After the huge upset that Zimbabwe pulled on Australia and India’s own bad experience in the WC, they shouldn’t be taking any chances with the game against Scotland.
Here are a few obvious things India should do –
- Play the entire 20 overs. Even if we lose wickets quickly, playing out 20 overs ensures that you give your bowlers a chance by adding a few more runs on the board
- Do not try to get too cute with your shots. There is the propensity to think that batsmen have to get creative to score runs in T20. Hit over the top in the first 6 overs and try shots like the reverse/paddle sweep or the Uthappa shot in the last 5 overs, but don’t try to manufacture shots when genuine cricket shots will get you the same runs with a much lower risk.
- Even if you can’t score boundaries, keep the singles going.
- Do not bowl No balls. Not only does it give away an additional run, it gives the batsmen a free strike the next ball. No ball is a big No No in T20
- Do I need to say “No wides”. The Windies gave away 23 runs in wides after producing a record score – no wonder they lost
- Line up your best batsmen to come in first. The game is only played for 20 overs – you cannot have people like Dhoni coming in at the 19th over after 5 wickets are down.
- Have a strategy to bowl at the death (Note: Do not give the ball to Yuvraj to bowl the 20th over)
- Have a strategy on how you bowl your part time bowlers. Give them a quick 2 overs and resist the temptation to bowl them the entire 4 overs in a stretch. The longer the batsmen have a look at their bowling, the easier it would be to get runs off them.
- Learn to field within your limitations. i.e Don’t dive over the ball (or after the ball has gone past) when you know you just can’t dive.
- No unnecessary run outs.
Well, I’ve stated the obvious. Now to the not so obvious – the team and the batting order. Here is my team in batting order –
- Rohit Sharma
- Irfan Pathan
- Harbhajan Singh
- RP Singh
The only reason I have 5 bowlers in the team is to see how they go against a weaker side. Chawla may prove very effective against a team like Scotland. If batting depth is needed, I would get Joginder Sharma or Yusuf Pathan in place of Sreesanth or Bhajji – or both!
Good luck, India – or should I say Chak De, India!