Daily Archives: 12 September 2007

Twenty20 preview

The Twenty20 World Cup has already started and the hype that existed before the ODI World cup is missing. I haven’t quite warmed up to the event yet and I am not sure whether it is just me – maybe the interest will start growing once India starts its first game. As Mohan pointed out, India’s chances in the tournament aren’t great and although I think we will get into the Super 8s(!) this time, I don’t see a future much beyond that – but Twenty20 games can be very unpredictable  and lets hope India do proceed to the knock out stages. The things not in India’s favour are –

  • Fielding
  • Batting
  • Bowling
  • Lack of coach

Have I missed anything 😉 ?? Jokes apart, India’s key strength would be its batting (in spite of the absence of the big 3) and everything rests on the shoulders of the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and its new captain Dhoni.

Here are the team previews from CricInfo:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
South Africa  Australia New Zealand Pakistan
West Indies  England  Sri Lanka India
Bangladesh Zimbabwe Kenya Scotland


The Matches for India are:

Date Against Venue
13/09 Scotland Wanderers, Jo’burg
14/09 Pakistan Kingsmead, Durban
16/09 * New Zealand Wanderers, Jo’burg
19/09 * England Kingsmead, Durban
20/09 * South Africa Kingsmead, Durban

(* likely Super8 schedule)

Here is the Indian team:


India’s chances in the Twenty20 Cup

After being stunned by the pyrotechnics in the match between West Indies and South Africa last night, I thought to myself whether India would be able to put on a similar show; a show that included power, intensity, commitment, strength, brutality, sharpness, alacrity and acumen in equal measure!

I really doubt it! I won’t be surprised by a bad showing from India in this tournament. May as well be prepared for it!

Apart from the fact that India is inexperienced at this form of the game, the team has as many as 4 players on the comeback-trail (Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh and Joginder Sharma). Moreover, the team has, in my view, at least 2 passengers who should not get even a single game (Ajit Agarkar and Gautam Gambhir). But more than these factors, I feel that India’s specialist Twenty20 players are warming the bench back at home.

The above factors make me want to set my expectations realistically: an early exit and some much-needed R&R bfore the Australian ODI series!

The fielding is, however, set to improve with the absence of the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Romesh Powar, Munaf Patel, et al. But notwithstanding with the persence of Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma, this team is going to provide several Sydney-Harbour-Bridge moments as players dive over balls that race under them to the boundary. The dry cleaner may get an easy collect as clothes may not be too soiled by sliding stops.

But it may be a fun journey — albeit a short one! So may as well enjoy it while it lasts!

I’d suggest the following team — in batting order — for the match against Scotland on Thursday 13th Sept (9.30pm IST):

Robin Uthappa
Virender Sehwag
Dinesh Karthik
Yuvraj Singh
Rohit Sharma / Gautam Gambhir
MS Dhoni
Irfan Pathan / Ajit Agarkar
Joginder Sharma / Yusuf Pathan
Harbhajan Singh / Piyush Chawla
Rudra Pratap Singh
S Sreesanth

This team would give the team upto 7 bowling options, with Sreesanth, R. P. Singh, Joginder Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Irfan Pathan does. Even if India lose this series badly, the re-discovery of Irfan Pathan will have made the trip a worthwhile one! India needs this former poster-boy back in its midst.

— Mohan