Calcutta: World Cup-winning coach Dav Whatmore, who recently finished a two-year contract with Pakistan, spoke to The Telegraph exclusively on the World T20.
Whatmore is currently at home, in Melbourne, and the interview (on Saturday evening) was done over the phone.
3 TEAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
WEST INDIES: Because they’re the reigning champions... They have a power-packed team.
Key players: Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine.
SRI LANKA: They’re ranked No.1, with good reason. They’ve got a strong all-round team, which bats deep.
Key players: Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews.
PAKISTAN, INDIA: I’ve had to pick both, together, as both are good teams. India’s a bit better with the batting, Pakistan a bit better with the bowling.
Key players: Mohammed Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal; Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh.
5 PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR (random order)
CHRIS GAYLE (WI): Chris has the ability to win a match all on his own. T20 is about match-winners and power-hitters.
SUNIL NARINE (WI): Sunil’s an incredible spinner. Again, can turn the course of a match single-handedly.
VIRAT KOHLI (Ind.): Virat’s in such terrific form and is high on confidence. He wants to take responsibility and do the job himself.
[Whatmore was the coach when India brought home the U-19 World Cup, in 2008, under Kohli.]
KUSAL PERERA (SL): Kusal could be a bit under the radar, but has it in him to make a big impression.
QUINTON de KOCK (SA): Quinton’s been growing in confidence and has loads of natural ability. So, watch out for him too.
CAPTAIN TO WATCH OUT FOR
Everyone, I guess! But if I’ve got to name one, I’d go for Mahendra Singh Dhoni... I admire his cool manner, his calm demeanour... Dhoni’s mental approach has brought India much success in the past... He’s been getting some stick of late, but he’s a very different captain in ICC events. India, after all, are the holders of the World Cup and the Champions Trophy and it was under Dhoni that India won the inaugural World T20 (2007) as well.
COACH TO WATCH OUT FOR
Ottis Gibson (West Indies)... He’s helped put together a very good team in this format. I’m interested to see how he gets his wards to defend their title.
ON WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED IN T20s
This is a power game and the ones who’re successful have the ability to quickly shift gears from high to extra high. You’re stranded if you can’t.
FINALLY, HIS PLANS FOR THE FUTURE...
I’m still having a complete break, spending time with the family... I’m relaxing... However, I have signed an agreement with Arena Sports and we’ll be setting up an academy in Dubai. Hopefully, it will be launched by the end of this year.