ICC World Twenty20 2016 tournament is starting and Indian Cricket team will play their first match on 15 March 2016 against New Zealand. After winning Asia Cup T20 2016 series recently, Indian team is one of the most favourite team to win ICC World T20 2016 series. Indian cricketers are well-prepared for World T20 2016 championship after fresh win of Asia Cup 2016 but they have maintain pressure of being favourite to recreate the history of winning World Twenty20 2016.
“No doubt India will be favourites to win the title”: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis said, “India are favourites to win the title for the home condition advantage”
“In my opinion they’re (India) the team to beat at the T20 World Cup. They’re the favourites”, said Former Australia captain Michael Clarke.
India had lost home series against South Africa in October 2015 last year. They lost the three-match series 2-0 and the rustiness was intense.
ICC World Twenty20 2016 India Schedule/Match Fixture:
15 March 2016, Tuesday-
India v New Zealand @ VCA Stadium, Nagpur
19 March 2016, Saturday-
India v Pakistan @ Eden Gardens, Kolkata
23 March 2016, Wednesday-
India v Bangladesh @ M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
27 March 2016, Sunday-
India v Australia @ PCA Stadium, Mohali
Five impressive wins in five matches to lift the title almost sealed the belief that they will enter World T20 as the team to beat in Asia Cup 2016. India have won 10 out of their last 11 T20Is and a majority of them, in a resounding fashion. The home conditions play a big role in their favourites tag.
Back in 2007 when India won the inaugural World T20 trophy, they had gone into the tournament as underdogs. They had faced the disappointment of group stage exit in the 50-over World Cup and it was an inexperienced led by MS Dhoni that had headed into the World T20 without the weight of expectations and that, probably, allowed them to play with freedom.
It was in the last edition, 2014, that Indian team finally broke the run to make it to the final before losing to Sri Lanka. But that year too, the team was not fancied much heading into the tournament. The hosts indeed look like a strong force thanks to finding the balance that had eluded them for a while. They have good all-round depth in the squad.
Indian freshers Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya along with experienced Ashisha Nehra’s performance is providing a boost to Indian Pace bowling attack. Hardik Pandya is all-rounder player. Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Nehra have done a tremendous job to provide some relief. Bumrah is turning out to be an excellent bowler at the end of innings with his ability to deliver yorkers on consistent basis.
India is also having R Ashwin and Jadeja like spin bowlers who can be crucial on the Indian pitches. In the last one year Indian spinners boast of the best average among the top eight nations – 17.29 and have the lowest economy rate of 6.09 which only makes it ominous for the rest of the teams.
So it seems like Indian Bowling attack is complete and ready to handle the matches.
Looking at the batting side of India, the host country of ICC World T20 2016, top orders Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli are in Roasting form. Kohli alone has a T20 average of 79.20 in nine innings, at a strike rate of nearly 140. Those are staggering numbers in the shortest format.
As we all know, MS Dhoni is the best finisher ever in the world. He is also in good form from last few matches. ICC T20 World Cup 20107’s hero Yuvraj Singh is also playing good in last few matches. The remaining batting responsibilities are handled by Hardik Pandya as well.
“More often than not, the team that we have played with looks like a team that can play in any condition, especially in this format, Dhoni said after win over UAE in Asia Cup. “Let’s not talk about the 50-over format. T20Is we can play with this team anywhere in the world – three proper seamers, two spinners and, if needed, part-timers. I think it’s the right combination. And even if you go for a few extra runs, with the batting that we have – till No. 8 we can bat – I think we can look to get those extra runs if the opposition scores off us. It looks like a very balanced team,” Dhoni added.
India won its warm-up match against West Indies but lost out to South Africa with a minor margin. ICC World Twenty20 2016 Group A team India will play against New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia. Considering the fact that Pakistan are struggling, Australia are yet to find their feet in this format and Bangladesh haven’t played any matches in India for a while, apart from the qualifiers, in last ten years, New Zealand offer the biggest threat.
Playing in front of the home crowd can pump up the team but it can also add extra pressure. No home team has won the World T20 so far. No team has won the tournament twice.
This is India’s chance to recreate the history — they do go in as favourites, but much will depend on how they handle the pressure of expectations and favourites tag.
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