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Temperament ensures half the battle is won

Before the Champions Trophy, who would have imagined that this young India team, with little experience of English conditions would go on to win, that too in such style. Writes Sanjay Manjrekar.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2013 23:59 IST
Sanjay Manjrekar

Before the Champions Trophy, who would have imagined that this young India team, with little experience of English conditions would go on to win, that too in such style.

What was expected to be the weakness of this team turned out to be its strength.

Sure, the pitch conditions helped in the early part of the tournament but what was great to see was the ‘free spirited’ cricket that the top order played to influence an overall change in the approach.

It is the ultimate cliché in cricket, but you can never underestimate starts. It generally dictates the character of the rest of the innings. This was a team without ‘baggage’, specifically without the 'demons' of past visits.

The average age of this team is 25 and that can only be good news for Indian cricket.

Sound leadership

I find this Dhoni-led India team more Dhoni's team than all other India teams that he has led so far and it shows his qualities more than all past teams he led.

It is temperamentally the strongest team in the world in the limited-overs format. And, this is half the battle won. Sure, it has some weaknesses but when you become a team that does not panic in a pressure situation, like England did in the closing stages of the final, you are looking at a team that will generally win tight games.

Shikhar Dhawan's approach at the top is refreshing, he keeps it simple and does not set long-term goals early in the innings like some of his predecessors. But once he settles in, he ends up playing the long innings.

Refreshing approach

In a high-risk batting format like Twenty20, to achieve a low failure rate is not easy, but that’s what he did, suggesting that along with the attacking game he also has a sharp mind that is willing him to go on and improve.

He does not look to hit every ball for a boundary but when he chooses to, he generally connects, unlike Rohit Sharma. This India team also wears a different look because of one important change that has happened lately.

Jadeja an asset

Ravindra Jadeja has now become a 10-over bowler, not a five or six-over bowler that he used to be.

This means that India’s one-day team is now made up of six batsmen & five bowlers, six batsmen capable of getting hundreds and five bowlers who can bowl 10 overs which is a very good sign.

I have never understood the popular theory that you need an all-rounder in the team to create the right balance.To win cricket matches you need 11 good players. That is what this India team has.

PMG
The writer is a former India batsman