Australia win maiden T20 World Cup title: Key takeaways
Australia have been crowned champions of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. They defeated New Zealand in what turned out to be an enthralling grand finale. Astonishing knocks from Mitchell Marsh and David Warner helped Australia chase 173. Earlier, NZ skipper Kane Williamson led by example with an emphatic 85. The Aussies have won their maiden T20 WC title. Here are the key takeaways.
Sixth different side to win the T20 World Cup
Australia have become the sixth different side to win the T20 World Cup. The previous editions were won by West Indies (2016 and 2012), Sri Lanka (2014), England (2010), Pakistan (2009), and India (2007). Australia qualified for their second final in the tournament this time. They finished as the runners-up in 2010 after losing the final to England.
First side to win WC events in five successive decades
Australia are the first side to win the World Cup events across five successive decades (ODIs: 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015, T20Is: 2021). On the other hand, New Zealand could have won their second ICC trophy in 2021 (they won the ICC WTC final).
Another successful run for the Black Caps
Although New Zealand faltered at the final checkpoint, they did well throughout the tournament. The Williamson-led side were placed with marquee Asian sides, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan in Group 2. However, NZ put up a concerted effort to reach the penultimate clash. They knocked out the 2019 World Cup champions England in the semi-finals. Daryl Mitchell powered them to an emphatic win.
Australia 5-0 New Zealand
Australia have beaten New Zealand for the fifth time in the knockouts of ICC men's events. Prior to this, the Aussies were 4-0 against NZ in these matches (1996 WC quarter-final, 2006 CT semi-final, 2009 CT final, and 2015 WC final).
Pakistan were on fire throughout the tournament
Pakistan could have lifted the T20 World Cup trophy, had things panned out a little differently a few nights ago. They couldn't keep their nerves in the dying moments of the semi-final against Australia. Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade stole a win after Shaheen Afridi rattled the Aussies. Notably, Pakistan emerged as the only undefeated side in the Super 12 stage.
Star performers for Pakistan
Mohammad Rizwan carried his sublime form into the T20 WC. He became the first-ever batter to complete 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year. Rizwan worked in tandem with his skipper Babar Azam, who finished as the tournament's leading run-scorer. In the bowling department, Shaheen Afridi shone with his sensational spells. His deliveries to dismiss Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma made headlines.
A disappointing campaign for Team India
Like Pakistan, India entered the tournament in quest of their second title. However, their campaign was off the rails after a couple of heavy defeats to arch-rivals Pakistan and New Zealand. Although India overcame Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia, they failed to qualify for the semis. This is the first time India haven't qualified for the knockouts (ICC events) since 2012 (T20 WC, SL).
The end of Kohli's captaincy stint
India's win over Namibia marked the end of Virat Kohli's reign in T20Is. The 33-year-old had earlier announced that he will step down as T20I captain post the T20 World Cup. Kohli, who took over the mantle from MS Dhoni in January 2017, bowed out after leading India for the 50th time in the format. Kohli finished as India's second-most successful T20I skipper.
West Indies will have to play the Qualifiers next year
Defending champions West Indies had an indifferent campaign. The Caribbeans lost four of their five Super 12 games. WI, now 10th in the T20I rankings, will have to play the Qualifiers next year in order to reach the Super 12s of the 2022 T20 WC edition. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo played his final international game as WI crashed out of the tournament.