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India could learn from England's T20 book

England started off well in the first T20 but lost the plot in the middle. They are an inexperienced side and were bound to be dominated by the stronger opposition. But I thought they could have fought better. The fielding and bowling could have been more disciplined.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2012 00:57 IST

England started off well in the first T20 but lost the plot in the middle. They are an inexperienced side and were bound to be dominated by the stronger opposition. But I thought they could have fought better. The fielding and bowling could have been more disciplined.

India looked a fitter side than what we saw them in the Tests. The arrival of younger players made a difference to the fielding. They have a balanced and experienced side and with a win under their belts, they go in as favourites for today's T20 encounter in Mumbai.

This, however, is not England's full-strength T20 squad. They haven't been scared to give opportunities to younger boys. India probably could have done so as it would have also eased the workload on some of the senior players, but maybe, they give too much importance to this format.

Money matter
India place too much emphasis on the Indian Premier League and limited-overs cricket. There are questions if that has to do with their decline in Test cricket. Both are different formats, but yes, the questions are justified as their Test performance has been quite ordinary in the last one-and-half years. But can you really blame the players for playing in the lucrative leagues? There is too much money involved to ignore.

There is a lot of talk about T20 being the most popular format but in the last couple of days I've observed something different. The turnout at Pune wasn't great and in the last few Big Bash games in Australia, the crowd turnout wasn't much. Maybe, it's got to do with too much of T20 cricket.

Different mindset
It is not right to compare Yuvraj Singh's T20 performance with his recent Test outings. Yuvraj is a dangerous cricketer in the limited-overs format, but Test cricket throws a different challenge.

It's not easy when you have so many fielders around your bat and the slips. It's a different game and requires a different skill set and mindset. That's why, too much of limited-overs cricket can affect the mindset.

Coming back to today's match, I hope England play Joe Root. I was surprised that he was left out as he is a fine talent. I also rate Stuart Meaker highly. He is genuinely quick and a good bowler, who is knocking the doors for Test selection.

The one-day matches will be more interesting as England will field a stronger side. As for this T20 team, it's more of a learning process and they will come out better in Mumbai.

PMG. The writer is a former England skipper