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Predict the unpredictable

It’s almost impossible to accurately track a trend in T20 cricket, but sometimes that’s the joy of the format. Even if a team is hammered in one game, like India were at Nagpur, there’s every opportunity to bounce back strongly just days after.

cricket Updated: Dec 13, 2009 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent

It’s almost impossible to accurately track a trend in T20 cricket, but sometimes that’s the joy of the format. Even if a team is hammered in one game, like India were at Nagpur, there’s every opportunity to bounce back strongly just days after.

Ishant returns

The biggest gain for India was the manner in which Ishant Sharma performed. A break from the Indian team clearly did the lanky fast bowler a world of good. His pace was back in the high 130s and the ball leapt disconcertingly off a length every now and then.

Fielding worries

Fielding coach Mike Young has barely been with the team a few days, but the work ahead is apparent. In the recent past, India have been a good catching side, even if they weren’t ever the most athletic. In the two T20 matches, though, an alarming number of catches were put down.


In Mohali the low lights (the stadium is in a flight path and therefore floodlights are much lower than anywhere else) could well have played a part. “I’ve never seen a team dropping six catches, but Sri Lanka missed many run-outs,” said MS Dhoni “In an international game, you have to take those chances whatever the reasons may be.”

Prince among batsmen

In the last eighteen months Yuvraj Singh has had a huge role, both in terms of providing the innings with substance once the openers have been dismissed and with his left-arm spin. It might be stating the obvious, but when Yuvraj gets going, as he did on his birthday on Saturday, India invariably win.

Raising the bar

India’s successful pursuit of a 200-plus score underlined the changes this format is ushering in. “There are no guarantees in this game and you have to limit the side whatever total is there on the board,” said Kumar Sangakkara. With batsmen constantly finding ways to put good balls away, bowlers and fielding captains have their work cut out. “Even if you lose a wicket at the top, the player who comes in ought to score at a brisk pace,” said Dhoni. While this occasionally leads to collapses, it’s spectacular when it comes of, like on Saturday.