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T20 World Cup outright predictions: Kohli to help India end T20 drought
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Simon Barlow
Rohit Sharma is leading a deep and well-rounded India squad at this year's T20 World Cup
Rohit Sharma is leading a deep and well-rounded India squad at this year's T20 World Cup

- India are the favourites to win the upcoming tournament in the USA and Caribbean
- Recommended bets:
India to win the tournament
Virat Kohli - Player of the Tournament
Hat-trick in tournament - No

The ICC T20 World Cup 2024 gets under way on Sunday June 2, with a total of 55 matches leading up to the final on Saturday, June 29.

Men in Blue mean business

India have the most talented squad with the greatest depth to the batting and variety to their bowling, so they should be the obvious favourites to come out on top.

The biggest stars from the Indian Premier League are there, such as Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant.

And they are so well off that they have the luxury of leaving out several other huge names that would easily have made any other nation’s 15-man squad. 

Rohit Sharma’s men are probably still smarting from falling at the final hurdle in the 50-over World Cup on home soil late last year.

But they have dominated this format since then by winning eight of their 10 completed T20 internationals, gaining revenge on Australia with a 4-1 series win, tying 1-1 with South Africa and thrashing Afghanistan 3-0.

The Men in Blue came up short against a tactically astute England in the semi-finals two years ago, but they may have too much power and determination to let anything like that happen again. 

Count on Kohli to be India's leading light

Virat Kohli finished as the top runscorer in this year's Indian Premier League
Virat Kohli finished as the top runscorer in this year's Indian Premier League

The last two Player of the Tournament awards have gone to stars from the winning sides — David Warner in 2021 and Sam Curran in 2022.

And logic would dictate that if India were to take the ultimate prize then one of their high-profile players would be in line to scoop the individual award too.

There is no higher-profile player than Virat Kohli, who has already been named player of the tournament twice before — in 2014 and 2016.

On neither of those occasions did India win the T20 World Cup, but Kohli was the competition’s highest run scorer in 2014 and the second-highest in 2016. 

The 35-year-old remains at the peak of his powers, having just won the Orange Cap as the leading run-scorer in the 2024 Indian Premier League, 

And of players set to feature in the tournament, only Pakistan’s Mohammed Rizwan comes close to his T20 international batting average of 51.75. 

Hat-trick seekers may be left stumped

With 55 matches in the month-long event and several international minnows coming up against the traditional powers, there is always going to be a chance that a bowler can bag a hat-trick.

There were three hat-tricks recorded when this tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates three years ago and a further two when the best teams in the world clashed in Australia 12 months later.

But the gap between the established nations and those emerging teams is narrowing as the latter get more experience in events such as this.

And that can be illustrated by the fact that the last two T20 World Cup hat-tricks came about when bowlers from the UAE and Ireland dismissed batters from Sri Lanka and New Zealand. 

Given there were no hat-tricks in five consecutive stagings of this event from 2009-2016 and nor were there any in this year’s Indian Premier League, it may be profitable to oppose the prospect of any bowler writing their name in the record books this time around.   

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