Just 1 hour to go, and the cricket fraternity is waiting anxiously to see the two great batsmen in the world cricket, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle, in the second semifinal of the ICC World T20 at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium.
Coincidentally, both, the two destructive batsmen, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle in the shortest format of the game play from the same franchisee in the IPL, Royal challengers Bangalore, and are well aware of the pros and cons of each others batting style.
After a roller coaster ride in the tournament, India will be eying to make to the finals for the second time, as they won the inaugural edition of World T20, long back in 2007, by defeating their arch-rivals Pakistan by 5 runs.
However, team’s performance in the world cup has not been up to the mark, as the opener’s along with the middle order has fumbled to score runs. Virat Kohli, the only batsmen emerging, on whom the team has banked throughout, so far.
The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma has failed to score runs, despite of so much of experience. Despite of Dhoni’s backing, Raina has not able to prove his caliber in the middle order and provide a yardstick to the team in the hour of crisis, except the 30 runs innings which he played against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Indian team is gasping from the exclusion of Yuvraj Singh from the crucial match against the Windies. Yuvraj was struggling, and was provided medical aid during the match against Australia.
The management has included Manish Pandey as the replacement of Yuvraj. Pandey scored a fine century in the last match of the 3 T20 match series against in Australia, earlier this January. And has been awarded a place in team, keeping in mind the innings played by him during the intense situation and the mounting pressure.
But, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has emphasized on playing Ajinkya Rahane, who has ample of batting experience playing at any position between 1-4.
Rahane has the ability to play fine strokes under pressure with calm, and having great sense of technique and caliber. He is currently the ideal batsmen to play in place of Yuvraj Singh.
Pandey, must take the inclusion as a golden opportunity, and moreover, a lot of pressure will be on him, as he has been considered eligible for the post, on a match, when the team is just a step from making the finals.
Can the bowlers take confidence from the epic match against Australia, where they bowled on the perfect line and length, and didn’t provide authority to Smith, Maxwell to score big hits.
Dhoni needs to implement some strategy against the Caribbean, not to provide room to Gayle, Russel and other batsmen who can change the game from anywhere. Taking wickets in the early overs and not giving ample of runs during the power play and in the middle over’s to create pressure.
West Indies have remained unbeaten in the group stage, and has won all its matches, like the Black Caps, who, unfortunately, ended their campaign yesterday against the totally revamped English side.