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Inaugural Champions in 2007, A Tale of so Near, Yet so Far for India Thereafter

The highly anticipated ICC 2021 T20 World Cup is here and billions of fans are awaiting India’s first clash with arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24. Ever since the inaugural tournament in 2007, India have been a side to be revered – be it their batting prowess, clinical bowlers or exceptional fielding. However, the pressure does get to every player and even the calmest of skippers.

India were the hosts for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, but due to the raging pandemic, the BCCI and the ICC mutually decided to host the T20 extravaganza in the UAE and Oman. To date, a total of 6 T20 World Cups have been played, and India has won only one – the inaugural 2007. Since then, India have reached the 2014 T20 World Cup finals and the 2016 semi-finals. Since the 2013 Champions Trophy, India have not been able to win an ICC tournament and with the 2021 T20 World Cup being the last under Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the shortest format, Team India is ready and in contention to make this tournament a memorable one.

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Here is how Team India have performed in the 6 ICC T20 World Cups so far:

ICC T20 World Cup 2007

An unforgettable inaugural tournament saw MS Dhoni-led Team India beat their arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2007 T20 World Cup finals to win their maiden, and only T20 World Cup. Under ‘Captain Cool’, Team India lost their opening match in the Super 8 stage to New Zealand. But from there on, India reached the semis and beat Australia to reach the finals. Facing Pakistan, India scored 157/5, courtesy of Gautam Gambhir’s 75 and Rohit Sharma’s 16-ball 30 runs. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan claimed three wickets each as India bowled out Pakistan for 152, winning the clash by 5 runs and winning their maiden T20 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2009

The defending champions entered the tournament with a strong frame of mind and under the captaincy of Dhoni. However, it was a forgettable tournament for them. The 2009 T20 WC being hosted in England, India lost three out of four matches – West Indies, England and South Africa, which saw Team India being knocked out from the tournament. Their only win came against Ireland. Pakistan went on to lift the 2009 T20 World Cup, beating Sri Lanka.

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ICC T20 World Cup 2010

India commenced the tournament on a winning note, beating Afghanistan and South Africa in their first two matches, but the Dhoni-led side lost their matches against Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka, causing them to crash out before making the knockout rounds. England went on to win the 2010 T20 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2012

India started the tournament by beating Afghanistan and England in the group matches and reached the Super 8. However, they were handed a crushing loss by Australia but bounced back as they beat Pakistan, keeping their hopes alive. Later, in their clash against South Africa, due to the permutations of the Super 8, India were unable to qualify for the knockout despite winning the clash by 1 run. West Indies went on to beat Sri Lanka to win the 2012 T20 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2014

India were well oiled and geared for the 2014 T20 World Cup hosted in Bangladesh. They beat Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia and South Africa to make it to the finals of the 2014 World Cup, where they faced neighbour Sri Lanka. But Team India could not get the job done in the last hurdle of the tournament. Sri Lanka beat India by 6 wickets to win their maiden T20 World Cup. Kohli emerged as the Player of the Tournament, scoring 319 runs in 6 matches and the rest is history.

ICC T20 World Cup 2016

Hosting the 2016 T20 World Cup at home, India had the advantage. India started the tournament with a loss as the hosts were hammered by New Zealand, but from there on, they bounced back and made it to the semi-finals. However, the side simply had no answers as West Indies chased down a challenging 193 with ease, winning by 7 wickets. West Indies eventually went on to script history and beat England to win their second T20 World Cup title.

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