India after winning 3-0 against Australia and 2-1 against Sri Lanka once again proved they are favourites to dominate next two months of T20 cricket. Team India is looking very well balanced and settled unit. All the batsmen are among runs and bowlers are doing their job in a professional manner. Emergence of Jasprit Bumrah has also solved Dhoni’s death bowling issues.
#1 – Strong top order
In T20 cricket where batting side has only 120 deliveries, batsmen in the top order most often play most of the deliveries then number 5, 6, 7. India will be blessed to have top world class performers batting in top 4 positions. Rohit Sharma along with Shikhar Dhawan has been consistently giving great starts to team. Rohit’s ability to score at high strike rate and six hitting abilities in the end overs make him one of the most complete batsman in white ball cricket. Virat Kohli currently number 1 in the ranking has very quickly became India’s best batsman across all formats. Kolhi current batting form has rung alarm bells for opposition team. Suresh Raina coming at 4 has ability to hit bowlers from the ball and run quickly among the wickets. Records have shown Raina has been most consistent T20 batsman for team India over the years. Raina also has the ability to strike big during the slog overs. It will be a tough task for opposition bowlers to get through these top 4 especially in subcontinent conditions.
#2 – Spin bowling options
When the game of T20 was introduced at a world stage many counted that spinners will be out of the game soon. But things have been different, 8 out of the 10 ICC top T20 bowlers have been spinners and India has plenty of them. Ravichandran Ashwin, the leader of India’s bowling line up is in fantastic form with the bowl. Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin are arguably the best spin bowling combination any team have for subcontinent conditions and records have proven them. Jadeja is sometimes unplayable if conditions suit him. Apart from these two India also have Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh who are more than capable with the bowl. We all know the role played by Yuvraj with bowl in India’s 2011 World Cup win. So India has right bowlers for the conditions and it would be difficult for team to easily post big scores against them on slow turning tracks.
#3 – All-rounders
Sir Garfield Sobers, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham – all of them won many matches for their respective teams with both and ball. The importance of players who can contribute with both bat and bowl has grown ever since T20 format was introduced. Every team is now looking for players who can play more than one role for their teams. India has not found any dominating all-rounder after the retirement of great Kapil Dev, many termed Irfan Pathan as next Kapil Dev but he has fallen of the radar. Luckily India has now many players in the team who can play multi roles. The emergence of Jadeja has given India a proper fifth bowling option and he is more than capable with the bat. Emergence of Hardik Pandya has given India extra depth in both the departments. Raina and Yuvraj ability to bowl in the middle orders gives Dhoni variety of options with the bowl. With Ashwin who has international centuries coming at No. 9 in the batting order shows the depth India has in their batting.
#4 – Playing conditions
India has shown in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup how dominating they can be in home conditions. Both Asia Cup and World Cup will be played on slow and turning tracks. This Indian team also has an experience of playing 8 seasons of IPL on these kinds of pitches, so there is lot of experience in the team to counter these conditions. All the batsmen are good against spin bowling and India has variety of spin bowling options in bowling department. It would be challenging of other team to win against India on these conditions as they have proven many times that India a force to reckon with on subcontinental conditions.
#5 – Mahender Singh Dhoni
When Dhoni came made his international debut he was known for his aggressive big hitting. A lot has changed since then. He has won every ICC trophy ever since becoming captain. Not only ICC trophy but Dhoni has led Chennai Super Kings successfully in IPL. CSK has been the most consistent team in IPL. Dhoni, the cool head under pressure makes him different among others. Dhoni enjoys to strangle oppositions with spin bowling and he has got right conditions and right bowlers to do the same. Many think it would be the last major event in Dhoni career and it would be a perfect farewell for him if he helps India to Asia Cup as well as another World T20 title.