India began this WT20 tournament as the overwhelming title favourites, based on their red-hot run of form in Australia and the Asia Cup. The team looked settled, the new boys were pulling their weight and, as always, MS Dhoni led with his “Calm the f**k down, I’ve got this” attitude. However, in their very first game, they were undone by an inspired New Zealand team, which simply played to the conditions better, and at one point in their must-win match against Bangladesh, they looked dead, buried and out of the tournament – cue MS Dhoni and his freakish ability to manufacture his own luck. Having squeaked through that nailbiter, India were staring down the barrel again, against Australia, only for Virat Kohli to bust out one of his specials and take the team to today’s semi-final.
The West Indies, on the other hand, have blazed their way through every group stage match except their last, in which they slipped on a banana skin named Afghanistan. Chris Gayle single-handedly marmalised England, but otherwise, the team has played as a pretty tight unit, with everyone chipping in. This being the case, making a prediction about today’s match is difficult – it’s one consistent team that is capable of blips (WI) against another that’s lurched its way through by some individuals delivering when it’s mattered most (India). As some background information, though, you could have a look at the Impact Index website, which takes cricket analytics very seriously.
Here are a few highlights from their calculations.
India is the team with the strongest batting unit. It also has the propensity to score the most runs, the ability to absorb the most pressure while batting and is the strongest chasing team.
West Indies has the most attacking batting unit, but also has the biggest wicket-taking problem.
Virat Kohli is the highest impact batsman in the history of T20 international cricket. He’s also scored the maximum proportion of runs in T20 internationals.
Suresh Raina is the 5th highest impact batsman in T20 history (international and domestic tournaments).
Samuel Badree, the West Indian leg spinner, is currently the highest impact T20 bowler in the world (international and domestic tournaments).
Chris Gayle is only the 11th-highest impact T20 batsman in the world.
Darren Sammy is the second-highest strike rate impact batsman in T20I history.
MS Dhoni, by virtue of his exploits across all three formats, is the most consistent cricketer in the history of the game.
OK, now you can stop reading, stock up on beer and snacks and get set to cheer India into the final.