The latest round of opinion polls conducted on location-based social network Public has revealed that at 64.6%, cricket fans strongly agree that mentor MS Dhoni will help improve India’s prospects at T20. The poll gauged opinions of Bharat users ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. This year, BCCI is the host of the tournament in the UAE. Cricket stadiums of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah will host the matches of the ICC event. Some matches of round 1 will take place in Oman.
- 67% believe playing IPL before the World Cup will be advantageous for the Indian cricket team.
- 36% say New Zealand is the strongest team against India.
- 69% want Rohit Sharma to replace Virat Kohli as the next T20 captain.
- The poll recorded over 5 lakh responses.
World Cup promises excitement
The majority of respondents have expressed their excitement about the mega event. About 53% of participants revealed their excitement for the World Cup that is being held just days after India’s own cricket festival, the IPL. While 67% believe that IPL as a precursor to the World Cup will be advantageous for the Indian team, a little over 18% have expressed otherwise.
The upcoming World Cup not just gauged the country’s excitement level but the undying faith in Team India too. Almost 60% of the respondents believe India will definitely bring the trophy home. Nearly 25% said the winning chances are 80-90% while a minority of 10.5% believe the chances are below 50%.
Under Dhoni’s Wing
Dhoni, who recently led his team Chennai Super Kings to victory at the IPL has joined Team India’s camp in the UAE. Captain Virat Kohli himself has extended his support to the former skipper who brought home the 2013 World Championship Trophy. “He has got massive experience. He is quite excited himself. He has always been a mentor for all of us. Younger guys who are playing their first major tournaments at early stages of career will benefit,” Kohli was quoted as saying by a news agency.
When asked if Dhoni’s guidance will help, respondents look fairly optimistic. Almost 65% strongly believe Dhoni’s presence will improve the team’s performance, while further 19% also registered their agreement with the thought. About 16% of the respondents strongly/somewhat believe that Dhoni’s guidance won’t help.
The World of Worthy Opponents
When it comes to competition, the respondents registered an array of opinions. New Zealand topped the list of strongest contenders against India at the T20 World Cup with 36% votes followed by India’s arch-rival Pakistan at 20%. Interestingly, India marked its iconic win at the 2007 T20 WC when the men in blue defeated Pak by 5 runs in the final match. Other potential contenders as per the participants of the poll are South Africa & Bangladesh with 14% & 4% votes respectively.
Upcoming Captain Preferences
This year marks Virat Kohli’s last stint with captaincy at the T20 World Cup. While it is for the BCCI and the Indian selectors to decide who will lead the team at the next World Cup, respondents have given their verdict through the poll. Rohit Sharma is the first choice of a majority of respondents (69%). The right-handed batsman has led Mumbai Indians to 5 IPL titles, most than any other team.
Other players seen as prospective captains by the respondents are K.L Rahul (16.38%), Rishabh Pant (10.36%), followed by Jasprit Bumrah (3.82%).