India favourites to win World T20 but beware of the unpredictable format

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Nagpur, March 14: Ask any cricketer or a fan, you get the same answer. As we get ready to welcome the main round of the World Twenty20 2016, the overwhelming choice to lift the trophy on April 3 is none other than the hosts - India.

World T20 Special Site; Photos; Ind-NZ match preview

In the run-up to the World T20, everyone is backing the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side to script history at Kolkata's Eden Gardens on April 3 (Sunday).

File photo: Indian players celebrate a wicket during their World T20 warm-up match against West Indies recently

It will be a historic night next month if India clinch the trophy. No other team has won the title twice and no side has triumphed at home. (Can Dhoni create history?)

In previous 5 editions of World T20, we have had 5 different winners. India won in 2007 while Pakistan took the trophy in 2009. In 2010, it was England and then followed by West Indies in 2012. The last tournament in 2014 was won by Sri Lanka.

So far, India have had the best preparations. In 2016, they have claimed 3 back-to-back T20I trophies. First they whitewashed Australia 3-0, then triumphed 2-1 over Sri Lanka at home and made it a hat-trick with Asia Cup T20 crown.

India open their campaign against New Zealand tomorrow (March 15) in Nagpur. The hosts, along with 7 others received a direct entry to the Super 10 stage. Afghanistan and Bangladesh made it via the qualifiers.

India have the wherewhital to claim the trophy. But the question facing each and every Indian player and the supporters is the unpredictability of T20 format.

Unlike, Test or 50-over versions, T20 matches change in the space of one over. Hence, we have had 5 different champions in previous 5 World T20 tournaments.

Captain Dhoni knows it. "We are not thinking much about expectations. Last two or three series we have won so it gives us confidence. We are quite settled as a team with all the departments doing well. But once we are in the knock-outs I believe we have to be at the top of our game because otherwise you are out of the tournament," he said recently.

Stating that the Indian team was in "the sixth gear" going into the big tournament, Dhoni is focused on one game at time.

"We are in the sixth gear now. I don't think we have to do something differently. The stuff we are doing is adequate. Focus should be on the very first game," the 34-year-old Dhoni said.

Is he thinking of the final already? No. "We are not thinking of it (final) now, it is a long way away," he revealed.

With bowling, batting and fielders all in good health, India are expected to go all the way. But will that happen?

Beware of the unpredictability of the T20 format.

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