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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Cricket

World T20: India need to think out of the box
Sourav Ganguly, Hindustan Times
March 15, 2014
First Published: 00:31 IST(15/3/2014)
Last Updated: 18:18 IST(15/3/2014)

India's performance hasn't been the best recently and a good tournament will help the team's confidence as they are in the early stages of a long and tough season.

They were in Bangladesh for two weeks and although they didn't win the Asia Cup, they fought hard and would be satisfied with their competitive attitude. They will now go back stronger to Bangladesh with the inclusion of Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni, who are dangerous in this format. The three will come back hungry after being left out from the Asia Cup and it's a good sign.

Dhoni will also come back after a much-needed break and will be keen to get the best out of his team in conditions which are friendly. The skipper needs to get himself going for this tournament because he is a game-changer and his good run of form can be of vital importance.

Flexible approach
Also, Fletcher and he need to be flexible with the team as they need to play a different brand of T20 and think out of the box. India's T20 performances in England, West Indies and Sri Lanka have not been good and maybe a different approach will bring freshness. For me, the bowling once again could change the tournament for India. It's a young bowling attack, they will have to show skills under pressure as the wickets are going to be flat.

It is going to be tough as a lot of the teams have got stronger since the last World Cup in Sri Lanka. Australia and Pakistan will go into this tournament feeling good. Australia, to me, will be a tough side with the way they played recently in the Ashes and South Africa. The outstanding form of Warner, Finch, Watson, Maxwell and Hodge, along with the fast bowling department, makes them serious contenders.

Key teams
Holders West Indies will be another serious side even without Pollard. They have some serious hitters of the ball and the likes of Naraine and Badree will add variety to the bowling. Pakistan will be a side to watch out for.

They enjoy playing this format and once again with their quality bowling and Afridi's recent form with the bat, they will fancy themselves. But the biggest question for Pakistan will be how they turn up every day of the tournament.

The success of the sides will depend on the quality of pitches. If they are hard, sides with pace in their bowling can be contenders. But if the pitches start turning as the tournament progresses, then the sub-continent teams with their strength in spin will be hard to deal with.

The writer is a former India captain


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