With three months to go for the T20 World Cup 2016, all the teams are fine-tuning their teams to get the right combination. India, who will be hosting the tournament, are also set to play a number of matches in the format before the ICC World Twenty20 2016 than they usually play which is a great thing in order to prepare a well-settled side before the tournament begins.
Here’s a quick look at 4 things that India need to address before T20 World Cup:
#1 – Gurkeerat Singh Mann at No. 6
It is often said that T20 matches are won during the last 5 overs. After Dhoni promoting himself to No. 4 and Raina more likely to play at No. 5 India need a finisher who can score at brisk pace and take 145-160 total to 180 or finish the game in second innings. Gurkeerat Singh Mann has a opportunity to make this place of his own. He posses a decent strike rate of 121.92 in domestic T20. With his recent match winning performance for India A with both bat and bowl he deserves his chance before the exciting T20 calendar coming up.
#2 – Rahane’s position in batting order
Ajinkya Rahane has cemented his position for India in the longer format. But his batting position in T20 format still is a matter of concern. With No. 4 and No. 5 positions more like to be occupied by MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, Rahane’s best bet would be top order No. 6. It won’t suit Rahane style of batting as he is more of a accumulator rather than big hitting batsman. Either Rahane opens the innings with Shikhar Dhawan and drop Rohit Sharma to No. 4 followed by Dhoni and Raina or keep Rahane as a reserve batsman. I don’t see Rahane batting in any other position rather than opening the inning in T20 format. His best performance in T20 format has also come while opening the innings for Rajasthan Royals.
#3 – Role of Dhoni
With MS Dhoni promoting himself to No. 4 position he needs to define his role before the WC. Promoting himself at No. 4 gives him more balls to play in the middle and can unleash himself latter on. During the recently concluded ODI and T20 series against South Africa, Dhoni was struggling to hit the ball out of the park during the finishing overs which he used to do at will earlier. Dhoni has definitely past his prime and he now needs to be the backbone of India batting order during the middle order, let others play around him. His calm presence of mind and experience at the middle for longer periods of time would help in crucial moments of play.
#4 – Bowling end overs
It is often said in T20 cricket the team which bowls well during the lat 5 overs often win matches. And unfortunately this has been India’s major concern foe long time. India don’t have a specialist bowler like Malinga who can bowl yorkers at will. India needs to identify bowlers who will bowl the crucial last overs. If Mohammed Shami is match fit before the WC along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma they have to deliver for India. Otherwise with big bats and power hitters in all, Team India can find themselves chasing above 180 in every match.