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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Cricket Columns

Strange that the same bunch keeps playing in all formats
Ian Botham, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 20, 2012
First Published: 02:17 IST(20/12/2012)
Last Updated: 03:05 IST(20/12/2012)

After a hard-fought Test series, it's now time for some fun. Twenty20 cricket is always exciting and India will look forward to winning this challenge. India are the favourites for the two T20 internationals that starts in Pune today. Playing at home is a huge advantage and more so in this format. T20 cricket brings in a lot of crowd and their support matters a lot especially in this format.

India will also benefit from the experience their players have. They are also playing few of the players who featured in the Test matches. The likes of MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and R Ashwin are all vastly experienced. They understand the conditions pretty well and they will come out hard at the young, inexperienced English T20 side.

The England side, led by the experienced Eoin Morgan, has a number of exciting shorter-version cricketers. I am looking forward to seeing how the likes of Stuart Meaker, Jade Dernbach, Jonny Bairstow and a few others perform in these conditions. The side will be full of energy and enthusiasm, and they would look to prove themselves against a much more experienced and stronger India team. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/20_12_12-metro18d.jpg

THE RIGHT PLOY
It's a right ploy by England to field a young T20 side. It gives exposure to so many young players and presents them with the opportunity to play cricket in these conditions. I think India could also have done that. At some point, you need to get in new players. With the amount of T20 they play, I am sure there wouldn't be a shortage of talent for them.
The Indian Premier League goes on and on. I think it's a very long tournament and despite playing so much T20 cricket, I can't really figure out why they haven't been a dominating force in this format. However, that has been a case for them in all the formats.

INCONSISTENT TEAM
India have found it very hard to be a consistent team and I don't seem to remember a time when they dominated every format of the game at the same time. One reason might be that it's the same bunch of players who are playing all the formats and are ending up playing too much of cricket. I think they need to invest in younger players in the T20 format.
This approach has helped the English side.  


The writer is a former England captain


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