Australia triumphed in Dubai and Oman in the World T20 in 2021 by overcoming New Zealand in the final of the competition, ending their drought without the crown. The Baggy Greens had endured a rare spate of failures in their pursuit of the World T20, notably losing the final of the 2010 tournament to England along with underwhelming performances in 2014 and 2016.
However, Aaron Finch and his team rose to the occasion to defeat the Black Caps and now have the chance to become the first side to win back-to-back crowns when they host the World T20 in 2022. There will be intense competition when the tournament begins due to the sheer talent of T20 teams from around the world.
Australia are well placed given the fact that they will be very familiar with conditions, but there will be improvements from other sides in the tournament, including India and England, who fell short of the final in the last campaign.
India, especially, are under pressure to deliver after failing to progress beyond the group stage in the 2021 World T20, and all eyes will be on new skipper Rohit Sharma to deliver as he has done so in the past for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. Virat Kohli stepped down from his role after India’s failure, slotting back into the ranks where he will be desperate to prove himself on the major stage. This feat will be significant as he has previously struggled to showcase his talent.
India are blessed with talent in all areas of their squad, with IPL stars Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Paddikal knocking on the door of the starting line-up. Time is running out for a large contingent of the old guard to win a major title with Sharma, Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and Ravichandran Ashwin all in their thirties. The onus will be on the senior players to perform.
England also have reason to up the ante after another frustrating defeat in the late stages of the World T20. In 2016, Ben Stokes allowed the crown to slip through his fingers with a terrible final over against the West Indies. England bowlers once more failed under pressure as Chris Jordan, among others, were blasted around the ground by James Neesham and Daryl Mitchell to lose the semi-final from a winning position.
Eoin Morgan still leads a unit stacked with talent, although his days with the captaincy could be coming to an end as he reaches the twilight of his career. A team with Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, along with Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, and Dawid Malan, should be primed for a deep run in Australia.
Pakistan is not the underdog but always seems to fly under the radar at major tournaments. With Babar Azam in their ranks, they’re a danger to every side that they face in the tournament, while Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf possess the attributes to trouble all comers in Australia with their raw pace.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh flattered to deceive in the 2021 World T20 and failed to take the next step in the UAE and Oman, even though conditions were in their favor. They are currently outsiders in the outright betting markets for the competition with odds of 80/1, according to some of the best online betting sites in Bangladesh.
There could be hope if Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahedi Hasan, and Shakib Al Hasan can fire on all cylinders. However, everything is to play for and we’ll have to see how things transpire. Shopping around to get the best prices on the Tigers would be a good idea after their struggles in 2021. It would be a surprising outcome, but teams of the ilk of the West Indies have risen to the occasion in the past when few believed that they were capable. Bangladesh could well be the dark horse of the 2022 competition.
The West Indies are not the team of 2016 and their performance in 2021 seemed to suggest that they are in the midst of a rebuild of their white-ball sides. South Africa have had a talent drain from their batting ranks of late, although their bowlers could pose problems in Australia with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Anrich Nortje battle-hardened from their IPl experience.
The 2022 World T20 promises to be an entertaining competition, and no team should be confident of reaching the latter stages due to the talent on show.