youth on their side, and the following two strengths make them a tough team to beat:
The Big Three at the Top
Rohit, Rahul, and Kohli have thousands of runs and years of experience under their belt. The trio has more than 10,500 runs and seven international hundreds between them in this format.
Therefore, if India are to do well in this year’s competition, these three have to guide them with their class and experience.
A Heavyweight Middle Order
India’s Mr.360° – Suryakumar Yadav – is relishing a dream start to his career. With an average of around 42 and an astonishing strike rate of 177, he has provided the spine to India’s middle order.
Moreover, Hardik Pandya has been averaging over 36 with a strike rate of 150+ in T20Is in 2022. Also, Dinesh Karthik is scoring runs at an SR of 150.83 this year. So, these three batters can prove to be a nightmare for any bowling lineup in the world.
Weaknesses of the Indian Squad
A couple of areas where Indians can find themselves wanting are:
Plenty of Inexperience in Pace Bowling
Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, none of the Indian pacers in the World Cup squad has played more than 25 T20I games. Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel have never played before in Australia.
So, they would need to get used to the conditions and the pressure of International cricket quite quickly. In the absence of Bumrah, these youngsters have a heavy burden on their shoulders.
An Average Spin Attack
After Jadeja’s injury ruled him out of this event, Axar Patel was called to replace him, who is also yet to play a game in Australia. Yuzvendra Chahal is their go-to spinner, but the leggie is going through a lean patch in his career.
In T20 International cricket since 2019, Chahal has taken only 41 wickets in 42 games. He has conceded runs at a rate of 8.33 runs per over and has averaged 30.98.
Whereas R Ashwin has featured in only 14 T20Is in the last six years. Overall, the spin department doesn’t look like a serious threat.
Predicted Performers for India
Out of all the Indian superstars, we predict that Rohit and Hardik will emerge as top performers for them.
The Indian skipper is striking at more than 146 in T20Is since 2020. Also, the conditions in Australia suit his batting style. So, there’s every chance of him being India’s highest run-getter in ICC T20 WC 2022.
The last time India played T20 cricket in Australia, Pandya helped his team win the series with a couple of brisk knocks. In recent times, he has finished various games with his brutal power-hitting.
The all-rounder can also be a handy bowler in the Aussie conditions as he can use the short ball to good effect. That’s why you should keep an eye on him in this tournament.
Predicted Flops for India
Considering the conditions and recent forms, we feel that the following two guys can have a World Cup to forget this year:
Rahul’s strike rate has dropped below 130 in the last couple of years. In the 5 T20I innings played in Australia, he has managed 108 runs at an SR of only 112.5. The numbers look quite below par and might also stay the same in the T20 WC 2022.
In 2022, Harshal has played 21 T20 International games. In these games, he has given away runs at an economy rate of 9.4 – which is massive. He is a death overs specialist, but India will need him to roll his arm in the powerplay and middle overs as well.
That’s where he is likely to struggle and ruin his bowling figures.
India’s Recent Form
Underlying are the details of India’s last 5 T20I fixtures:
- Oct 4 – Lost by 49 runs against South Africa
- Oct 2 – Won by 16 runs against South Africa
- Sep 28 – Won by 8 wickets against South Africa
- Sep 25 – Won by 8 wickets against Australia
- Sep 23 – Won by 8 wickets against Australia
With 4 wins in the last 5 T20 games, India are on the right track before the World Cup.
Prediction for India’s Group Matches
India will play five games in the super 12 stages in a bid to qualify for the semi-finals. Here are the predicted results of those five fixtures:
- Oct 23 – Pakistan (India to win)
- Oct 27 – A2 (India to win)
- Oct 30 – South Africa (India to win)
- Nov 02 – Bangladesh (India to win)
- Nov 06 – B1 (India to win)
We predict India to win all five games in the super 12 stages. Consequently, they will top the points table in their group and make it to the semi-final stage.
After having a forgettable campaign in last year’s T20 World Cup in UAE, India will be desperate to make their presence felt at this year’s grand event. They certainly have the potential to do so, and that’s why we have predicted for them to qualify for the semi-final with ease.
They will likely be up against either New Zealand or Australia in the semis. Both teams are well-balanced and prime contenders for this year’s T20 World Cup. Also, India’s bowling lineup might not prove good enough against these two teams in Aussie conditions.
Keeping all these factors in mind, we predict India to get knocked out in the World Cup 2022 semi-finals.
Final Verdict: India will cruise through to the semi-finals stage but will lose there to either New Zealand or Australia.