Sport sometimes has a strange way of administering lessons. One example was the T20 match in Chennai on Tuesday. With seven overs remaining, it appeared India would win comfortably. Right then, we all thought we knew who would win and that the players and their coaching groups would return to their hotel to reflect and analyse.
This T20 World Cup looks wide open with India slight favourites in terms of odds and sentiment. But you could throw a blanket of even terms over the next seven teams with New Zealand and Bangladesh being the outsiders. John Wright writes.
It's just not another warm-up match. That's what an India-Pakistan game does to everyone. Since these two countries don't play each other often, the interest is huge. The players also know this. Sourav Ganguly
The T20 World Cup actually gets underway on Monday itself, and I am confident there will be no bigger match than the India-Pakistan tie in the preliminary phase. Inzamam-ul Haq
Competing in tournament play is very different from your usual, often humdrum nation-vs-nation limited-over series. Tournaments usually consist of two stages. The first job is to drag yourself out of the group stage. John Wright
In the last five years, skipper Dhoni has passed quite a few stern tests. He faces one such examination at the World T20. Here are a few questions that will be asked of him in the next three weeks. Aakash Chopra writes.
The bane of recent ICC-run world events is that we end up watching endless cricket hoping in vain for an upset or even a close game before the real cricket commences at the quarterfinal stage. John Wright
After a few one-sided matches for the big guns, the nerve-tickling matches start off now. Hosts Sri Lanka take on South Africa in Hambantota and Australia will cross swords with one of the most sort after sides, the West Indies, at Colombo. Sourav Ganguly writes.
It's the first big match for India in the preliminary group phase and the contest against England should be a good one. Both the teams have played and won against Afghanistan in their opening tie and one shouldn't try to draw any conclusion by looking at the margin of victory of both sides. Sourav Ganguly
After their victory against India in the warm-up game, Pakistan should have the mental edge over any team. They should feel confident after that victory because it tested Pakistan in every possible manner and the boys finally came out on top. Inzamam-ul Haq
writes. New Zealand vs Pakistan
The first week of the ICC World T20 tournament has resembled a couple of young lovers on a getting-to-know-you date; a lot of foreplay but not much action. Ian Chappell
writes. No knockout punch
One of my coaching heroes and mentor was Brian Clough, the well known English football manager. Back in the late 70s, Clough took his teams, Derby County and Nottingham Forest, from the second and third divisions to win the first division (now called the Premiership).
India's match against England was an example of a well-balanced side dominating the opponent in every department. This win should also convince the team management about playing five bowlers for the rest of the tournament. Inzamam-ul Haq
The next six days of the World T20 should be about scintillating cricket. Surely, the ICC is keeping an eye on the TV ratings at events like this to guide them in the future. John Wright writes.
India-Pakistan clashes always get a lot of attention but considering India’s future in this world cup depends on this game, the importance of this match attains new heights. Sourav Ganguly