The World T20 is all set to be back this year after two years of interval. The sixth edition of the World T20 all set to take place in cricket’s commercial hub India. With the huge success of Indian Premier League (IPL), needless to say, this 16 nation tournament, in India, where cricket is treated as a religion, will be a super hit event compare to previous five editions. With one month to go, all big Test playing nations and the ICC’s Associated members have started their preparation for this marquee tournament. Afghanistan whitewashed Zimbabwe in two match series, New Zealand have won two matches series 2-0 against Sri Lanka and against Pakistan 2-1 and Zimbabwe and Bangladesh played four matches T20 series in which both nations have won two each.
With India whitewashing Australia on Australian soil winning a last ball match decider at SCG the eye will be in India as they will start the tournament has a hot favourite. Sandeep Patil-chaired five members Selection Committee has selected a team which is blended with experienced warriors and young fighters. Bowler Ashish Nehra, 36, has been recalled in the Australia tour for his economical bowling spell in IPL for now banned Chennai Super Kings. And he was quite impressive. At the same time, Yuvraj Singh has proved his worth smashing to back to back four and six in the last over of the Sydney T20 to win a humdinger match. Yuvraj was recalled for T20 duty in Australia following his outstanding Vijay Hazare Trophy performances for Punjab. Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar also said that Yuvraj Singh should be in the World T20 squad.
Experienced warriors set to make this ICC event memorable
Captain Mahendra Singh, who drew only flake from his haters since the 2011 World Cup, as India slumped to miserable low from the tip of the success after winning the cricket’s biggest jamboree. Under Dhoni’s captaincy India had lost the back to back England and Australia Test series 4-0; And failed to resuscitate India’s performance in South Africa and New Zealand series. To add more trouble Dhoni’s captaincy tenure recently, India had lost the Bangladesh ODI tour and at home South Africa T20 and ODI series. India had not won an overseas series in the Caribbean against West Indies in 2011. Though, Virat Kohli recently turned around India’ fortune after winning the Sri Lanka series after 22 years and ended South Africa invincible away series record since 2006.
With MS Dhoni probably going to quit captaincy after playing the World T20 at home; he will be keen to conquer the world for the last time to leave his elegance to the game as captain. Along with Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, the hero of 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup will also try to retire from the game winning the tournament in front of a home crowd. It will be an epic moment if Yuvraj takes retirement regaining the World T20 championship. This World T20 will be a golden opportunity for India to win it for the second time. India had lost the previous edition in Bangladesh in 2014 to Sri Lanka by 6 wickets even after getting the favourites tag from critics. Yuvraj Singh, who was blamed for the defeat in the grand finale, would be desperate to regain his lost glory. He knew it well that he was dropped from the team just because of his patchy 21-ball 11 run in the final.
Young guns like vice-captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and middle order batsman Suresh Raina would not like to lose the trophy to any other country once again. This time, at home in the familiar conditions they would like to make 2016 the year of Indian cricket to remember. Virat, limited over captain in waiting, would like to win the matches leading from the front with the bat in hand while Rohit’s explosive batting is expected to reach its best.
Meanwhile, Indian pacer and seamers would like to exploit the familiar conditions. It is well-known fact that overseas batsmen struggle against spin and seam in Indian conditions. During the Test series, it was seen that batsmen like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla after winning the limited over series against India were spin out by Ravichandran Ashwin, Amir Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja in Test series. Especially at Nagpur, where India humiliated numero uno team, South Africa, as the they were bundled out for 79. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 12 wickets in the match while comeback man Ravindra Jadeja and leg-spinner Amit Mishra has taken four wickets each. With Ashwin and Jadeja expected to feature in the World T20 on March 14 in the opening encounter against New Zealand; India will start the tournament as a favourite. Jadeja’s wrist spin and Ashwin variations will be key to India’s success in the tournament.
A deceptive bowling department for opponents
Talking about the bowlers, India’s bowling spearhead Mohammad Shami’s comeback was extended as he has been ruled out from the Australia tour due to the hamstring. But, Jasprit Bumrah, who replaced Shami, has impressed MS Dhoni with his bowling. India will not face many difficulties as 2007 World T20 final man of the match Irfan Pathan and bowler Rudra Pratap Singh has been producing magnificent performances in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 domestic T20 tournament. Both Pathan and Rudra Pratap have taken 12 wickets each in six matches for Baroda and Gujarat respectively. There is no doubt that they are under the radar of national selectors before the World T20 at home.
Chorus of Indian fans in the stands
The Indian fans will play the role of the 12th man during India’s match. Their chorus will create an ambience that will get into the skin of overseas players. Most the teams will send a young team in this World T20. So, Indian Premier League experience will be a factor with less effect. For India, it is a positive side as these overseas players have any experience of Indian conditions and fans. So, the chants of Indian fans will puzzle batsmen and fielders of India’s opponents.
The time has come to get ready for World T20 2016 with a hope that India will play the April 3 mega final at Eden Gardens where people of Kolkata will throng the stadium to support their stars.