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The Roar



India's World T20 squad is falling into place

Rohit Sharma (Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images)
Roar Guru
28th February, 2022

India started this new year with a string of losses in South Africa, leading fans to question new team management, particularly Rahul Dravid.

Decisions like continuing to play failing batters and adopting a conservative approach in white-ball cricket seemed too old-fashioned.

After the highs of 2021, 2022 looked destined to be an annus horribilis for Indian cricket.

However, Rohit Sharma came back after the injury and joined hands with Rahul Dravid. Their approach towards limited-overs cricket seemed to have taken a different turn, one in the right direction.

Teams have to bat aggressively from start to finish, which requires plenty of batting options throughout the playing XI.

To counter this kind of aggressive batting from the opponents, teams need multiple bowling options in their ranks. When you cannot increase the team size, the only way to make this possible is to load the team with multi-skilled players.

The current wisdom is to have at least eight batting options and six bowling options, however India under Virat Kohli had been following the specialists-based approach, resulting in the team being top-heavy in batting and without options to cover for a bowler having an injury or a bad day.


Despite this flawed approach, India won plenty of white-ball games through the sheer class of their top order and the genius of Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav with the ball. However, India’s opponents found ways to expose these fault lines in big matches, like the ICC tournament knockout games.

Mohammad Amir, Trent Boult and Matt Henry took out the Indian top order cheaply and India lost those matches. The specialist-based approach did not measure up during the business end of ICC tournaments.

The change in approach was quite apparent once Sharma came back from injury in 2022 and took the reins. The last few T20s against Sri Lanka saw India play teams with seven bowling options and eight batting options. If not this lopsided, we saw similarly styled teams during the white-ball series against the West Indies. India duly won all their matches against West Indies and Sri Lanka.

Under Virat, there were similar results in the bilateral series. However, there was a nagging worry on the over-dependence on the specialists in the team. That team could not afford any slack that others could pick up.

Rohit’s team has enough multi-skilled players to cover for failures in the specialist ranks – Rohit fared poorly in the last few matches, and Kohli did not play a game. Still, India won

With the T20 World Cup to be played this year, Indian fans are eager for their team to end their long title drought.

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My Indian team for the T20 World Cup
Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzuvendra Chahal

Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Harshal Patel, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Ravi Bishnoi, Ishan Kishan