The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is finally here after several adjustments in scheduling due to the pandemic and the greediness of certain boards. This tournament was originally scheduled to take place in India but got moved to the United Arab Emirates due to COVID concerns.
Financial motivations and public health concerns aside, the competition on the pitch is slated to be a tight one between several teams. Defending champions West Indies will be looking to capture a third title in the game’s shortest format, while co-favorites India and England will be looking to add a second T20 championship to the trophy case.
Here’s a look at T20 World Cup title odds for the 2021 tournament courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
India remains the favorite, as it would’ve been had the tournament remained in India. The country captured the first T20 World Cup in the history of the competition and that result undoubtedly changed the future of the format and cricket in general. Virat Kohli will step down as captain of the team after the competition and you can bet this team wants to send him out on top. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya will be other players to watch for the odds-on favorite.
England reached the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup and appeared to have it in the bag before being brutally dispatched by Carlos Brathwaite for four sixes in a row. England captured the 2019 World Cup and will look to add this trophy as part of its revolution in the sport. This is the deadliest batting lineup in the world when fully intact but that’s not going to be the case this time. 2019 World Cup and Ashes Ben Stokes won’t be in the mix, and neither will star fast bowler Jofra Archer. It’ll be up to Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow to pick up the slack. England has a lot of players returning to cricket after an extended break; will these guys be in form for the bigger games later on in the tournament?
The other contenders
Australia (+600), New Zealand (+600), West Indies (+600)
These Oceania neighbors have equal odds to lift the title. Australia has been struggling of late but tends to get up for global tournaments. David Warner and Mitchell Starc are the stars but Australia’s success will come down to all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.
New Zealand has been slowly tweaking its T20 squad over the years and feels it has hit the jackpot this time around. After making the 2019 World Cup final and winning the World Test Championship, this is the yet another title Kane Williamson would like to have. The Blackcaps have the bowling attack to run through the tournament without many problems.
The defending champions are out of form individually but always find a way to get together collectively and do magical things. Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell and Keiron Pollard should be acclimated to conditions after playing the IPL in UAE. Chris Gayle is the elder statesman in the team and needs to show he can perform at the top of the order. Will this bowling attack be able to contain enough runs in the event the lineup doesn’t fire?
It’s been a rough couple months for Pakistan cricket as far as the future is concerned, with England and New Zealand pulling out of scheduled tours due to “security concerns”. Nevertheless this is a talented team capable of making some noise in UAE. Babar Azam remains one of the world’s top batsmen and this bowling attack has variety and pace. Let’s see what old heads Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can do, if they play. Sharjeel Khan being out lowers this team’s ceiling.
South Africa (+1200)
South Africa cricket has been the same since Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers stepped away from the game. This young, relatively inexperienced group is still talented enough to go toe to toe with the bigger teams. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are the best bowling duo in the world, while Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen pack a punch with the bat. David Miller, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma will determine how far this team goes.
Best bet to win the title: India (+250)
It’s not fun going with the favorite. However, each team has significant question marks entering the tournament. The Indian team is best acclimated to the conditions after playing the IPL and has the most depth out of any squad. Anything can happen once the knockout stage rolls around but India is essentially a lock to make that stage. It’s hard to bet against the favorites at this point.
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