TWELVE TEAMS, millions of cricket fanatics and one question: can India retain its title and bring back the T20 World Cup? Well, with a perfect mix of experience and young blood and a level-headed captain, it definitely can.
Two years after a stunning victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals of the inaugural T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue are set to recreate the magic in the second edition. A bunch of rookies whose outstanding performance and scintillating zeal took the entire world by surprise are more confident, balanced and experienced this time around. The performance of the entire team and players, individually, has been consistent over the past two years in all formats of the game, especially in the shortest one. The players put up a great show in the recent IPL matches and promise to continue contributing to the team’s cause.
The batting line up is undoubtedly ruthless with the formidable opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir. Virender Sehwag’s health might be a cause for slight concern but once the hitman is back, he will be unstoppable. No one can forget Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over. And along with him are Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan, who make up an explosive middle order.
The bowling brigade, too, is destructive. The likes of Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha and all rounder Irfan Pathan offer a versatile mix of pace and spin.
To top it off is Mahindra Singh Dhoni. His brilliance as a competent player and as an effective captain has been acknowledged not just by keen followers, but also by fellow players and the statistics. He is capable both of pulling off a one man show as well as inspiring the perfect team effort.
At the end of the day, it is a well-balanced, focused team ready to take up the challenges posed by equally strong contenders such as Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Despite the unpredictable format of the game, the Indian team with all its talent and energy and its current form promises to deliver.
Gauri Dewan studies at the Amity School of Communication, Amity University.