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From Rohit and Virat to Saurabh Netravalkar, Indian netizens take to social media to cheer for a new set of favorite players this World Cup

As Team India blasts its way undefeated into the Super 8 of the T20 Cricket World Cup, the cheers of Indian cricket enthusiasts have only grown louder in the online arena. From seeing their favorites beat rivals Pakistan in a thrilling turnaround of a match, to becoming instant fans of Saurabh Netravalkar from Team USA and the so-called ‘Overseas Indian 11’ players making a splash in the tournament across international teams – this world cup has been a roller coaster of emotions for Indian fans.

With the assistance of Sprinklr Insights, we’ve compiled a glimpse of the many exciting conversations Indian fans are having in the online sphere about team India through their many matches in the tournament so far – looking at the high points and most talked about moments and players that are driving the excitement for the tournament.

An Explosion in Fan Conversations

As the cricket fever takes over the country, fans sparked over 2.19 million conversations about cricket from late May to present day, with over 818.6 million engagements – showing just how actively tuned in the Indian fans are to the sport and their online communities.

A majority of these conversations took place on the platforms of X (formerly known as Twitter) and Youtube, where cricket fan communities are the most active. Across the joint platforms of X, Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, and news outlets, the combined conversations generated a massive 319.58 billion+ views in reach. Of this incredible number, over 79.7% of all conversations showcased positive sentiments as fans shared their excitement online.

As the country with the most die-hard cricket fans, it is no surprise that India also leads the global number of conversations about cricket surrounding the World Cup across social media – generating over 175K conversations alone, with Pakistan and USA being distant followers at 28K and 14K respectively.

The Most Talked About T20 World Cup Matches in India

IND vs AUS
India’s semi-final qualification match was another closely followed fixture, as the team took on Australia in the Super 8. This was the first major rematch after the Aussies beat India last Nov in the finals of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, and fans were excited to see India return the favor in this tournament. The resounding roar from India’s victory thus drove the online world into a fervor that generated over 1,98,764 conversations between 24th and 25th June, with over 48 million engagements.

IND vs PAK

As one of the most viewed fixtures not just in cricket but across sports globally, it was no surprise that the India vs Pakistan match in the 2024 T20 World Cup was Team India’s most anticipated match yet. Of Team India’s four played matches, this match drew the most attention as fans cheered on Jasprit Bumrah’s spectacular spell to give India the win. Keeping fans on the edge of their seats, the match alone generated over 42,000 conversations on social media over the course of the game, amplified by over 132.6 million fan engagements through comments, likes, and shares – as India mounted an incredible second innings comeback, and the echoes of Boom Boom Bumrah’s bowling could be heard all across the online sphere

The IND vs AFG match, India’s first game in the Super 8 also saw the Men in Blue have a comfortable march to victory off the back of Suryakumar Yadav & Hardik Pandya’s batting, sparking over 47,000 conversations of celebration and excitement online.

The IND vs USA match gave Indian fans plenty to cheer for as well, as netizens appreciated the strong performance of the underdog Team USA, which included 5 players of Indian origin in their ranks. The fixture generated over 51,000 conversations across social media, as the US team won the hearts of new fans around the world.

The Most Popular Teams In The T20 World Cup

The country came together to rally behind Team India for the World Cup, making them the undoubted favorites among Indian fans. South Africa also remained prominent favorites in online conversations, followed closely by Oman and USA – both teams that are making their T20 World Cup debut this year.

While the latter would not make it out of the group stage, Team USA surprised the world by making it to the Super 8; and has also gone viral among Indian fans for the many formerly Indian players who play on the US national team – who also secured an upset win versus Pakistan. At the center of this attention is the multitalented Saurabh Netravalkar – a former India U-19 player, who manages the twin roles of Oracle engineer as his day job and US player as a passion project. Is it any wonder that the US vs IND fixture generated over 51,000 conversations across social media, as fans found it in their hearts to appreciate the US side as well, with 5 Indian origin players who played their hearts out.

Most Popular Players

In this tournament, Team India’s big three have emerged quite clearly – with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah being the most popular and talked about players in the tournament, with over 124 million, 121 million, and 60 million engagements on social media content respectively. In the aftermath of the India-Pakistan and USA-Pakistan fixture, Pakistan team skipper Babar Azam too made his way into the list of players in the spotlight with over 75 million engagements.

Player of the Tournament

The prestigious Player of the Tournament award is a monumental achievement, and of course Indian fans are rooting for one of their own to life the trophy. In online conversations surrounding the topic, Virat Kohli leads the fans’ choice for Player of the Tournament, with Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya also appearing in the Top 10. England squad members Sam Curran, Reece Topley, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, and Mark Wood rounded out the list – leaving fans to closely follow who performs the best in the remainder of the tournament.

India’s ‘Overseas 11’ Win Over Fans

Cricket is said to be in the lifeblood of Indian sport, so much that a number of Indian-origin players have been in the spotlight this tournament as they represented other international squads. Indian origin players like Saurabh Netravalkar, Monank Patel, and Harmeet Singh of Team USA have become internet sweethearts given their surprise win over Pakistan and their previous stints playing for India’s youth teams. Indian fans have thus found it in their hearts to also root for the underdogs of Team USA and Team Canada this T20 World Cup.

Top Countries Talking About the T20 World Cup

Across social media conversions, India emerged as the undisputed leader in both number and concentration of cricket conversations on social media – as Indian fans posted over 90K different conversations online across platforms, with a majority coming from metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. The closest international follower was Pakistan, trailing as a distant second with a little over 20K conversations.

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