- First thing first. Unquestionably, the Indian cricket environment is abundantly endowed with some of the best talent, performers, and stalwarts at every level. No dearth of resources you see. Of course, the credit goes to the administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for revolutionizing the way cricket is played in the country. The humongous popularity enjoyed by the sport is unbelievable and the following only grows upwards by the day. However, the senior team is failing to cross the finishing line with alarming regularity during the last few years, especially the ICC events. The latest disappointment comes in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia where Team India was ruthlessly thrashed by a resurgent England team in the semi-finals.
- Mind you, Team India showcased great character during the group stage to reach the knockout stage without breaking into a sweat. Nonetheless, when it was expected to punch above their weights, Team India meekly surrendered yet again. So what ails the much-fancied and feted Team boasting some of the world-beaters consistently failing to deliver? Let’s dissect where the team is going wrong. Make no mistake, it starts right at the top of the batting order. Captain Rohit Sharma has consistently failed to deliver over the last year and a half with the bat. His struggles are obvious to the discerning eyes but the focus had been on Virat Kohli and others during the period. You only have to look at Rohit’s returns in T20 cricket to comprehend.
- With this mauling, Rohit will come into focus for sure. Also, KL Rahul has been a disappointment not only in terms of meager returns but also in a woefully inadequate striking rate for the shortest format. Look how the openers went about in the powerplay during the semis against England. They were simply struggling to up the run rate. This conservative and 50-overs approach in T20 cricket is yielding undesirable results. The powerplay overs are meant to be exploited to the fullest with the fielding restrictions in place. Openers playing to survive only adds pressure on the middle-order batters. Yes, we have found the explosive Surya Kumar Yadav an ideal foil but the team requires at least three more batters in the same mold to force the pace.
PC: Misha Ghosh
- The designated finisher in Dinesh Karthik was a huge letdown. The bowling unit did perform creditably in the group stage but was taken to the cleaners when it mattered most. Agreed, our pace bowling department is decent but the spinners during the marquee event have been disappointing. Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel were below par. Leggie Yajuvendra Chahal should have played right through the tournament. The time is ripe to blood younger players into the T20 team by asking the seniors like Virat, Rohit, Ashwin, and Karthik to make their way out. Also, the mindset of the team should change from adopting a conservative approach to one that of attack. Look at how the England team approaches shorter formats. Time to change, indeed.