Spark in the India side was unmistakable | india | Hindustan Times
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Spark in the India side was unmistakable

I start by paying tribute to Leslie Claudius. He was a legend of Indian sports, three gold medals and silver at the Olympics, captain of the national hockey team and surviving at the international level for nearly 20 years. Those who have done it know what it takes to do so.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2012 00:53 IST

I start by paying tribute to Leslie Claudius. He was a legend of Indian sports, three gold medals and silver at the Olympics, captain of the national hockey team and surviving at the international level for nearly 20 years. Those who have done it know what it takes to do so.

As I grew up at Kolkata's Maidan, I heard stories of this great man and his deeds. I also met him a number of times and got to interact with him. He would never talk about his deeds but would rather know about Indian cricket, how we functioned as a team and our plans to take Indian cricket forward.

India lost one of its great sporting heroes and it was a day of sorrow for the sporting fraternity of the country. There was also something to cheer about. It was a resounding victory in the first T20, and going by the way India shaped up, I find no reason to believe that they will not win the series 2-0.

This England T20 side doesn't have the potential to match India. The biggest surprise was the 22-yards in Pune. It was a batting beauty, absolutely the type it should be for a T20 game. The stadium is picture perfect and with the pitch improving by leaps and bounds, this is bound to become an important venue in the future.

Yuvi's all-round show
England were in a good position midway through their innings, going at nearly nine an over, but the left-arm spin of Yuvraj Singh struck them hard and they never recovered. Yuvraj put on an all-round show and rightly deserved the man-of-the-match award.

Ashok Dinda again made a mark with his bowling and I think he can dream of playing regularly. He is fit, will run in all day and if he gets regular chances, his confidence will be sky high. It was a young India team and you could see the spark all around and their opponents seemed to have no clue as to what had struck them.

We will need to give time to the likes of Awana and Rahane to blossom and with Dhoni leading the pack in this format, we can look ahead with confidence.

Mumbai will bring back memories of the loss in the Test but I am sure this T20 side will not allow any hiccups in this format.

360 Corporate Relations. The writer is a former India captain