CSK batsman Shane Watson
Shane Watson feels that batting first, along with the form of some of their pace bowlers, are an area of concern for India in the T20 format. Image Credit: PTI

Shane Watson, former Australian allrounder, pointed out that India’s back-to-back losses against Pakistan and New Zealand ultimately cost India a place in the knockout stages.

During a one-to-one chat with me, he insisted that batting first on the Dubai track which had lot of moisture helped the team bowling first. When he spoke to the groundsman who prepared the wicket, he said that the wickets in Dubai were flooded with water as they were dry and to make sure they hold firm till the end of the tournament and does not crack. The excess water which had to be put made batting difficult and unfortunately India, in both games, were on the receiving end of the toss.

Batting first in Dubai was not only a challenge for India but also for West Indies, Australia and everyone seemed to struggle. Being in a group which had three top teams, India then had to depend on Afghanistan to beat New Zealand which did not happen.

He added that India will have to address the problem of batting first before the next World cup as toss is not in anyone’s control and if they get that sorted out, they would be once again one of the frontrunners in the 2022 World Cup in Australia. He said India has to look at their fast bowling, especially Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as they were not so good as expected. Watson, however, feels India has all the firepower in batting and spin.

Lastly when I asked him about Virat Kohli not able to sign of with a trophy, he said yes it would disappoint Virat as he is such a great competitor and gives his hundred percent - a quality he saw in Ricky Ponting. Watson said you can’t get everything in life and Kohli has achieved everything, being one of India’s greatest batsman who has scored across all formats.

He felt it would be Rohit Sharma who would take over the captaincy from Kohli in the shortest format.

- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice-Chairman of Danube Group