Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: All the assumptions, possibilities and presumptions take a back seat when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men kick off their ICC World Twenty20 campaign against minnows Afghanistan in Colombo on Wednesday.
After the defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan, India surely are not entering the T20 extravaganza as hot favourites. Captain Dhoni has a lot of thinking to do, before stepping onto the battlefield at 7:15 for the all important toss. Zeenews.com’s Sports Team tries to find out five most important things Dhoni should do so that they could start their campaign with a bang.
DON’T TINKER AROUND TOO MUCH WITH THE BATTING ORDER
It is a known fact that Team India is studded with star batsmen. Dhoni will bank on Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir upfront to get them off to a rocketing start and set it up for another Delhi boy and run-machine Virat Kohli. If India lose two early wickets, Rohit Sharma should come ahead of the dangerous Yuvraj Singh. Otherwise, it should be Yuvi at No.4. Dhoni should use himself and Raina as floaters at No.5 and No.6 respectively. They will be followed by allrounders Irfan Pathan and R Ashwin.
3 PACERS AND 2 SPINNERS THEORY
Apart from Ashwin, India look a little fragile in the bowling department. Harbhajan is past his prime, and looks very ordinary. However, his experience would hold the key in the later stages of the tournament. It seems as if pace battery has lost its charge. Being the most experienced of the pack, Zaheer is a must because he can still work up some pace. Now it’s a throw-up between Irfan ,Balaji and Dinda. Dhoni should surely consider Dinda after Balaji’s lackluster show against Pakistan. Dinda will also compliment Zaheer well at the start.
YORKERS AT THE DEATH, FOR THE DEATH
This has been an ever-persistent problem and possibly Dhoni’s biggest headache ahead of the tournament. The bowling at the death overs has been nothing less than pathetic. Captain cool should ask his bowlers to bowl yorkers or ‘toe crushers’ at the end, and also use the ‘one-bouncer’ for the over wisely.
TRUMP CARD ASHWIN’S TREATMENT
This offie from Tamil Nadu will hold the key throughout the tournament. He is also Dhoni’s go-to man. India’s fate and chances will surely revolve around him. It is very important how Dhoni uses his 24 crucial deliveries. High on confidence, this CSK guy has to rise and deliver at the biggest stage.
INCREASE THE ENERGY METER
If you closely look at the past few matches, the on-field energy is missing from the players. Thanks to the overdose of cricket. But that should not be an excuse considering that it’s their profession and billions pin their hopes on the players. For instance, in the IPL-5 final, despite scoring a mammoth score the Dhoni-led CSK boys lost. Dhoni has a habit of becoming over-confident after his batsmen get the runs on the board. This attitude was even on display in India’s last warm-up match against the arch-rivals Pakistan where again a huge total was chased down with 5 balls to spare. He should continuously speak to his teammates and boost them and also ask them to motivate each other and celebrate each other’s success.
First Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 15:28