India will feel that ‘hawa badlegi’ after the big win over England in their final warm up match. They had recently not qualified for the final of the Asia Cup once again and had lost the first warm up game against Sri Lanka. It was thus important for them to win the last warm up game before the real action starts.
It begins with no less an opposition than Pakistan, who over the years have had an outstanding time in this competition having won it in 2009 and been in the knockouts in all the events so far.
A T20 game changes in the blink of an eye, and with Pakistan always being a mercurial team, there will not be a moment when India can relax. Pakistan also will be big on confidence after their last over win over their arch rivals in the just concluded Asia Cup. That of course was in the 50 overs format, but the fact that they came from behind to put it across India will give them the belief that they can do it again.
India have struggled in the ICC World Twenty20 events after their win in the inaugural competition and have not even qualified for the knockouts subsequently. It is a record they would want to correct, and on familiar surroundings they have a great chance to do so. The pitches in Bangladesh are exactly what the batsmen would want, for they can get onto the front foot and whack the ball without worrying about the next one zipping past their helmet grilles.
It is the bowling that they will have to worry about. In this format, bowlers get hammered never mind how good they are, so it is better to look at someone who can also contribute in the field and also bat a bit. Stuart Binny therefore makes a good case, for even if his overs go for runs, he can make up with his fielding and big hitting.
The team think tank may not want to do that in the first game, but that is an option that they need to keep in mind. Luckily, Dhoni has in Raina and Yuvraj two players who can turn their arms over more than usefully and break partnerships.
Both being top fielders make them automatic choices in the team. The problem still remains the opening batting with both Dhawan and Rohit Sharma not yet hitting the straps. A good start is a big plus in the format, for it allows the batsmen coming after to let loose from the first ball.
India-Pakistan encounters always get the pulses racing, and in the ultra short format they should race even quicker.
Professional Management Group