The Test series is done and dusted, and now the two former world champs in the T20 format take on each other in the ultra short format of the game. This is India’s chance to make up for the Test series loss, though it will hardly assuage the hurt that Indian supporters feel for the Test defeats.
Most teams are pretty tough to defeat on home grounds, but India cut a sorry figure in three of the four Tests played and that is why the anguish felt by the fans of the team. The next Test series is in a couple of month’s time against a resurgent Australian team, so that is not going to be easy either.
England will have a new skipper with Eoin Morgan taking over from the injured Stuart Broad. They have a different skipper for the T20 format while the Test and one-day captain is Alastair Cook. Cook has simply gone from strength to strength in both formats and the manner in which he has adapted to the shorter 50 overs format is a lesson to those aspiring to play all formats of the game.
It is more a mental adjustment and his rate of scoring in the one-day format is as good as is needed. He does that without looking to hit the glamour shots, but by simply finding the gaps and hard running between the wickets.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni also was quite impressive in the manner in which he curbed his natural game and batted in the Nagpur Test, but was unlucky to miss out on a century. He will be looking to get some of his luster back in the T20 and one-day series that follows, and is also perhaps aware that his captaincy would be on the line depending on how the team does in these games.
He won’t be too worried about that since he has always been a pretty laid back customer, but am sure he too is smarting from the Test series loss and nothing would please him more than a clean sweep of the T20 and one-day games. The squad that he has for the T20 matches is the kind of hungry squad that a skipper wants.
For starters, the fielding will be miles better than in the Test series and that will mean the bowlers will not feel let down. Yes, catches will be dropped and the odd extra run given away for that is part of the game, but it won’t be for lack of effort and interest as was seen in the Tests.
There will certainly be a lot more energy on the field from both teams for there are some exceptional fielders in both teams and the crowd could be in for some acrobatics as well. With the experience that Indian players have playing in the Indian Premier League, the Indians start as the favourites, but as England’s Test team have shown, the side that is hungrier to win will do so.
Professional Management Group