On a bright Wednesday morning, the clouds gave way to bright sunshine and it rained sixes at the Three W’s cricket ground. At a stadium named after the holy trinity of West Indian cricket - Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell - India’s batsmen were definitely in the Twenty20 mode.
With the first hurdle likely to be Australia, no stone was left unturned, no shot too ambitious to attempt. The importance, however, of pushing hard in practice and staying relaxed in the lead-up to matches was not lost on the Indians.
"You can’t go into any T20 match with pre-conceived notions about how you will play," said Gautam Gambhir, clearly not getting sucked into the debate on whether the Barbados pitch would be more bouncy and force a change in strategy. "When you go out to bat, you have to react to the situation in front of you. You can’t just say today I’ll take time to get my eye in and go after the bowling later. The first six overs might be the best time to score quickly. You have to go in, see the ball and play accordingly."
The advantage of having played a tough team like South Africa in the first round was an important difference between the disastrous campaign in England at the last World T20 and this one, felt Gambhir. "The difference between the last event and this year is that we played Bangladesh and Ireland in the first round in England. This time, we’ve played South Africa who are one of the best sides in the world," he said. "That’s definitely going to help us as we go into this set of three matches."Gambhir, who has enjoyed a purple patch in the last couple of years, scoring heavily in all formats, was hopeful that he and the other batsmen could make it count in this tournament.
"It is always good that you have been scoring well for a while when you come into a tournament like this. The team wants you to score more and more," said Gambhir. "This is one tournament where you want to really step up and show good form. That is what this team has been doing. Every player has gone on to score really big."