India begin the defence of the world title that they won so thrillingly in South Africa in 2007 by playing a team that knocked them out of the fifty-over ICC World Cup earlier that year. Bangladesh played inspired cricket to dash the hopes of millions of cricket lovers in India. That loss caused an upheaval in Indian cricket and many heads rolled and India looked to a new leadership and found MS Dhoni.
The Indian team has become one of the most feared and respected teams not just because of the quality of its players but also for their determination to stick it out through hard times. They will need all those qualities as the other cricketing teams in the world try to snatch the crown away from them.
The success of Rohit Sharma in opening the batting will ease some of the worry about Virender Sehwag’s form in this version of the game. Sehwag, for some strange reason, hasn’t quite cracked the code of the T20 game but anybody who thinks that he is not suited to it is talking rubbish.
The worry for Dhoni is the new ball attack if Zaheer doesn’t report fit. RP Singh and Praveen Kumar have lost a bit of confidence and have looked out of sorts.
In the last couple of years Zaheer has gone on to be the No 1 bowler in the world and his knack of breaking opening partnerships in all forms of the game make him a vital member of the team.
The use of spin is crucial and Pragyan Ojha is showing that he can cope with conditions in other countries as well. The fielding too is looking sharp and so India are well prepared to defend their title. They will be pushed by others, and no team is unbeatable, and that’s the beauty of the T20.