The T20 World Cup is in touching distance, and teams are looking to kick up their preparation ahead of the World Cup. With the World Cup coming up, let us now look at the previous winners of the tournament and how they fared in their campaign.
India, 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa
India had a disastrous outing in the 2007 World Cup but was blessed after being given a chance at redemption soon after. They came into the T20 World Cup with a new captain in MS Dhoni and young players. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Sourav Ganguly opted out of the tournament. With the seniors out of the tournament, the expectations on India were not very high.
The youngsters, however, played well, bringing out their full potential and helped India pull off a miracle. There was a collective performance from the entire team at various stages, and India had some memorable games in the tournament. They were involved in a bowl-out against Pakistan, Yuvraj hit six sixes off Stuart Broad, and India narrowly beat Pakistan in the finals in front of a packed stadium. The win was unexpected, but it helped pave the way for an IPL, which helped boost the franchise culture in Cricket.
Pakistan, 2009 T20 World Cup in England
Pakistan finished as runners in the previous edition and did a fair job throughout the 2007 World Cup. They came into the next World Cup with the hope of bettering their last performance, and they did so handsomely.
Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan stood up with the bat while the bowling was on par. Umar Gul finished as the leading wicket-taker, and Saeed Ajmal was consistent throughout the tournament. The best performance, though, came from Shahid Afridi. After winning the series award in 2007, Afridi continued his excellent form and made a significant impact with bat and ball. His fifty in the finals helped Pakistan chase 139 against Sri Lanka.
Throughout the tournament, the bowling ensured that the opposition was kept to a low score. Barring their defeat to England in a match England made 185, Pakistan didn’t let the opponent get too many. They lost two games but still held on and finished the tournament in style.
England, 2010 T20 World Cup in the West Indies
The 2010 World Cup was a rare tournament without too many upsets. The group stage went through with predictable results, and the Super 8s were decided early. The Super 8s went on to have some exciting developments, with India going winless throughout their Super 8s campaign. England and Australia both dominated as they went through to the semis without much fuss. Both sides had a set template with their matches.
Kieswetter and Lumb formed a solid opening pair for England, while Kevin Pietersen was consistent throughout the tournament. For Australia, they batted deep, and Michael Hussey was in top form. His performance in the semi-finals helped Australia make the finals against England.
While the tournament went through smoothly, the final was a relatively one-sided affair. Australia only managed 147, which England quickly chased as they lifted their first T20 World Cup. An exciting feature of the 2010 T20 World Cup was the scheduling. The World Cup was held less than a year after the previous edition to correct the Cricketing calendar.
West Indies, 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka
The 2012 T20 World Cup was held in Sri Lanka and had some of the most thrilling matches in T20I History. The tournament heated up in the Super 8s again, and there were two super overs in the tournament. Along with the Super Over games, the match saw some other high-profile games between West Indie and Australia on the group stage.
There were some powerful performances from big names like Shane Watson, Lasith Malinga, and Chris Gayle. The West Indies, in particular, entertained in all aspects. They were explosive with the bat, brought wonderful variations with the ball, and celebrated crucial moments with a lot of heart. They built a side with multi-dimensional players. The side was full of talents who could bowl and bat explosively.
Their games were very close, but the West Indies handled the pressure well throughout the tournament to take the trophy. The West Indies were in a tough spot in the finals, but a whirlwind knock from Marlon Samuel took them to 137. The score proved to be enough as they bowled Sri Lanka out and broke into a series of dance steps as they lifted the trophy. The World Cup win was their first since 1979, and it helped the West Indies set a template for the T20 format.
Sri Lanka, 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh
The 2014 T20 World Cup held in Bangladesh was a farewell tournament to two Sri Lankan stars, who signed off beautifully. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene announced their retirement from T20 Cricket together and came in with the tournament as their T20 World Cup. The structure of the league was different this time, with ten teams in two groups of five.
Group two was straightforward, with India going through unbeaten along with West Indies. Group one, however, had some exciting games. There were nail-biting wins, upsets with the Netherlands beating England, low-scoring games with Sri Lanka defending 119 against New Zealand, and each game was an event. Dale Steyn was at his best in the tournament, defending a meager seven runs in the final over to beat New Zealand. After a lot of drama, South Africa and Sri Lanka qualified.
Both semi-finals promised a lot, but in the end, India went into the finals unbeaten to take on Sri Lanka. The final was a big one for Sri Lanka, who had four consecutive World Cup Finals. They lost the 2012 and 2010 T20 World Cup finals and the 2011 and 2007 World Cup finals. Dilshan, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, and Malinga were present in each heartbreaks, and they were keen to make amends.
The odds were heavily shifted towards India, but some brilliant bowling from Malinga and Kulesakara, along with a slow innings from Yuvraj Singh, kept India down to 130 despite a brilliant 77 from Virat Kohli. The target was chased down quickly, with Sangakkara scoring a fifty in his final T20, and Sri Lanka lifted the trophy after years of heartbreak.
West Indies, 2016 T20 World Cup in India
The 2016 T20 World Cup retained the format used in 2014 and again provided the World with riveting Cricket. For starters, fans saw the veterans like Chris Gayle and TM Dilshan get runs. Gayle made a magnificent century against England early on, and England chased 229 to beat South Africa. While there were exciting moments in group one, West Indies and England made the semi-finals with ease.
Group two had some exciting games, with New Zealand surprising India at Nagpur and then beating Australia a few games later. They read the surfaces well and were brilliant in their use of spin bowling. After the loss, India had some tight games, beating Pakistan and Australia with small margins and scraping a one-run win against Bangladesh. Virat Kohli carried the Indian team, while Australia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh weren’t near their best in the group stage.
The semi-finals saw an easy win for England over New Zealand, who were unbeaten up to the game. The second semi-final had Lendl Simmons play a brilliant knock to help the West Indies chase 192 against India. Virat Kohli was superb in the semi-final, but his knock was trumped by some big hitting and excessive dew on the ground.
While the semis were nail-biting, the finals were even more intense. In Kolkata, England got to 155, which is an optimal score in a World Cup final. Joe Root made a handy fifty and then shook West Indies with the ball with two wickets early on. The West Indies lost Chris Gayle early, but Marlon Samuels came to the fore again, just as he did in 2012. He made 85 and held the chase together before taking it to the last over. The previous over is one of the most memorable overs in T20 Cricket, with Carlos Brathwaite taking Ben Stokes for four sixes with nineteen to win.
A brilliant cameo from Brathwaite helped the West Indies win their second title, and it was an emotional one for the side considering the problems they faced outside the Cricket field.