After a shocking World Cup exit, India will tour to the West Indies, looking to leave behind the disappointment. This tour will mark a beginning to the preparations for the 2020 T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia. The Indian team will also go through a transition during this period, and it is important that it is a smooth one.
A lot of young players are ready to show their mettle on the international level. The team has a variety of options to choose from, thanks to an excellent domestic circuit. Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, and Rahul Chahar are some of the options in the bowling department. Even in the batting, there are a plethora of choices for the team.
The BCCI and the team management would like to learn from the mistakes they committed in the World Cup, and use these players wisely to iron out all the vulnerabilities in the current setup. On this note, let us take a look at some spots which need to be fixed, and some appropriate solutions for the same:
1. A solid middle-order
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
A vulnerable middle order was to be blamed for India’s World Cup exit. The men-in-blue were completely banking over their top three to deliver; the day they failed, India was knocked out of the tournament. The team couldn’t find a solid middle-order batsman even in the two years.
KL Rahul can be the solution for this trouble. With Shikhar Dhawan’s return, he can be made to bat at number four, with Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya chipping in at number five and six respectively. But this combination needs to go through a long international run. Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and Shubhman Gill might be some other options for this slot.
2. The wicketkeeper slot
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
After serving the Indian cricket for more than a decade, MS Dhoni has neared the end of his illustrious career. The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, under whom India won all three ICC titles might not fall in the plans for the T20 World Cup. It needs no revision that it is pretty hard to fill his boots but the team would now like to move ahead, and groom youngsters such as Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan.
These three explosive batsmen have every quality except for experience. They have the capacity to single-handedly win games on their day. Pant, who is touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, was quite good in the World Cup as well. His fighting knock against New Zealand in the semis is a glimpse of the vast dimensions of this youngster.
With some grooming, he can become a solid middle-order player, a batsman for all conditions and all positions.
3. An extra all-rounder
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Having all-rounders in your team not only gives you a depth in the batting lineup, but also some extra bowling options. In the cup-winning England team, there were as many as six all-rounders. New Zealand also had 4-5 all-rounders in their squad. Other teams can take a lesson from this template and apply this to their teams as well.
India enjoys the presence of Hardik Pandya, a genuine all-rounder who can play the role of the fifth bowler apart from hard-hitting power. However, it’s time for the team to search for their second genuine all-rounder, which would be a bane in any T20 World Cup match. Krunal Pandya can be an option for the same.
The southpaw has been doing quite well in the IPL for quite a long time now. He played a key role in Mumbai Indians lifting the trophy in 2017 and 2019. With his inclusion, the Pandya brothers can form a deadly pair.
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