The washout at Vishakapatnam was a big dampener for all those who were waiting to see Yuvraj Singh back on the field. Hopefully, Chennai will provide better weather so that Yuvi can make his much awaited comeback to the Indian team. There is also a comeback for Harbhajan Singh and Balaji to name a couple and the match will give some idea to both teams what their combination for the ICC World T20 should be.
The two T20s were ideally slotted just a week before the ICC tournament takes off and not only would it have been good practice but would have also allowed players of both teams who had played Test matches to make the mental transition to the ultra short format of the game.
The presence of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh has livened up the Indian dressing room and that can be seen by the big smiles that the team members are wearing. Both are known to be great pranksters and wonderful mimics with young Virat Kohli not too behind. Cricket can be too serious a game sometimes and it is always good to have players who can lighten the mood and ease the tension in the dressing room.
From the cricketing point of view, it will be interesting to see what number Yuvraj gets to bat at, because Raina is the preferred number three in this format of the game and the kind of limited overs form Virat Kohli is in, he cannot be pushed lower down the order. It will also be interesting to see whether Dhoni makes uses of Yuvraj’s spin bowling because that allows him some flexibility in the bowling department.
The form of the openers – Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir has been a bit patchy and if they can get the team off to a flying start, then the rest of the batsmen can take India to a big score. India’s fielding will also be much sharper than in the Test matches and here again what position Yuvraj will be given will be interesting to see. He has been phenomenal at that backward point position and with Kohli and Raina to give him company it won’t be easy to steal the singles.
New Zealand would want to salvage something from this short tour and if they can beat India they will go to the ICC tournament with loads of confidence. As in the Test matches, much will depend on their experienced duo of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum.
Both are devastating players and Taylor has struck form with a hundred in the just concluded Test match in Bangalore. New Zealand’s fielding has been outstanding and that is where they hold the edge against India. There is not much margin for error in the T20 format and the team that keeps its cool should emerge victorious.
Professional Management Group