World T20: Runfests at Wankhede a concern for India if they make semis

  • Sanjjeev K Samyal, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 21, 2016 12:36 IST
Dale Steyn was plundered for 23 runs in an over against England at Wankhede and was dropped for the match against Afghanistan, who gave South Africa a fright before falling short by 37 runs. (PTI)

One of the most interesting scenarios being discussed in the World T20 is what happens if India make the semifinal to be played in Mumbai on March 31?

If it happens, sparks might fly again. Going by the wickets India are playing on, it’s clear they want square turners. At the Wankhede, it’s raining runs.

The bowlers have had no chance at Mumbai, something which the Indian team management feels is not to India’s strengths.

Obviously, MS Dhoni has the best spin attack in the tournament and he is looking to exploit that. Even though it is an ICC tournament, so far, the groundsmen in Nagpur and Kolkata have been happy to provide India the advantage.

Ask Steyn

When South Africa played their opening match against England at the Wankhede, there was controversy over how flat the track was. Getting beaten hollow by England after failing to defend 229 might have been acceptable. But the sight of Afghanistan batsmen toying around with their famed bowling attack on Sunday must have been difficult to digest.

Their bowlers will now see India coach Ravi Shastri’s point. In this debate, Dale Steyn, dropped against Afghanistan, would surely be in Shastri’s corner. On Friday, he was taken for 23 runs in one over by the England openers. David Wiese played in his place and went for 47 in four. Others were pummeled as well.

Obviously muted

Little surprise that South African celebrations were muted, winning by just 37 runs after putting 209 on board.

It’s still 11 days to the semifinal. It may turn out to be tricky. The line-up will only be clear by March 27, when India play Australia. It will leave the groundsmen three days to work on the surface.

The last time India played an international at Wankhede, against South Africa in October, the visitors piled up 438/4 in 50 overs.

The issue after the hosts were plundered was not because the Mumbai curator didn’t want to oblige Dhoni & Co and dished out a placid surface. Presumably, India lost the ODI series because the curator didn’t get “instructions from the team in time”.

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