Friday, June 14, 2024

T20 World Cup: India hope to make a statement in opening game against Ireland | Cricket News – Times of India

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A group of superstar Indian cricketers is determined to break away from their outdated approach as they face a spirited Ireland in their T20 World Cup opener in Group A on Wednesday, which will mark the ‘Men in Blue’ launching another quest to end an 11-year wait to win an ICC trophy.
The team acknowledges it is slightly underprepared, with lingering uncertainties about the optimal combination on an untested drop-in pitch.Unlike the recent Indian Premier League, scoring has proven more challenging in the games so far.

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A bigger concern is the burden of being favorites who often fail to deliver when it matters most, as India take on Ireland, Pakistan, USA and Canada in the first stage of the tournament, which will be followed by the ‘Super 8s’, semifinals and the final on June 29.
While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have each secured global silverware, other once-in-a-generation talents like Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja are eager to finally lift a major trophy.

One of the most poignant moments of last year’s ODI World Cup was a despondent Rohit, after the final, trying to hide his teary eyes from the TV cameras as he quietly ascended the steps leading up to the dressing room at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Similarly, Kohli could only manage a fleeting, vacant gaze towards the podium where the trophy was displayed.
Even the best players don’t always form the best team. While India has placed its faith in its most experienced players, it cannot be ignored that this current squad has stumbled at the final hurdles far too many times.
It’s fair to say this is likely the final shot at a world title for the 37-year-old Rohit. At the same time, it would be wrong to predict if he will feature in the next T20 World Cup or the 50-over World Cup in South Africa in 2027.

India face a spirited Irish team, boasting talents like Paul Stirling, Josh Little, Harry Tector and Andy Balbirnie, in the tournament opener.
The condition of the Nassau County ground, with its slow track and subpar outfield, adds intrigue to how India will handle Irish left-arm spinner George Dockrell.
India’s spinners give them an edge over Ireland, although their pace attack, other than Bumrah, seems weakened without the formidable Mohammed Shami.
Sometimes, having too many choices isn’t optimal. India may need to sacrifice Yashasvi Jaiswal to accommodate skipper Rohit and top batter Kohli.

Rishabh Pant’s performance at No.3 in a practice game injected vitality, while Hardik Pandya’s bowling form may impact India’s prospects in the competition.
Pandya re-oiled his seam-up skills at the Cantiague Park nets, bowling to Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit. If Pandya can consistently bowl three overs per match, India may consider playing Shivam Dube and adding an extra spinner.
Ireland, once considered minnows, recently defeated Pakistan, showcasing their growing prowess in the format. Players like Little, who has IPL experience, and the trio of Balbirnie, Stirling and Tector pose a threat.
(With PTI inputs)

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