Beer is chilled, fries are ready, HD channels are set, sofa sets are fully buffed up and yes we are ready with the blue jerseys on, as the Black Caps- New Zealand, take on the tournament’s favorite, men in blue- India, in the 6th Edition of the T20 World Cup (2016). The tournament will be featuring 10 teams including two qualifiers i.e. Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The competition, which has completed its five versions as of now, has witnessed five different champions. No team has emerged as champion on their home soil. India has been placed in group-2 which includes New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia, Bangladesh, and it’s the reason why this group is the hottest and full of odds!

Starting the review for team India for this season, the team is being led by one of the most formidable and successful captains in the shorter version of the game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The duo, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, will be opening for the Indian side.  Rohit-Dhawan’s partnership has played 54 innings till now and have scored 2450 runs with an average of 46.22 with 8 hundreds and 8 half-centuries under their belt. The duo has also tuned in perfectly amongst them. Dhawan has supported when Rohit has struggled and the same has happened with the Rohit. The last five innings of both these players are full of double digits, keeping in mind the shorter format of the game.

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The duo is followed by the most ruthless and in-form player, Virat Kohli. Kohli, right handed batsman with an average of 52.61 in the T20’s, appears at number three for the team. His three innings against the number one ODI team i.e. Australia in the T20 series against India have proved him to be the most eligible contender for scoring maximum runs under this season of T20 WC. Also Kohli being followed by Rahane, provides a firmness and control in the middle order. The likes of Pandya and Raina can help India reach the high tower totals, which are must in-today’s ‘batsmen friendly’ game.

The team also consists of some of the best finishers like Yuraj Singh and M.S. Dhoni. Though the figures does not speak much about them, but they have been the ones which the bowlers are afraid to bowl and teams have feared their presence on the pitch. The recent short but important match winning innings by Yuvraj has proved his importance on the board. His usefulness with bowling and good hands in the field can prove to be the ‘game changing’ player for the ‘men in blue’.

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The bowling department has been a big trouble for the Indian team. With Pandya doing exceptional work and Nehra doing a decent job in the bowling department; the others like Shami, Bhumrah, Jadega have to find their rhtym back. Ashwin, handling the spin department, is the most experienced and in form player. The other spin bowlers like Yuvraj, Negi, Jadega should learn from his styles and make valuable contributions to the team. As Dhoni & Co. will be playing this season on their home soil, the bowlers (especially the spinners) will be getting an added advantage from the deck. They will be more aware about the surface and their bowling style will be more moderated according to the pitch where the matches are scheduled. The presence of Nehra, Shami and Pandya makes the pace department more experienced and arduous. After all this, if the pace unit does not fire the team can face some real hard challenges.

Dhoni has the added advantage of home turf and his experienced spinners like the Ashwin and Jadega. The habit of the duo to break partnerships and take out the wickets at regular intervals can prove to be the match winning contribution. The likes of part time spinners like Yuvraj and Raina can also make the job easy for the frontline spinners as well as for their captain. With Pandya exhibiting a ravaging form, the captain must utilize him wisely and other bowlers should coordinate with him. In his last 5 matches, he has taken 8 wickets with an economy of 7.11, keeping in mind that he has till now played only 11 twenty-twenty internationals.

Fielding which is an important aspect in such format of the game looks pretty fine for the Indians. Kohli, Rahane, Yuvraj, Rohit, Jadega, Raina defending the ring and with lightening stumpings and smart keeping by Dhoni, team India looks pretty strong on field. Although, Indian team has long been struggling to keep a good permanent slip catcher; so Shikhar, Rahane, Ashwin, Rohit have been the choices for the Dhoni but they all have been disappointing (except Rahane). Although the decks here are not that quick or swinging but still the need for a good and experienced slip fielders (in other words), slip fielders like Rahul Dravid, are must because its often said that “Catches win Matches”.

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The challenge for the leading man, Dhoni is also not less. No doubt, he does not have any pressure of the public expectation and he carries his ‘cool’ personality very well, but the desperateness of the team winning this edition on their own turf, when some of the leading names in the international scenario are present in their armory, can’t be ignored. Dhoni has done a tremendous job appearing such down the order and always finishing the game in the style. His helicopter and jabs have flied all over the ground. The problem to handle and rotate this many bowlers can be a trouble for Mahi. Too many part time options and regular spin bowlers and balance between them will be going on in the mind of the Captain. Also, the counterparts like Pakistan and Australia, in past has given a tough fight to the Indian team, keeping in mind their bowling and batting line up. Bangladesh, also in last few years, has emerged as a promising star in the international cricketing circuit. New Zealand, the runner’s up of the World Cup, are too unpredictable and can make the team blue bleed red, with some of the strong hitters in their side.

This edition is going to be thrilling and full of new records. All the best to our ‘men in blue’!

Author: Rishabh Shrivastava, Founder and Editor in Chief

Author can be reached at: eic.analysis@gmail.com

References:-

List of the Indian Team squad players for ICC T20 World Cup-http://icct20worldcup2016schedule.com/india-team-squad-players-list-for-icc-t20-world-cup-2016/

ICC World T20 complete Squad Reviews, Team India are favorites-http://www.ibtimes.co.in/icc-world-t20-2016-complete-squads-previews-all-teams-india-are-favourites-670548

Cricket Profile- Team India- http://www.espncricinfo.com/india

Shikhar Dhawan backs India Squad to win world T20-http://www.ibnlive.com/cricketnext/news/shikhar-dhawan-backs-india-squad-to-win-world-t20-1215532.html

ICC World T20 India go in on cruise control-http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/icc-world-t20-india-go-in-on-cruise-control/

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