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Let's win the last T20 of the year in style

ANALYST
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1.56K   //    28 Dec 2012, 01:24 IST

Le’ts put to rest all our new-found and ephemeral expectations of India climbing to the top the T20 rankings in near future. We have already been beaten by England and Pakistan in the last two T20 matches at home. The ideal thing that the Indian team can do now is to rid themselves of all unnecessary baggage and concentrate on the game at hand. Experimenting with the team combination is fine, but only up to a certain extent, and we have passed that optimum level of tolerance in T20 cricket. With such unpleasant things in hindsight, lets now chronologically look at the steps that India needs to take in order to win the last T20 international match of the year.

(1) India’s best T20 bowler should be in the playing XI and not in the dug-out, making ridiculous excuses for his own omission

India v Pakistan - ICC T20 World Cup Warm Up Match

Ravinchandran Ashwin has been one bowler who has well nigh cemented his place in the side, in limited overs cricket. The Indian captain has been over-dependant on him in the past couple of years, in every format of the game. Yet, the captain chose to leave his best bowler out of the playing XI on Christmas Day and eventually gifted the match to the delighted Pakistanis. Ashwin’s exclusion might have made some sense had its only reason not been to draft in the shoddy services of Ravindra Jadeja, whose trials in the game of cricket are too painful to bear now. With Rohit Sharma playing as a specialist batsman at no.7, Jadeja’s tardy batting abilities hardly gives the captain any leeway in selecting him ahead of Ashwin.

(2)Yuvraj Singh, the leading wicket taker for India in the last few T20s,  needs to be backed properly by the captain

Pakistan v India - 2011 ICC World Cup Semi-Final

This is the man whose bowling charisma has risen like a phoenix from its ashes ever since the World Cup 2011; his exploits in T20s and ODIs in the recent past have been phenomenal. And still, Dhoni chose Virat Kohli to be the first spinner to roll his arms over in the last match. Virat’s extravagance has never been particularly well reflected in his bowling, and Dhoni’s decision to use him as a part-timer later proved too costly for the team. Such silly experiments ought to be scrapped from the manual if India are to win the next match. Yuvraj has proved himself as an able all-rounder in the shorter formats of the game and its time the captain understands that properly and assigns him the role of a full-fledged all-rounder.

(3) What is Rohit Sharma’s role as a no.7 batsman?

Sussex v India - Tour Match

This has been yet another baffling strategy employed by the Indian team in the recent past. The enigmatic no.7 position in the Indian team has now been temporarily allotted to an out-of-form Rohit Sharma. This move might be aimed at either reviving the sagging career of Rohit Sharma or checking the finesse with which India can play in T20s with seven batsmen. The strategy, though, has largely misfired! Rohit Sharma has never been the dasher that a no.7 position generally demands from its incumbent. His contributions at no.7 have been painfully insignificant and inconspicuous. A specialist bowler at no.7 is the order of the day, given Ashwin bats with his usual flair lower down the order.

Lets not forget that inspite of all the hullabaloo surrounding the team at present, India was the champion of the inaugural T20 World Cup. If we execute our laid plans, we can prove our mettle yet again in the last T20 of 2012 !

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ANALYST
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