T20 World Cup 2024: From fire to the frying pan?

Things are about to get tricky for Indian team from now on.
Last Updated : 14 June 2024, 15:27 IST

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Lauderhill: ‘Stay where your feet are’, says Arshdeep Singh, is India batting coach Vikram Rathour's profound contribution at team meetings. While of eloquent syntax, it essentially means to stay in the present. Easier said than done, of course. 

So far, the Indian team has managed that, putting up three victories on the trot in spicy conditions at the Nassau County International stadium, but things are about to get tricky for them. 

It could get easy for them at the Central Broward Regional Park stadium in Lauderhill because they have played at this venue in the past, and the ball does come on nicely, but when they board the flight for the Caribbean leg for the Super Eights, things are not likely to be quite as nice. 

Group A and Group D games were all scheduled in America, while Group B and Group C games were all played in the West Indies. And since the Super Eight stage is entirely in the Islands, it will not come as a surprise if those from the latter two groups hold the edge. 

Australia, Scotland or England from Group B. Afghanistan and West Indies from Group C. All these sides have spent time on the pitches in the Caribbean, and gotten a hang of their play. 

More pertinently, they don’t have the trauma of having dealt with one of the most spiteful pitches a T20 World Cup has seen. 

Those four drop-in pitches in Nassau County were a threat to a lot of the players, and it showed in the way the batters went about their job. If they were not inflicted by body blows, they were cornered into submission mentally as they could barely middle a ball. 

It was not easy work there, especially for those built to play through the line. In the West Indies, the pitches do have some heat on them but they have not shown signs of misbehaviour. 

That, while it’s a good thing, is something teams graduating from Group A and D will need to adapt to. They have spent the last couple of weeks dodging bullets so soaking in the sun might not come as naturally. 

India’s bowling coach Para Mhambrey insisted that the transition will not be a hard one because they are used to the conditions in the West Indies, courtesy their five-match Twenty20 International series against them in August last year, but the first of those three games were in Lauderhill and the next two were in Providence, Guyana. 

They got more venues under their feet during the three One-Day Internationals and the two Tests on the same tour, but that’s hardly the same thing.

Moreover, that team did not have several senior players playing the 20-over format. 

“The good thing is that we already played in West Indies. We already had a couple of series out there before this. So, see, more or less know what kind of a surface we'll encounter out there,” said Mhambrey. 

“We have played in those conditions in India as well. If you go travel to India, Wankhede is different to Gujarat or look at Delhi, some different soil. So, it's not different. That's not going to be similar wicket that we played on and we're going to be aliens to those conditions. But, we know what kind of conditions we're going to encounter. And as I said, as a team, we have so much experience, we will adapt. We know that we have the skills, we have the temperament, and the talent to adapt. So, I'm not worried.”

Worried or not, these are the cards India were dealt, and they would want to execute in line with Rathour’s profundity.

Published 14 June 2024, 15:27 IST

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