How can African teams catch up to Indian cricket?

As the cricket world prepares for a busy summer that includes home internationals, the T20 World Cup, and the third installment of The Hundred, there is plenty to get excited about. Indeed, the ICC tournament has a handful of African teams heading to the United States and West Indies as the co-hosting nations bid to prevent Australia from retaining the title they earned by beating England last time out.

While the Aussies would surely be the talk of the town heading into the white ball World Cup, India commands the best odds and are massive favourites for the tournament, leaving sides like South Africa wondering what they have to do in order to catch up.

Indeed, this is an Indian side that boasts quality in every era of the field. From youthful exuberance to plenty of international experience, this is a side with the most caps and IPL appearances and when you look at the star-studded names on India’s final 15-man squad, as well as the players they have had to leave on the reserves, it’s no wonder why Africa has been left behind when it comes to cricket.

In this article, we’ll take a look at just why India has been so dominant in recent years and assess which African nations stand in the best stead to cause an upset at future cricket tournaments. Read on to find out more. 

Quality and depth in the ranks

While India’s search to find the new head coach for the senior men’s team is proving more challenging than expected, their confirmed 15 for the T20 World Cup is oozing with class. 

Gautam Gambhir looks the most likely to oversee the proceedings by the time they have their opening group games against Ireland and Pakistan and when you examine their squad – which leaves out the likes of Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan all to the reserves – you can see why the best new online betting sites have them as favourites to win the whole thing. 

India squad: 

Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj

What can Africa do?

The disparity between Indian and African cricket teams is multifaceted. Factors such as infrastructure, talent pool, coaching, and financial resources contribute significantly to this divide, but there are a few African teams that can help to bridge the gap.

As well as South Africa, Zimbabwe have their best squad in years and are currently ranked 10th in the ICC Test Rankings. Having recently beaten Bangladesh and Ireland, while running Sri Lanka close, they have a great side under Walter Chawaguta that includes former Commercial airline pilot Antum Naqvi who now plies his trade for the Warriors.

As for the Springboks, South Africa are currently fourth-favourites to go and win the T20 World Cup. Aiden Markram will lead South Africa’s charge for the first time in an ICC event after being named the T20I skipper, and despite his short tenure as captain, the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s opening batter has already won plenty of plaudits. 

“He has a different type of leadership than we’re used to,” Adrian Birrell, Markram’s coach at SA20 franchise Sunrisers Eastern Cape says. “He’s quieter. He doesn’t like the limelight. He doesn’t like all the interviews. He doesn’t like being at the forefront of things.

“He doesn’t seek that. He doesn’t need the airtime that comes with a job. But he’s 100% the leader of our team. Because he fights so hard, the guys follow him. And he’s got this tremendous will to win.”

South Africa have a strong batting core in Markram, De Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and the promising Tristan Stubbs, as they enter the group stages against Sri Lanka before playing the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Nepal. 


As African cricket strives for greatness, the World Cup provides the perfect platform to turn heads in their direction. The journey won’t be easy, but with determination and strategic planning, African teams can indeed catch up to their Indian counterparts.

scroll to top