World T20: India hold edge, should avoid talk of pitch
It's semifinal time and in-form India face South Africa in what is expected to be a cracker of a game. Two of the most capable sides will clash in conditions well known to India but a bit alien to South Africa, writes Sourav Ganguly.Updated: Apr 04, 2014 00:55 IST
It's semifinal time and in-form India face South Africa in what is expected to be a cracker of a game. Two of the most capable sides will clash in conditions well known to India but a bit alien to South Africa, who played all previous games in better batting conditions in Chittagong. India has had a remarkable run so far. The bowling unit led by the spinners has looked in top form.
I'm sure Dhoni understands that semifinals are a different kettle of fish. But his captaincy record in semifinals has been outstanding and this self-belief will stand in good stead. There is not a single weak link in the squad and hopefully that will see them through.
I see no changes in the squad, and the captain will be happy he won't have to worry about that. There has been a scare with Yuvraj but I don't see him missing out, especially when he has just returned to form. His presence is crucial because if he gets going he will take the game away.
There is talk around South Africa playing on this pitch in Mirpur for the first time. I sometimes feel too much information can be a problem as it can make teams play in a particular way. And that takes the flair away from the game. But South Africa will have to get the team composition right. If they go the Australia way then India will take the game away from them. They must play an additional spinner in Phangiso if they have to use the conditions well.
Right balance is important on this pitch and the concept of India playing well against spinners may not just work. SA's batting is strong with batsmen having experience of subcontinental conditions.
The writer is a former India skipper