Indian Premier League's [ Images ] (IPL) return to India after being held in South Africa [ Images ] in its previous edition will be a huge advantage to Rajasthan Royals [ Images ], believes skipper Shane Warne [ Images ].
"Going back to India, it suits our players. India suits our style of play we saw in IPL-I. The way we played is why we captured public imagination in India and abroad.
Former legendary Australian spinner, who is also the coach of Royals, said that changes have been made to the squad for the third edition of the Twenty20 [ Images ] tournament and induction of new players would enthuse new energy in the side.
"IPL-3 is a big year. Everybody's contract will be over and everybody will be looking to perform well. We are looking forward to it. There are a few players that have come and gone. But I think the team assembled by Monty, our assistant coach and Darren Berry is great. I think our squad looks amazing and is capable of performing well.
"We weren't as consistent as we should have been last year. Still we were only two balls away from making a place in the finals. Different tactics and strategies are required in India as compared to South Africa," he said.
The Royals had won the first edition of IPL in 2008.
Warne said doing well in the first three-four matches will be crucial in the overall context of the tournament.
"There is not one key aspect but a number of factors. The first 3-4 games will be crucial. If you look at some of the sides that have done well, they began pretty well. The other thing is how quickly the sides can gel together. That is why the build up before the first match becomes important," he said.
"How much time the guys spend together, how much they talk to each other, how they socialise, become important. I think that's where we were lucky in Jaipur [ Images ]. The facilities at Jaipur are as good as anywhere in the world.
"We could execute our skills and then talk cricket, we were in a different world, besides the city has a great feeling. I think that helped us hone our skill and concentrate on the game," he added.
Warne also rubbished any security threats that Australian players faces in India from right-wing party Shiv Sena [ Images ] and said, "Any place you go to, you want to make sure you are ok. I always love to come to India and I am confident that everything will be fine."
He said the team has the capability to cope with the absence of Australian player Shane Watson [ Images ], who will miss the first few matches due to international commitments and Pakistan's Sohail Tanvir [ Images ].
"Tanvir is a huge loss for us. He took early wickets and bowled well at the depth in the first edition. But we have got Morne Morkel [ Images ], who is bowling well these days, and Shaun Tait [ Images ] who recently bowled the fastest ball ever recorded in the world. I hope Morkel and Tait will do the job for us," Warne said.
"Adding to that, we have Indian bowler Munaf Patel [ Images ] in the side and with his experience, we hope to perform well.
"In form player like Watson would be very difficult to replace. But we have got some pretty good players like Michael Lamb, Damien Martyn and Adam Voges. There might be a case that South African national team skipper Graeme Smith [ Images ] might bat at number three position. Dmitry Mascarenhas will also play a big role. He and Yusuf Pathan [ Images ] finishing the innings would be a delight to watch," Warne added.
Praising Yusuf for his heroics in the IPL, Warne said if used properly he can change the course of the game.
"Yusuf to me is a match winner. There are not many match winners with the bat who can change the course of the game in 2 or 3 overs. We are very lucky to have Yusuf. If he is used properly, he can change the course of the game. He also does a wonderful job with the ball. If you look at the games we have won, he's won almost half the matches for us."
Supporting the buying of former team mate and right-hand batsman Damien Martyn, Warne said it was a smart decision by the team management.
"He is a calm sort of a batsman, who knows how to play in big moments. He knows how to plan an innings, how to plan for the match. He may not have played a match in a long time. But for a player of his calibre, he knows his game pretty well," he said.
"[Adam] Gilchrist, [Glenn] McGrath, [Matthew] Hayden, myself we don't play cricket in between the IPLs. But we have been doing pretty well. He [Damien] has got a bowling machine at his home at the moment, played first class cricket for New South Wales, and is having coaching and fitness drills every day. He is excited and will join the camp before anyone else. I think it's a very smart signing from us," Warne added.
Asked whether Twenty20 cricket was affecting the One-Day Internationals, he said, "The way society is now, every one is in a hurry. I will have a limited overs World Cup once every four years, and rest of the years we can play only T20s and Test cricket."