May 19, 2010

ICC World Twenty20

Asian sides can learn from England

Nitin Sundar

Dileep Premachandran writes in the Guardian that the Asian sides in general and India in particular can learn a lot from the selection calls England made for their successful World Twenty20 campaign.

England's last World Cup campaign in the Caribbean is best remembered for pre-dawn pedalos and Battle of the Bottle headlines. This time, the Red Stripes and the El Dorados went hand-in-hand with terrific team spirit. With 2011 looming, the first thing to do is follow Andy Flower's example and be ruthless in squad selection. Yesterday's six-hitters are of no use tomorrow.

Picking players on reputation is always tempting, but it seldom works. Misbah-ul-Haq, for example, got Pakistan to within a big hit of winning the 2007 World Twenty20 final. But what has been his output over the past 12 months? Is it worth persisting with him when an exciting talent such as Hammad Azam waits backstage?

For India, the decisions to be made are harder still. Yuvraj Singh is hardly in the same age bracket as Misbah or Jayasuriya, yet the feeling persists that we may already have seen the best of him. His waistline and lethargic movement in the field tell you exactly why Gary Kirsten felt compelled to have a rant and now is perhaps the best time for him to address the injuries that have plagued him in recent seasons.

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Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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