The important phase of the T20 World Cup is underway and there is no doubt that India are in a very tough group. Both India and their first opponents in the Super Eights, Australia, are in sublime form. Australia played superb cricket against the West Indies and though it was a rain-affected tie, I strongly believe that Australia would have sailed past the West Indies total.
Australia have a good batting line-up for the T20 format led by Shane Watson, who is in superlative form, both with the bat and ball. His success shows what difference genuine all-rounders can make in any format of the game. But, why is David Hussey not finding a place in the eleven? We have seen very little of Glen Maxwell but I can say for sure that Hussey is any day better than him. Hussey has played in the IPL successfully for five years now, and has played all the Indian spinners in sub-continent conditions.
Australia definitely have a good pace attack. The combination of Cummins, Starc and Watson will command respect. What has been Australia's weakness in Test cricket is not a spot of bother for them in the shortest version. Brad Hogg is a big strength in the spin attack, more so in conditions prevailing in Sri Lanka.
Ball over bat
As for India, a few questions need to be answered. Where does Sehwag stand in this tournament? Does he get to play or does he sit out? I have a feeling that Viru might miss out on this game.
The next question is about three spinners. Should India go in with three spinners? My answer is yes. The way they bowled against England commands my vote in their favour. Australia will play fast bowling well. But the Indians will need to remember that they will play the second game of the day on a wicket that is expected to be dry and so three spinners is a must.
Zaheer Khan will, and should be, back as the premier bowler. He, Irfan and three spinners will be the real way forward. Kohli has been getting better with every series and I don't see any reason for him not succeeding as an opener.
England made the huge mistake of batting second in that game especially when spinners were to play a crucial role on the Khettarama wicket. This could be food for thought for Australia, if they win the toss. As for India, the outcome of the toss will not matter much. Why? Because they will only need to counter one spinner and Cummins and company will not be any real cause to lose sleep, especially on dry sub-continent wickets.
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The writer is a former India captain