Mickey Arthur: In Kohli, India have an unbelievable player

Aussie coach on the World Twenty20 puzzle.

Colombo: Australia’s coach Mickey Arthur spoke to The Telegraph at the Cinnamon Grand on Monday morning.

The following are excerpts:

His thoughts in the lead-up to the Super Eights...

Assuming that Pakistan beat Bangladesh (on Tuesday), all three teams that we will be facing are going to be the ones to have won both their group matches, like us...It’s going to be such a tough pool, with all the toppers.

The pool of death, so to say...

Absolutely. Every match is going to be tough...Against India, versus South Africa and against Pakistan, as things stand. Having said that, if you aspire to win the World Twenty20, then you’ve got to beat the really good teams at some stage.

Eve of the tournament thoughts...

I’ve always maintained that any one of the teams which makes the Super Eights could go on to win the World Twenty20...The tournament didn’t begin with a clear favourite. In this format, you don’t have one.

If he watched the India-England match on Sunday night...

I did...India tried a few things differently and those experiments worked...The happy situation for us is that I don’t think India know what’s their best XI! Do they go with seven batsmen or have five specialist bowlers? Then, if it’s to be five bowlers, who is the one batsman to miss out? Would it be (Virender) Sehwag? More than solving problems, the big win over England has given India a headache.

On how he’d go about things...

Go with five specialist bowlers, with Irfan Pathan, who can bat, being one of them...But I admit it’s a tough call for India and I’m glad I don’t have to make it.

India’s USP...

The team is very well led by (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni...He has a calm head...And, in Virat Kohli, they have an unbelievable player.

Biggest threat for Australia...

Kohli. At the drop of a hat, he can change a game.

Australia’s No.1 weapon...

Shane Watson...Has a massive impact with bat and ball. Either way, he can set the game up for us.

Whether India will be carrying the ‘baggage’ of a poor tour of Australia not too long ago...

Don’t think so.

Australia’s T20 captain, George Bailey...

Very good...He’s a very good communicator, is very meticulous with the planning.

On what it takes to succeed in T20 Internationals...

Somebody performing at a critical moment...For Australia, it could be Watson, could be David Warner. T20 can change quickly, so (ideally) you do need game-changers in every area.

Given the fast pace, if there can actually be a strategy in place...

You need a structure and a blueprint on how the game will be played. But there will be a lot of scenarios within that.

Finally, the luck factor...

There’s the element of luck, yes...Look, because T20 is a short game, every mistake gets amplified. It takes a lot out of players, even takes a lot out of the coaches!

Matches

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