World T20: Indian bowlers need to hold their nerves

While the Black Caps look balanced, the Indian team is also brimming with confidence. The ‘home advantage’ is India’s and it is evident in the way Nagpur pitch has played so far.

Jasprit Bumrah needs to beware of the hype.   -  Vivek Bendre

Hi friends, I hope you have got the popcorns and that fizzy, black thing in place for India’s opening T20 World Cup game. Yes it’s March and it’s year-end closing of accounts and balance sheets, but if you believe me, then please wind up all of that during the daytime and brace up for a talented New Zealand taking on favourite India.

Personally, I’d have loved to be in the blue outfit, dancing down the Nagpur pitch rather than have my fingers dance on my laptop keyboard. But then such is life...

As I think about New Zealand my mind races to two people. One has moved on from the game and the other from this world. I’ll miss my friend and erstwhile KKR team-mate Brendon McCullum. On Indian pitches, he could have been a handful. Also, as a leader he’d have been a pillar of strength in the New Zealand dressing-room.

The other gentleman is of course the late Mr. Martin Crowe, who lost his battle to lymphoma but seldom lost to the opposition. I remember he once wrote a glowing tribute to Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill on the eve of New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup final against Australia. He termed them as “The Two Sons I Never Had”. Unfortunately, Mr Crowe’s “two sons” couldn’t see the team through then but now they have another chance. Mr Crowe would have been happy to note that the Black Caps look balanced.

 

In the blue corner is the Indian team. It’s also brimming with confidence. The ‘home advantage’ is India’s and it is evident in the way Nagpur pitch has played so far. In the game between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe it looked powder dry and tailor-made for India. I have been doing a lot of media work in the lead-up to the World Cup and I am still engaged with a national news channel. I have been asked many times to pick the Indian team for the first game. If I read M. S. Dhoni right, he’ll play the same XI that won India the Asia Cup.

I have always maintained that bowlers win you a match ‎whatever be the format. Indian bowlers have been in form and it’s now about holding their nerves, as sometimes hype can get the better of a young cricketer like Pandya or Bumrah.

India are in a tough group with Australia and Pakistan there as well. Well, this sure is going to be a cracker of a tournament. So, sit back, relax and keep the popcorn and that fizzy-black thing flowing.

Hawkeye Communications/Dinesh Chopra Media