India poised for world title defence
Tired limbs, jaded minds and a tricky draw have toughened India's
path as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men defend their World Twenty20 title in
England next month.
The June 5-21 tournament is the latest event for Team India in a
non-stop roadshow that began with a full tour of New Zealand in
February-April before a five-week sojourn in South Africa for the Indian
Dhoni's team returned home for just three days after the IPL before
setting off again for England to defend the title they won in the
inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. Coach Gary Kirsten
admitted the heavy workload was a cause for worry, but the former South
African opener was confident his wards will rise to the challenge in
The gruelling schedule has already seen aggressive opener Virender
Sehwag miss some IPL matches due to a finger injury, while pace
spearhead Zaheer Khan is recovering from a sore shoulder.
Skipper Dhoni has been nursing a back strain as a result of being one
of the world's busiest cricketers, who keeps wicket, bats and leads his
team in all forms of the game.
The road to the semi-finals is no joy ride for the defending
champions even though they are drawn with lowly Bangladesh and Ireland
in the preliminary round. India have a good Twenty20 record, with eight
wins in 13 matches so far. But since beating Pakistan in the 2007 final
in Johannesburg, the Indians have lost three of their five matches,
including both games on the recent tour of New Zealand. LONDON,