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India vs England: Showtime for team India

CONTRIBUTOR
20 Dec 2012, 14:23 IST
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After the debacle in the Test series against England, it’s time for team India to turn the tables in their favour with some spicy performance in the spiciest (read shortest) format of Cricket.

T20 has been the Indian team’s forte for the past few years. With some of the biggest hitters of the cricket ball on the team list, it’s quite possible that this time round team India will blow away their opponents big time!

The new look to the English T20 squad will add to the advantage of India as well. Close scrutiny of the English squad confirms the lack of experience in it. With the likes of Pietersen, Cook and Panesar flying back to UK, its up to the young guns of English cricket to fire. Expectations are on youngsters from the team which features 7 players under the age of 24 and beyond doubt they are the clear underdogs in the tournament. If they pull out a surprise victory over the Indians, it would be a great achievement for them.

On the contrary, the Indian team is set to go all out against the English in the T20 series. The team looks pretty strong (in black and white at least) packed with veterans like Yuvraj, Dhoni, Gambhir and the list goes on. All of them are T20 experts and on their day they could be brutal enough on the opponents and win matches for India single handed.

Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravinda Jadeja would be raring to go all guns blazing. The bowling attack though has a touch new look. The inclusion of the Bengal speedster Ashok Dinda in the playing eleven is almost confirmed and in the absence of Zaheer and Umesh, he will be leading the pace battery.

Among many others, one big disappointment in the recently concluded test series was Ravichandran Ashwin. Even on Indian wickets he struggled hard and hardly picked up a wicket. He is one of the many Indian players who prefer playing the shortest format of the game and has been quite successful in the past. He definitely would be eyeing this series to stage his comeback.

The first of the two matches is scheduled to happen at the Subrata Roy stadium in Pune. The homeground of the Pune Warriors India promises a good batting strip with loads of runs to be scored, the perfect serving for a T20 match. In the last two Ranji games staged here, loads of runs have been scored including a triple century by Kedar Jadhav and it is likely that the runs keep on flowing in the first international T20 to be staged here as well.

The Indian batsmen have a good chance to make hay of the conditions and get back some lost form and prestige as well. If India manages to win the next four T20 matches on the trot, they will reclaim the No. 1 spot in T20 rankings. Should India manage to achieve this feat, then definitely some of the lost glory will be reclaimed but the point to be noted is, even if it happens we should not get carried away with it.

The focus should be on building a formidable side in Test cricket. Australia will coming to play a full-fledged test series in a months’ time and India should be well prepared for a tough fight. With no love lost between the two sides, Australia is not going to give an inch away to India. With the English having broken the Indian ‘spin myth’, the Aussies surely will have a mental edge over India.

The target for Indian cricket over the next few months should be to achieve the No. 1 spot in the Test rankings and to put forth all effort to that end. There is no place for complacency and all that needs to be done has to be done. If that means taking a few tough calls, so be it. The focus should be on improving the overall standard of Indian cricket and not glorifying individual players.  The upcoming T20 matches should act as a launch pad for Indian cricket.

But hey, wait! Do not repeat the mistake of taking the English side lightly again. Even though they look an inexperienced outfit, you never know what kind of an upset they could cause. After all, ‘Cricket is a glorious game of great uncertainties!’

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