The T20I World Cup revolutionised the way cricket was played and the sport we see in this era has been heavily influenced by the T20 snowball hitting us back in 2007. One of the key stakeholders in this revolution is Indian cricket. 2007 was the year when MS Dhoni’s team India brought the first-of-its-kind, T20I World Cup trophy home and suddenly the whole nation was heavily involved.
The Indian T20 League was introduced in 2008 after India’s triumph in 2007. It suddenly made the sport more marketable and the money for the players involved, skyrocketed. Such has been the impact of the T20I World Cup on our sport and in this piece, we’re looking at India’s journey in this competition.
The team went into the inaugural edition of the T20I World Cup without its big guns and the whole nation was not totally convinced by this revolution that was going to hit us soon. MS Dhoni was appointed as the captain and the expectations were pretty low, a bit similar to the vibes just before the 1983 triumph under Kapil Dev.
India started with a bowl-out victory over arch-rivals Pakistan and made their way to the semis by beating the likes of England and South Africa. They met a formidable Australian unit in the semi-finals but proved too strong for them and thereby booked a date in the final with Pakistan. A final that was worth revisiting time and again helped India become the first-ever T20I champions.
2009 (Super 8)
When it came to defending their title in 2009, Team India put on a poor show in England. They won the two games in the competition against Bangladesh and Ireland but went on to lose three consecutive matches against the likes of West Indies, England and South Africa to finish last in their super eight group.
2010 (Super 8)
The 2010 T20I World Cup in the West Indies started on a positive note as India beat both their group members to reach the Super 8 stage yet again. But a similar story to the 2009 World Cup unfolded and the team went on to lose three on a trot to crash out of the tournament yet again without a win in the Super 8 stage.
2012 (Super 8)
The 2012 edition in Sri Lanka started in a similar fashion to the previous two World Cups as India won both its group matches. This time they were a lot stronger in the Super 8 stage as they won two out of their three matches in it but still fell short on net run rate to qualify for the semi-final stage.
2014 (Runners Up)
It’s 2014 and it’s Virat Kohli’s time to get his first taste of the T20I World Cup. The conditions in Bangladesh were favourable to the Indian team and they made the most out of this advantage. They went unbeaten from the group stage and had a strong victory in the semi-final against South Africa. They were the favourites going into the final against Sri Lanka but the Lankan Lions had redemption on their mind for the defeat in 2011 in the 50 over World Cup final. India were outclassed in the final and finished runners-up. Virat Kohli was given the Player of the Tournament award.
2016 World Cup and this time the hosts were India. This was the first T20I World Cup in the heartland of T20 cricket and the Men in Blue went into the competition with plenty of expectations. They had a horrendous start to the tournament as they were given a trial by spin in the first match against New Zealand and they came way short. They made a swift recovery and made it all the way to the semi-finals to take on an intimidating West Indies at the Wankhede stadium. The Windies proved way too strong for the hosts as they chased a stiff target of 193 with seven wickets in hand. Virat Kohli was yet again named as the Player of the Tournament, the first man to get it in successive tournaments.