5 Changes India Need to Make to Win the World T20
After a disastrous tour of New Zealand and a disappointing Asia Cup, India will be looking to bounce back in the World T20.
Having played just a single T20 international in the past 15 months, it's difficult to judge the form of MS Dhoni's men in the shortest form of the game.
If India's performances in the Test and ODI arena are anything to go by, they stand little chance of lifting the trophy in Bangladesh.
There are some reasons for Indian supporters to be optimistic, though. Here's what they need to do to be challenging for World T20 glory.
1. Bring Back Dhoni
Captain MS Dhoni was absent from the Asia Cup through injury and was sorely missed.
Deputy Virat Kohli didn't skipper the side badly in the Asia Cup, but he lacks Dhoni's match-winning experience in high-pressure games.
Dhoni's big-hitting down the order adds another dimension to the Indian batting order, too.
A fully fit, relaxed and refreshed captain will be a huge boost to India's chances.
2. Restore Suresh Raina
Another player looking to get his career back on track is Suresh Raina. The burly middle-order batsman was left out of the Asia Cup squad but returns for the World T20.
The left-hander's aggressive style is well suited to the 20-over format, and he's in confident mood heading to Bangladesh.
Raina, who has been receiving advice from Indian legend Sourav Ganguly, told the Times of India:
He (Ganguly) reminded me how well I had done in ODIs before and told me to play the same aggressive game that made me successful. It does feel good when such a great player has so many good things to say about your game.
If Raina lives up to Ganguly's billing, he'll be a boon to an already powerful—on paper, at least—batting line-up.
3. Don't Blow It at the Death
India could conceivably have appeared in the Asia Cup final if their bowling at the business end of matches was better.
Virat Kohli's side were very much in contention against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan but succumbed to crushing last-over defeats in both.
Without a Lasith Malinga-esque finisher to close out the innings, India will have to make do with death bowling by committee.
Mohammed Shami has a happy knack of taking wickets but leaks far too many runs. If India must bowl a seamer at the end of the innings, Bhuvneshwar Kumar seems the lesser of two underwhelming evils.
4. Pack the Team with Spinners
With the seamers underperforming, India should pack their side with spinners.
If the Asia Cup is anything to go by, the World T20 will be played on slow pitches and dominated by spinners.
Though lacking a genuinely world-class slow bowler, the Indian line-up is packed with above average performers.
The last over against Pakistan aside, Ravichandran Ashwin looked close to his best. The carrom ball has returned to his armoury, and he appears a far more threatening bowler for it.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is a nice complement, as is leggie Amit Mishra. Throw in Yuvraj Singh's darts, and India are well stocked for low, turning pitches.
5. Set Shikhar Dhawan Free
After a torrid tour of New Zealand, Shikhar Dhawan showed glimpses of a return to form in the Asia Cup.
With 192 runs at an average of 48, Dhawan was India's top Asia Cup performer with the bat. The left-hander didn't really break the shackles, though, scoring his runs at a strike rate of 77.10 during the competition.
The 28-year-old will be given a licence to attack in the World T20. The slow pitches will suit his aggressive style, and he's unlikely to be bombarded with short-pitched bowling.
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