T20 World Cup 2024: Navjot Singh Sidhu cautions Rohit Sharma's India against repeating Mumbai Indians' IPL 2024 blunder

Updated - 31 May 2024, 02:28 PM

Navjot Singh Sidhu and Team India
Navjot Singh Sidhu and Team India. Image Credit: X

Former Indian cricketer and well-known commentator, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has offered crucial advice to the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team as they prepare for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies on June 1.

He emphasized the importance of understanding and adapting to the pitch conditions, especially in the USA, which would be crucial for India as the pitches and conditions are unfamiliar to the team.

Sidhu pointed out that the pitches in the USA will be drop-in pitches imported from Australia, and these unpredictable pitches will pose a significant challenge to Team India. He explained that pitches from Adelaide tend to be flat with a good bounce, while those from Melbourne can offer a spongy bounce.

In contrast, Sydney pitches generally lack significant spin and bounce, and Sidhu suggested Indian players get acclimatized to the pitch as quickly as possible. Furthermore, Sidhu highlighted the need for the Men in Blue to quickly find out their best combination suited to these specific conditions if they want to get momentum early in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024.

The commentator further referenced the Mumbai Indians' struggle during the recent IPL 2024, where they couldn’t find their ideal team combination till the middle of the tournament, which led to their early exit from the tournament. Sidhu stressed that figuring out the right team combination early on is vital for success in the USA.

He also noted the contrasting conditions in the West Indies and the USA, with the Caribbean Island known for its dry and hard pitches, so India must have to get acclimatized to the conditions very quickly. The commentator feels the spinners won't be effective in the USA, so he wasn't sure whether India needed four spinners in the mega event. 

Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Star Sports: “First of all, you have to figure out the pitch. You haven't played there yet. The pitch is a drop-in pitch. The drop-in is coming from Australia. If the drop-in is from Adelaide, it will be a flat pitch. It will be a bounce pitch. If it's from Melbourne, it will be a spongy bounce pitch. Got it? There is no spin in Sydney.

It won't be a bounce pitch. Therefore, you will have to get acclimatized as quickly as possible. And realize that these are the conditions in which we have to fit in your players. So, you have to make that combination. The sooner you get it, you could find out your best combination. Mumbai Indians couldn't find that combination till the middle of the tournament.

They faltered. They floundered. By the time... For me, it's very important. You know what West Indies are going to give you. Dry pitches, hard pitches. But what America is going to give you is going to be the most crucial thing. Because 22 yards will ensure which team you field to. But we have everything. We have everything and our gunpowder is dry.”

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Notably, in the build-up to their first T20 World Cup 2024 warm-up encounter against Bangladesh on June 1 in New York, the Indian team began their preparations with a light training session on May 29. This training session was led by strength and conditioning coach Soham Desai.

The players were engaged in a series of light running drills with some enjoyable activities. However, they didn’t have any cricket training, prioritizing acclimatization to the time zone shift in the USA. Team India will kick off their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

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