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Dhoni set for 2007 Encore

MS Dhoni, India, Asia Cup T20, World T20, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin
India are on a roll in T20Is, having won ten of the eleven they have played this year.

The World T20 is just weeks away, and with preparations reaching its pinnacle with the Asia Cup win – things are looking up for Dhoni’s Men in Blue. It’s Dhoni’s chance at an encore of 2007 – and while they came in as rank underdogs 9 years ago in South Africa, this time around they carry the ‘favorites’ tag to clinch a second World T20 Title.

What is striking is the fact that the 2 Indian sides – of 2007 and 2016 bear an uncanny resemblance – and if that’s one thing to go by, a billion odd people will be watching with bated breath to see if Dhoni and his men can do it again. In 2007, the Indian side boasted of 2 of the finest openers at the time. Gambhir and Sehwag – the left-right handed duo were just as devastating as today’s dynamic duo of similar mould – Rohith Sharma & Shikhar Dhawan. While Sharma has the ability to destroy attacks much like Sehwag, Dhawan has the capability anchor the innings according to the situation in the shortest format quite like Gautam Gambhir.

The middle order too looks similar in shape, then it was the mercurial Robin Uthappa – who played many match-winning knocks on the way to World Cup glory, who’s spot has been made his own by the dashing Virat Kohli. Back then it was a young Rohit Sharma who took his place in the middle-order as a consistent and measured run-getter, and this time around it’s Suresh Raina, who while battling on Indian wickets can make run-scoring look effortless.

While Dhoni & Yuvraj retain their spots to make up the middle-order just like they did in 2007, Hardik Pandya takes on the role of the seaming all-rounder from Irfan Pathan. This time around, the Indian team boasts of even more strength in depth, with spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin shoring up the late-order in place of Harbhajan Singh & the largely lackluster Joginder Sharma. Bumrah too comes in to add variety much like Sreesanth did all those years ago, while the experienced Ashish Nehra takes the role of left-arm pacer from RP Singh. Man-for-Man this current side looks every bit better than the class of 2007, and who is to say that MSD will not produce an encore.

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