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A new beginning for Team India

At a time when the match tie-breaker was introduced to replace the final set in tennis doubles, Leander Paes had said, “it gives lesser teams a better chance.”

Comparing a scenario in one sport with another might not be a good idea, but the bottom line is, shorter formats give lesser (read teams with lesser ability) a better chance at winning. And that actually is why Team India can go into the first of the two T20s against England with a little bit of confidence.

One’s got to accept that MS Dhoni’s boys are not a strong unit, at least on current form. But like Dhoni himself said yesterday, it’s a different format, and different set of players.

Only four members of the T20 squad have played in all four Tests against England where the hosts were completely outplayed. What’s even more morale boosting for the Men In Blue is that there would be no Alastair Cook, Monty Panesar, Graeme Swann and James Anderson also. Take these four out of the equation, and you have quite a beatable England side, if the current form of both teams involved is anything to go by. In fact, there is not a single player in this English T20 side that has played in all four Tests in the recently concluded series. The English outfit didn’t have a particularly good T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka either.

Hence, as the Indian skipper says, it’s a new series in a different format, and everyone starts from scratch. Add to that, the format itself, where a couple of good overs, by the bowling or batting side can turn the game on its head. “One good catch or a crucial run-out can make the difference,” Dhoni pointed out when asked about the team’s confidence after the Test series debacle.

The point that shorter format gives lesser teams a better chance might well be true. The interesting question is which of the two lesser sides would take that better chance! For the answer, watch this space. 

 

Dhoni ducks captaincy talk
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday refused to take questions on the split-captaincy as proposed by some former greats, saying he wants to focus on the Twenty20 game against England today.
 
Dhoni’s position as the Indian captain is under fire following the team’s 1-2 Test series loss against England. Ahead of the two Twenty20s against England, Dhoni said he wouldn’t comment on the split captaincy as he has a job at hand. 
 
“Your question on my view about split captaincy is good but let’s stick to the T20 format as we have a T20 game tomorrow,” said Dhoni when a scribe asked him about captaincy.
 
“Before the start of an important series, I don’t want to comment on that because when it comes to Indian cricket, if it’s not going the right way, questions pop up about captaincy, senior players, junior players, the kind of talent we have got, the bench strength we have got. 
 
“Everything will pop up and if you keep answering, I think we will be short of time,” Dhoni added. 

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