Raina at No 3 is India’s ticket to T20 success
This Indian side seems to have the perfect balance, with stroke-makers and audacious hitters like Virender Sehwag and Yusuf Pathan, as well as the finesse of Gautam Gambhir to top it up. I would like to see Suresh Raina bat at No 3, as that is where he showed what a quality player he is in the IPL, Matthew Hayden comments.Updated: Jun 10, 2009, 00:29 IST
I must admit that I have been thoroughly impressed with all the associate nations in this tournament, and their improvement is a perfect advertisement for the global T20 brand. Ireland is one of the most improving associate sides, and they seem to have come on in leaps and bounds since the 2007 World Cup. They have done extremely well to have qualified for the next stage in the world T20, and would love to pull of another shock, although extremely unlikely win over India.
India's performance the other night against Bangladesh was reminiscent of their supreme ability as a T20 cricket team. All the young Indian players are now so well accustomed to the T20 format, and have benefited immensely from the cricketing exposure in the IPL.
This Indian side seems to have the perfect balance, with stroke-makers and audacious hitters like Virender Sehwag and Yusuf Pathan, as well as the finesse of Gautam Gambhir to top it up. I would like to see Suresh Raina bat at No 3, as that is where he showed what a quality player he is in the IPL. He batted too low against Bangladesh, and an opportunity at No 3 against the Irish will be ideal.
The team will undoubtedly look for another convincing win against Ireland on Wednesday, and India seems to be spoilt for choice in all departments of the game. Their bowling unit is one of the strongest in the competition, and Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha will undoubtedly give the Irish batsman quite a few problems. The pace attack looks quite formidable as well.
There is absoluely no doubt that the Aussies have been completely outplayed in this world T20 edition, as both Sri Lanka and the West Indies defeated them with minimal fuss. I was particularly impressed with Chris Gayle's onslaught, which had all the bowlers running for cover.
I'm really excited about watching Chris Gayle bat today after that blistering knock, and the Sri Lankan bowlers will have to maintain an immaculate line against him early on.
For Sri Lanka, Dilshan seems to be carrying off from where he left in the IPL, and he may have another gem up his sleeve. With both teams already through, we may see some fearless cricket and a thoroughly exciting game awaits us.