The T20 carnival is upon us, where 16 countries across the globe will compete in the T20 WC 2021. The world event returns after five years of wait, with the last edition taking place in India back in 2016. As India gears up to reclaim the world title, we will take a look at India's journey through the years in the history of the competition since its inception.
2007 - Winners
The inaugural edition of the World Cup marked the beginning of a glorious era for Indian cricket under MS Dhoni. India went into the tournament held in South Africa with a young squad. The tournament format saw 12 teams split into four groups, with India beating Pakistan in a 'Bowl out' after the tie while the game with Scotland ended in no result.
India was joined by England, New Zealand and South Africa in the Super 8 group. They lost by 10 runs against New Zealand but made a terrific comeback to win by 18 runs against England in a match where Yuvraj Singh smashed six sixes in an over. They defeated South Africa by 37 runs to book a semi final spot, where they met the Aussies. India posted 188/5 thanks to Yuvraj's 70 off 30 balls and defended it by 15 runs. In the blockbuster final, they faced arch rivals Pakistan once again, beating them by 5 runs at Johannesburg to etch their name in history books.
2009 - Group Stage
The Indian side went to England for the World Cup 2009 as the defending champions, but as it turned out, they did not have a great outing. This tournament followed the same model as that of the 2007 edition, with India clubbed with Ireland and Bangladesh. They won both matches handsomely - by 25 runs against Bangladesh and by eight wickets against Ireland.
Things went sideways for India as they were hammered in the first game of the Super 8s by seven wickets by the West Indies. They fell three runs short of England's 153 in the next game, followed by a 12-run defeat against South Africa. With three losses in the Super 8s, India finished at the bottom of Group E and crashed out of the tournament. Pakistan went on to win the second edition under Younis Khan's leadership, beating Sri Lanka in the final at Lord's.
2010 - Group Stage
The 2010 edition of the T20 WC took place in the Caribbean and followed the same structure as the first two. India was pitted against South Africa and Afghanistan in Group C, which they topped by hammering Afghanistan by seven wickets and edging past SA by 14 runs, where Suresh Raina became the first Indian to score a century in all three formats.
India faced the same fate in the Super 8s of this edition as the previous one. They were thrashed by 49 runs by Australia, followed by a 14-run loss against the West Indies. Dhoni's men lost the last group match by five wickets in a last-ball thriller against Sri Lanka as they suffered three losses in three games and ended the campaign in group stages. England was crowned the champions after beating Australia in the final by seven wickets in Barbados.
2012 - Group Stage
The expectations were sky high from the Indian camp as they had won the ODI World Cup a year earlier. The 2012 T20 Championship was hosted by Sri Lanka, where India was part of Group A alongside England and Afghanistan. The Indian team started the campaign with a 23-run victory over Afghanistan, followed by a comprehensive victory over England by 90 runs to advance to the Super 8 stage.
India's struggles in the Super 8s were highlighted yet again as they received a nine-wicket shellacking at the hands of Australia. Shane Watson and David Warner smashed 72 off 42 and 63* off 41 as they chased down the target of 141 in 14.5 overs. India bounced back to defeat Pakistan by eight wickets in the next game, where Virat Kohli scored 78 off 61, chasing 129. They defeated South Africa in the next game by a narrow margin of 1 run. India was tied on 4 points with Australia and Pakistan, but their negative net run-rate meant that they could not advance to the semi-finals. The West Indies went on to win their first World T20 title, defeating Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final in Colombo.
2014 - Runner-ups
MS Dhoni-led India was coming into this tournament on the back of Champions Trophy victory a year earlier. They were grouped together with Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies. The Indian side topped Group 2 by winning all four matches in dominant style. They registered seven-wicket victories over Pakistan and West Indies, followed by eight-wicket and 73-run thrashings of Bangladesh and Australia.
In the semi final against South Africa, they chased down 173 with six wickets and five balls to spare, courtesy of Kohli's unbeaten 72 off 44. India met Sri Lanka in the final and managed to post only 130/4. Kohli scored 77 off 58 while Yuvraj Singh played his infamous 21-ball-11 knock. Sri Lanka, who had lost three finals in five years, overcame the demons and chased it down with ease in 17.5 overs on the back of Kumar Sangakkara's 52 off 35 to lift their first T20 trophy. India's Virat Kohli was awarded the 'player of the tournament' for his outstanding performance.
2016 - Semi Finalists
This was MS Dhoni's last ICC tournament as an Indian captain. The host nation was part of Group 2 alongside Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. India got off to the worst possible start as they were hammered by 47 runs by New Zealand. India had a target of 127, but NZ spinners ran through Indian batting to bundle them on 79.
India bounced back to defeat Pakistan by six wickets, followed by a famous 1-run victory over Bangladesh. They chased down 161 against Australia in a virtual quarterfinal, courtesy of Kohli's all time great innings, to reach the semi finals. India met West Indies in Mumbai, where India posted 192/2 batting first. What followed was a remarkable run-chase from the West Indies by seven wickets to knock India out. West Indies went on to win their second World T20 title while Kohli was named the 'player of the tournament'.