Trent Bridge, Jun 8: Former India skipper Ravi Shastri feels it would be nothing short of a miracle if India retain the ICC World Twenty20 Championship title given the fickle nature of cricket's shortest format.
"It would be miraculous if India indeed go on to defend its crown," said the former all-rounder when asked about India's chances at the event.
Meanwhile, rival teams are busy planning a blueprint against defending champions India as critical Super Eight clashes of the ICC World Twenty20 loom later this week.
India has all but sailed through to the second round and in their three clashes, could meet Australia/West Indies (June 12), England (June 14) and South Africa (June 16) to go within two matches of defending their crown.
In a format as fickle as Twenty20, legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar is inclined to term India as only "marginally favourites."
Dhoni, on his part, has only encouraged his rivals by putting all his cards on the table. Opposition could thus work on a few areas which could be India's Achilles' heels.
Dhoni has espoused his concern about the manner his bowlers are bowling in the first six and final 2-3 overs of the innings.
In the match against Bangladesh, the opponents had 50 on the board within the first six overs. Then, in the last two overs of the innings three sixes were hit from five balls by Bangladesh for a losing cause.
That the poor start and terrible finish is still being taken care of is a reflection on india's vice-like grip on the middle overs.
Dhoni presses into service his three key men between the 7th and 16th over -- pacer Ishant Sharma and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha.
These three men picked up six of the eight wickets to fall and were the only ones to finish with their quota of four overs each.
Bangladesh effectively lost the match to these three highly proficient young men. Another of Dhoni's method also wouldn't have gone unnoticed to hawk-eye planners of other teams.
Dhoni is averse to losing wickets in middle overs and doesn't mind if the scorecard moves at a snail's pace in that stretch.
Thus Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni himself preferred to be extremely conventional in this stretch against Bangladesh which led to jst 121 runs being cored of 16 overs.
The tournament would only get harder for Ishant, Harbhajan and Ojha as rivals would try to take them on and force Dhoni to think out of the box.
In batting, more and more firepower of rivals would be seen between the seventh and fifteenth over of India's innings.
The opposition would try their best to clinch wickets in middle overs and deny India the advantage of a sound platform and relentless hitting during the closing stages.