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Indian Juggernaut on the War Path

MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ashwin, India, World T20
Dhoni will know that this is his greatest chance for an encore of 2007, the tournament that made him an absolute superstar.

A week after the ICC World T20 kicked off in Nagpur – the real battle is set to get underway this Tuesday when home favorites India take on New Zealand at the Vidarbha.

After an almost perfect road leading up to the World T20, Dhoni’s men were halted at the final warm-up game against an in-form Proteas side narrowly losing by 3 runs in a stiff run chase. Well, that might be just what the doctored ordered to keep this well-oiled Indian juggernaut in check and wary against complacency.

Having lost just once in 12 games coming into Saturday’s fixture at the Wankhede – Dhoni knew his men had made all the right moves – a series whitewash against the Aussies down under, a series win in Sri Lanka, an almost unchallenged run to clinching the Asia Cup followed by and a win against a formidable West Indian side in the warm-ups. Having fallen just short in a stiff run-chase albeit in a much changed and chopped batting line-up against South Africa – Dhoni will know that this is his greatest chance for an encore of 2007, the tournament that made him an absolute superstar.

BATTING ORDER LOOKS SUPREME

With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in prime form, India can be rest assured of an explosive start – as the duo have faced some fine bowling attacks with aplomb, scoring big runs consistently.

The middle-order too looks rock solid, with Virat Kohli looking unshakeable, followed by Raina – who can be deadly in home conditions, backed up by his skipper and Yuvraj further down. Nothing can be more gratifying than to see MSD back as the finisher-in-chief, doing what he does best.

With Yuvraj showing signs of his blistering hey-day, Hardik Pandya and Jadeja add some serious depth to the batting, coming in at number 7 & 8. Pandya and Jadeja are serious contenders to shake things up with the ball in hand as well, with a mix of pace and spin in the line-up.

SHAMI & BUMRAH TO LEAD ATTACK

With Shami back in the ranks and amongst the wickets in the warm-up games, the Indian bowling too looks as strong as it’s ever been in recent times. Bumrah has been one of the finds of the season, with the youngster almost comfortable to spearhead the attack and thrust in those yorkers with ease.

R Ashwin with his off-spin and cheeky variations make this Indian unit one of the hardest to beat. With Australia and Pakistan too packed in to Group 2, India will be firm favorites to make the semis and make a serious challenge towards winning their 2nd World T20 title over the coming weeks.

 

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