T20 World Cup 2021 predictions: Winners, leading run-scorer, England's hopes and dark horses

·4-min read
A composite image of Jos Buttler, the ICC World T20 trophy and Shaheen Shah Afridi - Getty Images
A composite image of Jos Buttler, the ICC World T20 trophy and Shaheen Shah Afridi - Getty Images

The Super 12 stage of the Twenty20 World Cup gets under way on Saturday and Telegraph Sport's team of expert writers go through their predictions for the tournament ahead.

Tim Wigmore

Who will qualify for the semis? England, West Indies, India and Pakistan.

Who will win the tournament? India. High-class bowling attack, led by Jasprit Bumrah, and a batting line-up tailor-made for the conditions in the UAE, when scores around 160 will often prove match-winning.

Dark horses: Bangladesh. A varied attack, including 90mph quicks, and battle-hardened after the first stage. Low-scoring pitches will suit them.

Biggest let-downs: New Zealand have a fine record in ICC events, but their squad feels overly conservative, with 90mph quick Adam Milne omitted.

Leading run scorer: Babar Azam. Pakistan's captain should be consistent with his anchoring style.

Babar Azam of Pakistan hits the ball towards the boundary during the Pakistan and West Indies warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 18, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Babar Azam of Pakistan hits the ball towards the boundary during the Pakistan and West Indies warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 18, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Leading wicket-taker: Dwayne Bravo. He bowls predominantly at the death and remains hugely skilled with his yorkers and abundance of slower balls.

Player I'm most looking forward to watching... Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Afghanistan's belligerent opener is already rapidly breaking into the T20 franchise circuit and leads Afghanistan’s approach to attack in the Powerplay.

Nick Hoult

Who will qualify for the semis? West Indies, England, India and Pakistan.

Who will win the tournament? India. Hard to look past India on UAE surfaces where they have just played the IPL. Depth, skill, experience, power, pace and variety. They have it all but can they cope with the pressure?

Dark horses: South Africa. No AB De Villiers, no Faf du Plessis but they have a very strong attack with the pace and skill of Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamzi. Add in Quinton de Kock and David Miller and you have a team capable of a surprise, but slow pitches might be their issue.

Biggest let-downs: Australia. Warner’s form is a major worry. Maxwell is the key but watch them implode, fall out with the coach and then sit back and enjoy England regaining the Ashes. Or wake up, you’re dreaming.

Leading scorer: Jos Buttler. Opens the batting, so has time at the crease, will be fresh after a break and has the carrot of knowing if he dominates the tournament and leads with the bat, it will ensure he replaces Morgan as skipper.

Jos Buttler of England bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Jos Buttler of England bats during the England and New Zealand warm Up Match prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at on October 20, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Leading wicket-taker: Shaheen Shah Afridi. The head says go for a leg spinner in T20 on UAE pitches but the heart goes with Afridi tearing in and knocking poles out the ground

Player I'm most looking forward to watching... Tymal Mills. It has been a long hard road for Mills who has endured so many setbacks in his career. England so rarely produce genuine pace bowlers like him and it would be terrific to see him have a good tournament after so many low days with injury.

Scyld Berry

Who will qualify for the semis?: England, India, Pakistan and West Indies

Who will win the tournament? India, because they have the strongest squad if not the strongest XI.

Dark horses: A young Sri Lanka, after their match practice in the qualifying tournament, could beat anyone on their day - as could the new-look South Africa.

Biggest let-downs: Afghanistan. One of the eight main qualifiers because they have improved so much, but events at home can only be deeply disturbing.

Leading scorer: Babar Azam. Pakistan’s top order usually take their time in settling in, and he has the strokeplay and experience of the UAE to go on to major innings.

Leading wicket-taker: Dwayne Bravo, still the canniest of medium-pacers in the IPL. So well versed in UAE conditions, and equipped with all the variations.

Player I am most looking forward to watching... Tymal Mills. In Ben Stokes’s absence England need an x-factor to win a world title, and it could be Liam Livingstone or their recalled left-arm fast bowler who is an ace at the death.

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