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Are India selecting themselves out of T20 World Cup glory?

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Roar Guru
2nd May, 2024
16
1067 Reads

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

This quote is often attributed to Albert Einstein, but nobody knows if he said it. It doesn’t matter who said it; it does not take an Einstein to know this truth. However, if you are BCCI, even the words of a genius do not matter.

What has failed the Indian T20 team at World Cups in the past? Does this current selection address these ailments?

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 02: Ravichandran Ashwin of India runs towards KL Rahul of India after he ran out of Litton Das of Bangladesh for 60 runs during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval on November 02, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates taking a wicket during the 2022 T20 World Cup. (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

Batting:

One of the recurring issues for the Indian T20 team at the World Cup has been their struggle to score big runs on flat surfaces. The West Indies outplayed them in the 2016 semis, so did England in 2022. In the 2021 edition, their batting was so lacklustre that they couldn’t even make it to the final four.

Given the above results, one would expect the selection to regroup and ponder their batting personnel to bring more firepower to the squad. However, the batting unit announced today for the Indian T20 team looks quite similar to the one that got swatted away by England in Adelaide.

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja have retained their places in the team, despite none of them setting the T20 leagues on fire; most of them have not even turned up for the Indian team in the bilateral T20s that were played in the last two years!

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In addition to those familiar names, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, and Sanju Samson are the new entrants into the final cut. Among these three, Jaiswal is the only certainty to play in the first eleven.

So, India will play the same overexposed batters, in which all the big teams have learned to bowl against. There are no surprise elements in the unit or unorthodox players who could take the game away from the opposition.

Verdict: The selection does not address the past issues with this team They have placed their faith in some mysterious powers rather than logic.

Bowling:

The bowling pack of the past had the same problems as the batting when it came to containing teams on flat wickets. The 2022 team lacked real pace and wrist spinners, often called upon by successful T20 sides to curtail opponents. Jos Buttler and Alex Hales blew away bowlers like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, et al. on that pristine batting track in Adelaide.

The selectors have tried to address past shortcomings by picking up the correct personnel. Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the 2022 World Cup due to injury, comes back to the team to provide the much-needed control and wicket-taking ability with pace.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzi Chahal bring in the wrist-spin variety that the team sorely missed in the past few T20 World Cups. Mohammed Siraj, who can blow hot and cold based on the side of the bed he rolled off that morning, can complement Bumrah when hot.

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Jasprit Bumrah celebrates a wicket

Jasprit Bumrah takes an International T20 wicket in England during 2022. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The one area that the selectors have completely disregarded is bowling at the death. In the current team, they have picked Arshdeep Singh for this role. The decision to play Arshdeep seems to be based on a memory of the past rather than recent performances. Singh bowls a good yorker at the death. However, if he does not nail the yorker, he has no plan B to fall back upon.

Verdict: While past concerns have been addressed, critical bowling areas need work. However, when it comes to death bowling, they return to the tried-and-failed player instead of betting on a different person. They could have taken the risk of playing T. Natarajan, who has death bowling skills and has been in good form in the IPL 2024.

Is this a World Cup-winning team?

One of the main reasons the Indian team has been unable to win an ICC trophy in the past ten years is the repeated selection of players and an unchanged style. BCCI’s penchant to pick the same big names, whom they consider safe bets, has played into the hands of the opposition.

Opponents can plan well for the team and catch them wrong-footed at some point in the tournament. The selectors have missed the trick once again. Now, all the Indian fans will hope that Einstein or whoever said that quote is wrong for once.

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