With the 2021 edition of the ICC World T20 now set to begin from October 17 in UAE and Oman, the mega tournament has thrown up another opportunity for Kohli. The Indian run-machine will be giving up T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup and will be aiming to tick that box on his resume in style.
Can Kohli win his maiden ICC trophy as captain before handing over the captaincy baton to someone else?
Former England captain and batting legend David Gower feels India will be one of the big favourites going into the tournament and that Kohli will have a good chance of taking India to glory this time.
“Virat will have a good chance of winning his maiden ICC trophy. India is a good side. India probably will be favourites,” Gower told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
India had won the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, but since then the Men in Blue have been waiting to win their second title.
(Virat Kohli, left, and Hardik Pandya – Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)
The 2021 T20 World Cup gets underway from October 17 in the UAE and Oman. The Super 12s round, at which stage the big teams will start their campaigns, begins from October 23 with a clash between South Africa and Australia.
India will kick off their ICC World T20 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
However, going by how fickle the T20 format can be, can any team really be termed big favourites? Gower echoed that sentiment, highlighting how a fancied team can also very easily lose in the shortest format of international cricket.
“The favorites tag doesn’t mean much. You can be a great team, you can be a winning team, but if you make a mistake at the wrong time, you might still not win the competition. So, let’s assume for instance that you make a mistake. You can lose by one run and you can lose by 20 runs. There’s no doubt that India will be very very competitive,” Gower further told TimesofIndia.com.
Interestingly, Kohli is India’s highest run-getter and the fourth overall at the World T20s. The Indian skipper has played 16 matches (2012, 2014 and 2016 editions) and scored 777 runs at an average of 86.33. He has 9 half-centuries in the mega event.