Shastri: India T20 team has never been stronger

By Sports Desk October 13, 2022

Ravi Shastri believes India's Twenty20 side is as strong as it has ever been ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

India failed to qualify from their group at the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year following heavy defeats to arch-rivals Pakistan and New Zealand.

Rahul Dravid replaced Shastri as head coach following that tournament and Rohit Sharma took over as captain after Virat Kohli stepped down.

India head into the 2022 World Cup at the top of the rankings, with expectations of being strong contenders to dethrone the hosts.

They will be without injured paceman Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, but Shastri fancies their chances.

He said: "I have been part of the system for the last six-seven years, first as a coach and now I am watching from the outside, and I think this is as good a line-up as India has ever had in T20 cricket.

"With Surya [Suryakumar Yadav] at number four, Hardik [Pandya] at number five, and Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik at number six, it makes a massive difference as it allows the top order to play the way they are playing."

However, there is one area of concern for legendary former all-rounder Shastri as India prepare for their opening match against Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.

"One area that India will have to pick up and start right from the beginning is fielding," Shastri said.

"They need to work hard and get their A-game on the field when they step out against Pakistan.

"Those 15-20 runs that you save can make all the difference because otherwise every time you get out to bat, you need to get 15-20 runs extra."

India will also face South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifiers in Group 2.

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