Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Yuvi is a danger in the shorter format

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By Ian Botham

The young England side were outplayed by the experienced Indian side in the first Twenty20 played in Pune on Friday.

England started off well, but somewhere they lost the plot in the middle. They are an inexperienced side and so were bound to be dominated by the stronger opposition, but I thought they could have fought better. The fielding and bowling could have been more disciplined.

The Indian team looked a fitter side than what we saw them in the Test side.

The arrival of few of the younger players made a huge difference to the fielding. They have a balanced and experienced side and with a win under their belt they go in as the favourites for today’s T20 encounter in Mumbai.

This however is not England’s full strength T20 squad. England haven’t been scared to give opportunities to the younger boys.

India probably could have done so as it would have also eased up the work load on some of the senior players, but maybe, they give too much importance to this format.

I feel India give too much emphasis on the Indian Premier League and limited-overs cricket.

There are questions being asked if that has to do with their decline in Test cricket. Both are different formats, but yes, the questions are justified as their Test cricket performance has been quite ordinary in the last one and half years. But can you really blame the players for playing in the lucrative leagues? There is too much money involved to ignore. There is a lot of talk about T20 being the most popular format but however in the last couple of days I observed something different. The turnout at Pune wasn’t that great. So maybe that’s got to do with too much T20 cricket that is being played these days and I personally find the IPL to be a very long tournament.

I really feel that India like England could also have opted for a young side in this format.

It is again not right to compare Yuvraj Singh’s T20 performance with his recent Test outings.

Yuvraj is a very dangerous cricketer in the limited overs format, but Test cricket throws a different challenge all together. It’s not easy when you have so many fielders around your bat and then the slips.

It’s a different game and requires different skills and also mind-set. That’s why I feel that too much of limited-overs cricket can have an effect on the mind-set.

Coming back to today’s match, I hope England play Joe Root.

I was surprised that he was left out as he is one of England’s finest talents. I also rate Stuart Meaker highly. He is genuinely quick and is a good bowler, who is knocking the doors for a Test selection.

I think the ODI matches will be more interesting as England will field a stronger side. As for this English T20 team, it’s more of a learning process for them and I am sure they will come out better in Mumbai after their outing in Pune.

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