The ICC World T20 Championship

With IPL-2 now over, we can now turn our attention to The ICC World T20 Championship. It starts on 5 June in England with a match at Lords’ between England and The Netherlands.

Even though Shoaib Akhtar is out with warts in his unmentionables, Wasim Akram reckons that Pakistan will start off the tournament as his favourites. Sachin Tendulkar initially refused to rate title holders India but has cautioned her players (especially Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir) to rest prior to the tournament. More recently, he has indicated that India, the title holders, will start as favorites and has termed India as the “most balanced side in the world.” Dilip Vengsarkar, former Team India Chief Selector, echoed Tendulkar’s sentiment and warned Team India of fatigue, to which, M. S. Dhoni, the captain, simply said, “Fatigue is part of Indian cricket.” In other words, for those players who complain of fatigue, there is an option: shape up or ship out!

The fact, however, is that Zaheer Khan is still not 100% fit. He did not play the last half of IPL-2 tournament for his Mumbai Indians. His shoulder is still not fully recovered from a clumsy tumble/fall in a Mumbai Indians IPL game.

I do think that Australia will be the favourites with South African and India being close seconds.

In my view, if her players fight off fatigue, India stands a good chance. Having just come off a huge IPL-2, the Indian team would be match-hardened and ready.

But as Mickey Arthur, the South African coach says, “what would matter in the Twenty20 tournament is the speed at which the teams adapt to conditions in England next month.

India will play two warm-up games — against New Zealand on June 1 and Pakistan on June 3. India then take on South Africa in her opening match of the campaign. Not much time to get things right. But the problem, in my view, is one of figuring out which option works best. You just can’t afford to blink in the T20 World Championships. You’ve got to hit the ground running.

India have a good/strong team that is capable of winning the ICCWT20C.

For the practice matches, I’d go with the following team and take it from there.

Virender Sehwag (V-Capt)
Gautam Gambhir
Suresh Raina
Rohit Sharma
Yuvraj Singh
MS Dhoni (Capt)
Yusuf Pathan / Ravindra Jadeja
Irfan Pathan
Harbhajan Singh / Pragyan Ojha
Praveen Kumar / Zaheer Khan
RP Singh / Ishant Sharma

The only question mark in my mind is Ishant Sharma and the necessity for a second spinner in Pragyan Ojha. I’d have preferred Abhishek Nayar instead of Pragyan Ojha in the team. Having said that, I would not deny Ojha after his excellent performances with the ball for Deccan Chargers.

The team looks excellent on paper. There is strength, balance and the presence of a few “game-breakers” (in Mickey Arthur’s words).

I am looking forward to a terrific ICCWT20 Championship.


17 responses to “The ICC World T20 Championship

  1. I believe our bowling department got weakened by poor performance of Ishant Sharma and Injury of Zaheer Khan and there is really tough choices between Yusuf Pathan and Ravinder Jadjea and Harbhajan Singh and Pragan Ojha. I think H. Singh would be in the playing squad due to his experience and some batting ability while talented P.Ojha have to wait his turn. He should improve his batting ability to give a tough coemption otherwise IPL had given us two part-time hattrick bowler R.Sharma and Y.Singh so spin department is okay, but that is the bowling that is somewhat worrisome, but remember playing for country is great and this turns the man greatly.

  2. Personally both Yusuf Pathan and Jadeja should play and Rohit Sharma should sit it out. T20 requires a lot of flexibility in bowling and batting and the variety that Yusuf and Jadeja offer in terms of batting and bowling is tremendous. Rohit should only be a back up if one of the top men like Gambhir/Raina/Sehwag fail. I would have also liked a seam bowling batsman like Abhishek Nayar in the side because the tournament is in England. All the part timers Yuvraj, Sehwag, Raina, Rohit are spinners!

  3. Rohit Sharma should play his all games as he has done great in IPL and he is experienced also.

    I also think that Boweler should strike their ipl home team like RP Singh should got early wickets of Gibbs. It may work as they would know their weakness by net pratice

  4. Srikanth Mangalam

    Rajat Bhatia or Abhishek Nayar would have been better options instead of Ojha if we needed an allrounder who would bowl seam up.

  5. I am not sure which T20 schedule you referring to – but on the Cricinfo website it shows that during the group stages – India plays Bangladesh first and then Ireland later..

    South Africa comes in the Super Eights – along with most likely Aus and England..

    Needs a correction there mate !

  6. Sure, Dhoni can say whatever he wants about fatigue…he’s the guy who skipped a test series so he could be ready for IPL-I!! He sure does know his priorities…The shape up or ship out comment should be equally applicable to him too…and not at his discretion!!

  7. Srikanth Mangalam

    I do actually find it interesting that “Fatigue is a part of Indian cricket” translates to shape up or ship out.

  8. For T20 – opening is crucial. Gilchrist and Hayden were able to do 10 runs per over for DC and CSK.

    If Sehwag and Gambhir were to fail in the early overs, India can not recover.

  9. Dhoni is, to the best of my knowledge, the first player who said “I am not in shape. So I will ship out” in Indian cricket. It is your prerogative to use either a bitter or twisted or cynical lens with which you see that decision. I took that at face value. It takes a lot of guts to voluntarily sit out a series in Indian cricket. One must have supreme confidence in ones own abilities and one must also have the (hitherto unknown maturity to ) arrive at the conclusion that an unfit me is worse for the team than a me that hangs on to a job because it is a natural entitlemet! Indeed, Dhoni applied the “shape up or ship out” principle (and hence my response to Srikanth too). As I said, however, a bitter and twisted cynic will look at this differently 🙂

  10. Mohan, it’s not about viewing with a bitter or twisted cynical lens. I agree with all your points about needing to have guts to make the decision to sit out of a series. In my mind, no player has done that before. Usually, you have players hiding injuries so they can play for the fear of losing their places. So, from that aspect, Dhoni has to be commended.

    But I’m sure, you will also agree with me due to the timing of that decision. When a player decides to skip playing for the country in order to be ready for a series of “informal” games, I think it is valid to question that decision. The Australians have done the reverse…skipped IPL to be fit and ready to play for their country. Maybe Dhoni would also do something similar in the future, if the need arose. I’m sure money is no longer a motivating factor for him since he must have made enough. I do think he is a man of simple desires who would want to put the country first. But I’m only judging this from his past action…

    Chris Gayle has spoken about shunning tests to play T20s…

    I’m just raising the point if commercial interests are getting to a point where players choose (or are forced to choose) that over playing for the country.

    Believe me, it’s got nothing cynical about it…

  11. @Shankar

    Yes, the timing of Dhoni’s decision was odd. But what he did say was that he wasn’t fit and that he was mentally and physically fatigued. I rather he did that when he realised it than make a mess of it while on tour. What we tend to find in India — in most walks of life — is the classic “Kissa Kursi Ka” syndrome where the current incumbent of any position stays on and seldom relinquishes it (even temporarily) for whatever reason. Dhoni did and I salute him for that.

    If I view his actions with a cynical lens, as people are given to doing, and judge him, any assortment of explanations are possible. I’m sorry, but I do not have either the time or the inclination or the interest to indulge in those judgement games.


  12. Mohan, thanks for your response. It’s just a harmless observation that seems to have garnered undue attention. That’s okay.

    I wish we were all in Harsha Bhogle’s shoes (for example) where we could make a career of reporting on cricket and ruminating about it. But you are right, none of us have the time and luxury to do so…

  13. Srikanth Mangalam

    I’d be interested to hear Mohan’s and others’ views on this whole issue of cricket fatigue. If there is a market for continuous cricket and people are willing to pay for it, do cricketers have a choice?

  14. Does anybody know at what time they’re telecasting today’s match with New Zealand?

    I recommend using Delink Comment Author plugin to keep out elements like the homeopathy thingy above.

  15. John your comment made me to felt as I have done a crime. I was just using utilities given by site and trying to help others, but I have now removed the logo and thinks it is okay to john and others if still there is any concern let me know.

    Come back on cricket, I last saw warm up match against NZ and though Jadeja should batting in one down or out of squad because he has not the ability of clear boundaries and find a gap. Overall match was okay as it was warmup match and players are playing only to warmup themselves only.

  16. The 20-20 World Cup 2009 was very interesting. I expected India to win but bad luck. Pakistan was simply superb. Shahid Afridi was outstanding.

  17. This post is so informative,In this blog there are some intrested things which really shows the internal strategies of the teams.


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