With India reaching England where the men in blue look to defend the title of T20 champions on English conditions. Starting from the first match against the New Zealand, then against the Pakistanis ,we could well say that the Indians are well on the way to defend the title this time around. But think as it happened to Manchester United last week the law of averages will catch up with Team India.
Lets look at the Indian lineup, On paper India looks like a world beater.But as we know cricket is not played on paper but between the 22 yards. It has explosive opening pair in Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. Both have done well in all forms of the game. And especially both can be devastating on their day. Although gambhir has become a touch conservative but more effective than he ever was. For Sehwag he is the belligerent himself. I think this is the first time since the Ganguly Sachin duo that India is going into the tournament with a steady opening pair. Then comes the middle order with Suresh Raina the natural choice and him being in the most dangerous of the lot.Moreover his bowling exploits in this year’s IPL has made him all the more potent. India surely missed him in the last year’s T20 cup. Then comes the batting God that is Yuvraj Singh.God because on his day he can make hitting seem simple one of the cleanest striker that the game has seen since Gilly. Then comes our Captain Cool MS Dhoni with his uncanny knack of playing crucial knocks at the end and finishing the game with surgical precision. His captaincy has been the most talked about aspect about his game. A canny operator with him at the helm one can feel that India is never out of the game. He has a certain degree of Australianness to his game , is innovative and thinks on his feet which is the most important thing in T20 rather than letting things shape up he shapes things up for the opposition. Then comes the most dangerous finisher in this year’s IPL Rohit Sharma and he like Raina has found his bowling boots on this time and with his much talked back lift could give a real whack to the leather. The middle order ends with Yusuf Pathan as the big hitter taking hitting to another level but should be promoted to No.3 if not too many wickets have fell and less overs are remaining.
In the bowling department we have Zaheer Khan leading the attack not sure about his fitness, but if he plays he can be very steady in his attack.And moreover he absouletly loves England ,here is where he reinvented himself as the bowler that he is today.Then we have Ishant Sharma who is young but I think he enjoys the bouncy wickets more than the swinging English conditions where he would have to pitch it up. I think Irfan Pathan would have been a better choice due to his clean hitting but that’s upto Dhoni to decide whom he takes the gamble with. Then we have two spinners Harbhajan and Ojha vying for the single spot but I think the spot would go to Harbhajan with his new found technique in T20 and of course his habit of hitting the balls in the strangest areas in the field.
So unless India presses the self destruct mode I don’t think it will that much of a problem in retaining the trophy. However the law of averages might show its ugly head again. And one more thing please don’t give the silly excuse of burn-out in International stage ,these guys are professionals and not some 19 year olds to talk about their fitness.Moreover its their only job and I don’t think anybody can say tirdness is a factor in your job.