Team India are set to kick start their 20-20 World Cup 2022 campaign against Pakistan on 22nd October, Sunday. The Men in Blue won their first warm-up match against Australia and would be looking to replicate a similar result against New Zealand on Wednesday.
However, the most important challenge is to beat Pakistan and make a winning start to the competition. Veteran Indian batter, Suresh Raina believes that India will win the 20-20 World Cup if they manage to beat Pakistan in their first game of the tournament.
“Definitely, if we win the opening game against Pakistan, we will win the World Cup,” former India player Raina told NDTV.
“The team is doing well right now. (Mohammed) Shami has replaced (Jasprit) Bumrah, it will give the side a bit of X-factor. We have Arshdeep Singh, Suryakumar Yadav. Everyone is in good form, Virat Kohli is looking really good. Rohit Sharma is a very good leader, if we win the first match, it will set a good tone for us. Everyone in the country is praying for them and I really want them to win the World Cup.”
Mohammed Shami has returned to India’s T20 team after a long time. He bowled the last over for India in the warm-up match against Australia and, straightaway, made an impact. Shami gave only 4 runs and picked up three wickets, helping India win the match by 6 runs. His last over heroics has made fans believe that Shami can replace Bumrah’s in India’s playing XI and help India win the World Cup.
However, Suresh Raina believes Bumrah is ‘irreplaceable’ but Shami has the potential to make an impact in the tournament.
“I would not call him a perfect replacement because you cannot replace Jasprit Bumrah or Ravindra Jadeja. They have played consistently for India and they have given performances. But the best option you had, you have selected him. Shami has given good performances, he has been in good form. BCCI have done really well in sending the team to Australia 15 days prior to the tournament. The grounds are big, overall I think the preparation has been nice. We will need to play fearless cricket and show good intent,” said Raina.