If you are not vigilant enough you may end up burning your own chances.
The team promised to explode in the T20I series against England. Instead, it imploded in the first game on Friday night. Here is the scenario.
Kohli, as of now, has just these five T20Is to settle down on a combination and a game plan for the T20 World Cup at home in October.
India’s calendar is uncertain concerning T20Is. After Sunday’s match, they will be left with just three. For all the enviable resources at India’s disposal, memories of the botch-up in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup are still fresh.
Kohli’s team has been dominant in the T20 format over the last two years. They have won the last three series handsomely. The team is spoilt for choices. They have players ready to walk in if someone’s form wobbles for a bit. Yet, Kohli’s team, forever chasing the right ‘intent’, has decided to crank it up and be a more fearsome bunch in the format.
A score of 124/7 wasn’t exactly a great advertisement for the brand of cricket they want to play. Sustaining a certain tempo in this blink-and-miss format of the game isn’t the easiest thing. And there’s no time for a comeback in this flounder.
Top quality international sides don’t give you breathing space if you flounder at the top, as India found out against a ruthless English side on Friday.
Going into Sunday’s game, there will be a few bruises. But this Indian team is not one to renege on a philosophy. Over the last three months, every time this team has been pushed to a corner, it has found a new hero emerging to do the job. Losing the first round does little to deflate the morale of this side.
Shreyas Iyer, the only batsman who looked in control on Friday, reaffirmed the philosophy.
“It won’t change because if you see the batting line up we have and the power-hitters down the line, we don’t have to change anything to be honest. It was a challenging situation when I came in to bat, we had to keep playing the natural game and keep the scoreboard ticking irrespective of losing early wickets.
“We have come with a plan and we have to execute as much as possible because going in to the World Cup, we need to see to it that we tick all the boxes. This is a five-match series, so it is a perfect time to try different stuff and see what suits us,” Iyer said.
On paper, India match the England side, which has developed an ideal template for white-ball cricket. But they don’t want to go into another World Cup with scattered ammunition in the camp. Maybe, a Plan ‘B’ won’t hurt.