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CLOSE-IN: India have the fire-power to win the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022



The Indian cricket team has embarked on its journey for the T20 World Cup 2022 to be played in Australia. This is wonderful news as the team will get enough time to get acclimatised to the conditions Down Under.

India play their first match on October 23 at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground against arch-rivals Pakistan. This is the most crucial match for the Indian side as a defeat in it could put them in deep waters to qualify. The main rivals, thereafter, are South Africa, Bangladesh and possibly the West Indies, if they qualify from their group games.

India should have got over their disappointing performance in the Asia Cup 2022, having beaten Australia and South Africa in a three-match T20I series at home. The only blemish for India was that they lost their last match against South Africa solely due to experimenting with their bench strength players — the reason being that India had already wrapped up the series and felt that they could do with a change.

One felt that India needed to keep their winning momentum intact, as a loss may not seem important but it has a lingering impact on a team’s confidence inadvertently.

The Indian team may rue the fact that their lethal frontline bowler in Jasprit Bumrah, unfortunately, due to injury, will not be a part of their side. However, India do have a battery of pacers to choose from in their fold.

The most difficult adaptation required for any side to play in Australia is to get used to their wickets and conditions. The additional bounce off the wicket is one area that has been difficult to handle for most batsmen. Fortunately, the Indian team will have a fortnight to get acclimatised through a few practice matches and net sessions.

The T20 game is one in which batters have to start playing their shots from the very first delivery. This is where the challenge lies for the Indian batters as the shots that one is used to playing in India on a particular delivery are hugely different from what one needs to play in Australia. Similarly for the bowlers, the length to bowl varies substantially from what one is used to back home.

India, on their last trip to Australia in 2020/21, did fairly well in both the T20I and Test series, and one hopes that they are able to recollect and adjust their game accordingly. They now have the time to do so.

India’s batting strength is far ahead of any of their rivals. A team that boasts of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav as the top-four batters and the likes of Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and the canny Dinesh Karthik to follow. This is a dream line-up for any side.

India also boast of having some very good spin options. They have a leg-spinner in Yuzvendra Chahal, the accurate left-arm spin of Axar Patel and the world’s top off-spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin. The larger Australian grounds will suit them far better, and both Melbourne and Sydney wickets have shown that one can derive turn on them as well. Spin will play a very important part in the tournament and India fortunately are well equipped in that department.

The only area of worry is in India’s pace bowling options. Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an experienced bowler, the likes of Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel have still to earn their spurs. Mohammed Shami as a replacement for Bumrah, if fit, would be an ideal option.

The Indian players, having had the advantage of playing the IPL, are now very familiar with the T20 concept and the situations that one confronts while playing it.

India started well in the Asia Cup by beating Pakistan but, thereafter, they faltered against them as well as Sri Lanka. The losses were not because of their cricketing skills but more in the way they approached the matches mentally.

The problem with the Indian team is the pressure that they put themselves into because of the hype that follows them. The millions of well-wishers and fans may look like a wonderful following but they can become a heavy burden to carry on ones’ shoulders as well.

Team India needs to approach the T20 World Cup without the worry of winning the Cup. They need to play in a carefree manner without thinking about the outcome. India’s victory in the inaugural tournament in the T20 World Cup in 2007 was achieved by a young side that one least expected to win because they played without a care.

India are the current No. 1-ranked T20 side in the world. This they have achieved through their consistent performances this year. The unfortunate fallout from being at the top is that everyone expects India to win. This has been the tale of woe since 2014 in all the multi-national ICC tournaments.

One feels that the Indian team looks far more comfortable and determined approaching this World Cup. The expectations of their followers are also much less, having been disappointed in the past. The time is just right for India to shine. A Diwali victory on the eve of the festival against Pakistan would be just the right way for India to start their campaign.

India have the firepower to win, it is only the mental belief to do so that they seem to falter on, when put under pressure.

The Indian Women’s cricket team seems to be on the verge of winning the Asia Cup 2022. Their victory could be just the catalyst and booster for the men to emulate.

{Yajurvindra Singh is a former India cricketer)


IND vs AUS: Plan was simple to bowl in good areas on the pitch, says Shami




 Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is usually known to produce run-fests in white-ball cricket matches through its true bounce and short boundaries. But on Friday, during India-Australia first ODI, fast bowlers ruled, with Mohammed Shami leaving a big impact in getting the visitors’ out for a low total.

After being wicket-less in his first spell, Shami in his second spell picked three wickets in three overs while giving away only eight runs and it was a classy display of seam bowling in helpful conditions.

The pacer castled Josh Inglis and Cameron Green while forcing Marcus Stoinis to edge to slips in a spell which had the precision of bulls eye in archery.

“We had a simple plan. Like, we talk in team meetings about bowling in good areas and focusing on a good line and length. When we bowled our first spell, it was decently hot. After that, it got a little easy for us as the wind started to blow. The plan was simple to bowl in good areas on the pitch upfront,” said Shami to Mohammed Siraj, who also took a three-fer, in a video posted on

Shami was quick to highlight how important recovery has become in putting out great performances like he did in Mumbai.

“After bowling close to 40 overs in the Ahmedabad Test, I needed one-two days of recovery. After I completed the full recovery, then I came in to play the match,” he said.

“Team management also accepted that full recovery was needed. We have played so many matches over the years that we are hugely confident in skills and abilities. But if we are able to recover properly, then we can put out great performances,” he added.

Shami further asked Siraj about his wicket-taking celebration, which is derived from Cristiano Ronaldo’s Siuuuu celebration.

“My celebration is simple. I’m a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, so I try to follow him. When a batter is bowled I celebrate the wicket in that fashion, but if he is caught at fine leg or similar fielding position I don’t do it,” replied Siraj.

Veteran Shami then shared important advice to Siraj. “I want to give you some advice. It’s good that you are someone’s fan. But as a fast bowler you need to keep yourself away from such jumps.”

The second ODI between India and Australia will be played at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

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WPL 2023: Varied bowling attack has taken Mumbai Indians to top, says Issy Wong




 Isabelle Wong, Mumbai Indians Women team’s English cricketer, has credited the team’s varied bowling attack for the team’s superb unbeaten run in the inaugural Women’s Premier League here.

Superb bowling performances from Issy Wong, and Saika Ishaque, followed by impressive outings from openers Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews helped Mumbai Indians to a dominating eight-wicket win over Delhi Capitals at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, here on Thursday.

This was Mumbai’s third consecutive victory in the league and they are at the top of the table with six points.

Riding on brilliant bowling from Wong (3-10), Saika Ishaque (3-13) and Hayley Matthews (3-19), Mumbai Indians bowled out Delhi Capitals for 105 in 18 overs. Issy, Saika and Hayley kept picking crucial wickets for Mumbai at regular intervals as only two Delhi batters Meg Lanning (43 off 41) and Jemimah Rodrigues (25 off 18) showed some fight.

Wong said that Mumbai Indians’ varied bowling attack “helps ensure that the right bowlers are bowling at the right batters.”

She added, “We have got left-arm spinners, off-spinners, leg spinners. We have got a variety of seam bowlers as well with different changeups. We cover all bases. It allows us to be really flexible. Harman (captain Harmanpreet Kaur) has been fantastic, just pulling strings here and there. Especially Hayley, Harman brought her on at just the right time vs RCB and the variety of our attack allows us to do that.”

Wong said MI’s perfect start in India’s first franchise-based T20 league was a good position to be in.

“Three out of three is a great start. It can’t get better than that. We have worked really hard in training. We have made the most out of the squad we have got and there have been some great performances from all the girls.”

Apart from the captain who has shown a lot of faith in her, Wong has also had a lot of support from her family back home.

“My mom has been watching every game. It’s been snowing there, so my mom made a snowman this morning and it was wrapped in the Mumbai Indians flag. They are loving it. It’s at a nice time too. When I played in the Big Bash, it was 3 in the morning at home but it has been quite nice here,” Wong was quoted as saying by the Mumbai Indians.

In their next match in WPL 2023, Mumbai Indians Women face UP Warriorz Women at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday.

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WPL 2023: Meg Lanning appointed captain of Delhi Capitals, Jemimah Rodrigues named vice-captain




Australia’s multiple World Cups-winning skipper Meg Lanning was on Thursday appointed as the captain of the Delhi Capitals side ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

At an event organised by the franchise here, India’s top-order batter Jemimah Rodrigues was named as vice-captain of the franchise. Meg, a premier right-handed batter, had recently led Australia to their third straight ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title in South Africa.

She also became the first cricketer to lead the side in 100 T20Is, through the 19-run win over hosts South Africa in the final of 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands, Cape Town.

With the title win at Cape Town, Meg also overtook Ricky Ponting for the captain with the greatest number of ICC titles. She had previously captained Australia to 2014, 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cup wins and 2022 ODI World Cup title, apart from a gold medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Lanning is the third Australia player to lead a WPL team, with Beth Mooney captaining Gujarat Giants’ captain and Alyssa Healy being the skipper of UP Warriorz. Mumbai Indians will be led by India captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Royal Challengers by her national team deputy, Smriti Mandhana.

Delhi Capitals will be opening their WPL 2023 campaign on March 5 against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

Delhi Capitals squad: Meg Lanning (captain), Jemimah Rodrigues (vice-captain), ,Alice Capsey, Shikha Pandey, Jess Jonassen, Laura Harris, Radha Yadav, Shafali Verma, Marizanne Kapp, Taniyaa Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Sneha Deepthi, Arundhati Reddy, Titas Sadhu,Minnu Mani, Jasia Akhter, Tara Norris, and Aparna Mondal

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